Wide-field image of the Cocoon nebula and Barnard 168

The Canon 200mm prime lens and the Canon 5D MkII DSLR were put to good use a few days back grabbing a massive (10 x 6.8 degree) wide-field around the Cocoon nebula in Cygnus.  Using ISO 400 and f#4.5 with an IDAS filter I captured 21 x 4-minute subs with the DSLR and guided using the SX guide camera on a small refractor – all piggy-backed on the C11 which is now groaning under all the added weight.  Further Hyperstar III data of the Cocoon region alone was added to the DSLR template by Noel Carboni who created the final composite using Photoshop and his Astronomy Action Tools.  The Hyperstar III data set was taken a couple of years ago and comprises a 3-frame mosaic with each frame being around 3-4 hours total exposure time using 10-minute sub-exposures.

This combination of using the DSLR to create the wide-field star-field template, and then filling in the nebulosity and faint stuff with either the Hyperstar III or the mini-WASP looks like a winning combination.  The only problem is that the images only look impressive when printed out BIG – all the detail gets lost in A4 size or smaller.



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