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YAPP -- Yet Another Pleiades Photo (M45, NGC1435 and NGC1432) | by Latent0Image
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YAPP -- Yet Another Pleiades Photo (M45, NGC1435 and NGC1432)

An admittedly popular subject and the only "twist" here is that I captured this image from a light-polluted, near-city-center location -- a place where I attempt very little deep-sky photography. To try and work around the light pollution I used an extreme number of short exposures combined with a light-pollution filter (and the filter itself resulted in about a two-thirds stop loss in effective broadband exposure). Note that even with this short exposure I was beginning to see a little bit of sky fog in my images given the bright sky and my relatively "fast" telescope and camera.

 

Near to the very top center edge of this image is the distant spiral galaxy UGC 2838 (see image notes). It appears as a very tiny, flying-saucer-shaped disk with a reported magnitude of around 16 (perhaps 60,000 times fainter than the star Electra, the bright member of the Pleiades cluster that is nearest to the top center of this photo). Of course, this star appears brighter only because it is much, much closer to us than is the galaxy (the distance to the star may be "only" 400 light years, while the galaxy may be over 300 million light years away).

 

Photographed on the late evening and early morning of November 5/6, 2013 using a 5 inch aperture, f/4.2 telescope and a Sony NEX-5R digital camera (ISO3200, a stack of three hundred and ninety-two images -- yep -- each exposed for 15 seconds, producing a total exposure integration time of 98 minutes). I estimate that I could have achieved nearly the same result at a "dark" site with only twenty to thirty minutes of integrated exposure time. You can view such an image (that I took last year at a relatively "dark" site) at the following location on Flickr (LINK: www.flickr.com/photos/latent0image/7686129254/).

 

Image selection, registration, integration, and adjustments done with PixInsight v01.08.00.1023 RC7 with final tweaks in Photoshop CS5.

 

This photo is best viewed against a dark background (press the "L" key to enter the Flickr light box).

 

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Taken on November 6, 2013