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Old Jan 22, 2005, 5:27 PM   #1
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This evening I made an experiment of astrophotography with my Dimage Z2. I didn't have great expectations because these nights there is almost full Moon so the sky is quite bright and this is usually not a good situation to look for faint astonomical objects.

Anyway...I took a series of 8 pictures of the Orion Nebula (also known as M42 according to Messier catalog). For each image I used an exposure of 3 seconds, f3.2, ISO200 (focus at inifinity was set manually). I used about a 250mm equivalent focal length. I used the hacked firmware with RAW support.

Then I stacked the images as 8 different layers in PS, each with 15% opacity, so to average them.

I then applied a little motion bur correction (the little motion of the stars was evident due to the long focal length) and noise reduction.

Finally I worked with curves to set the black point and adjust the overall contrast.

I was impressed by the image I got!...the nebula is quite evident and you can see stars fainter than magnitude 9.5!!

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Old Jan 23, 2005, 7:28 PM   #2
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Astro-pic worked out well.

Instead of using PS and layers you can also tryREGISTAXs afree astronomy image stacking program found at http://registax.astronomy.net/index.html
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Old Nov 8, 2006, 5:48 AM   #3
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What kind of camera do I need to take pictures of the stars?
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Old Nov 10, 2006, 12:46 AM   #4
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Well done iacopo, and thanks for the explanation, I might give this a go myself sometime.
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