I have waited SO long for a clear night and at last it came! Orion is now low in the sky so this was my last chance to image these targets for this year. Set up as usual and wasn’t sure if I had a great polar alignment – also, the Orion nebula is so bright that long exposures burn out easily so I chose 2 minutes as a good compromise. I was keen to use “dithering” with my auto-guider as it is said to reduce noise and bring out subtle detail – seemed to work very well. Am also now using “Neat Image” anti-noise software which has made a big difference.
Although it doesn’t look like much, I am very fond of open cluster NGC 1981 as it is the first object I looked at in a star atlas then decided to try and find with my telescope (a 8.75 inch Dobsonian). My old sky diary from 2009 is here: http://www.johnapurvis.synology.me/sky_diary.html
480/80mm refractor. Canon 60Da at ISO 800, 14 x 2 min sub-exposures. Astro-Hutech LPS filter. Ioptron ZEQ25GT mount. SSAG/PHD auto-guiding/dithering (dithered: every sub at 2 pixels). Focusing and camera sequencing/control with BackYard EOS. 30 darks and 25 flats (white LED panel: 1/20s @ ISO 800).
Post-processed in PixInsight 1.8 and Photoshop CC 2014. Noise reduction with Neat Image.