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Piggystacking

This time (Feb. 12), I tried taking a larger number (15-18) of shots just piggybacking the camera at full zoom (18x). At maximum aperture at this zoom, the lens has a clear aperture of about 20mm, so it behaves like a (very!) small 18x telescope. 20mm isn't a lot, but combine it with an exposure equivalent to 3 or 4 minutes, and you can pick up quite a bit. Here's M35, 14 exposures (best 80% of 18 actually processed) of 10 seconds each, ISO 800:

It's not quite as detailed as the digiscoped version I posted a couple of weeks ago, but it's not dramatically inferior either. You can just make out the small cluster NGC 2158. On objects like this, I may try slightly longer exposures (maybe 15-20 seconds) in the future to pick up some additional detail.

Additional images after the break (all using the same stacking and exposure parameters as M35). As usual, I've post-processed these significantly to help bring out fainter stars, and cropped the most interesting portions.

The Pleiades

M36 (upper left) and M38 (lower right) in Auriga

Double Cluster in Perseus. This is a significant improvement over the single long exposure I took a few weeks before, which is long enough to show some tracking error in the mount + clock drive.

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