I have been imaging M16 – the Eagle nebula, in the constellation of Serpens for a while now, the problem is that from my observatory I can only get a clear view of it for a short period at this time of year. This is due to a couple of factors, it is low in the south from my latitude and it only clears neighbouring roofs and the south facing side wall of the observatory for about an hour and a half, before dipping below both again and disappearing from view. This limits the number of exposures that can be gathered each clear evening, but finally I have got enough data to process the image. This is the beauty of digital images, they don’t all have to captured on the same night, it helps also that M16 is one of the brighter objects – this means you can take shorter exposures and lots of them for stacking. Dithering between exposures ( moving the telescope a few pixels in a random direction after each image is taken so the light from the object does not fall on the same part of the sensor each time ) helps get rid of noise in the final image. I’m quite pleased with the result of catching the photons as and when I could.
HOO means the Ha data was added to the Green channel and OIII was added to both the Blue and Red channels. The pillars of creation is at the centre of the image, to the left is the 9.5 light year long stellar spire.