M45 against the odds (again)

A slightly milder evening defrosted the observatory roof so before the moon becomes a factor again I decided to try and make something of what appeared to be a reasonably transparent sky. Jupiter was my initial target but this soon revealed that the seeing was awful and unlikely to improve so once again I returned to M45 which unfortunately transits my optimum piece of sky during the five weeks of Christmas illuminations (at a reasonable hour that is!). Looking back at my post of 15/12/09 I noticed I've been down this road before so this is pretty well a repeat performance albeit with the addition of some extra church tower floodlighting and different exposure parameters. Cloud cut the session short after only 4 subs. For the sake of trying to post something here is the result. More of the nebulosity is recorded when compared to last year's attempt but is the result of longer exposures and higher iso settings. The low number of subs meant a noisy image which needed some heavy processing. Once again I include a sub to show the extreme "pinking" introduced by the festive illuminations. Details: WO Megrez 88 apo. 4x 8minute exposures @ iso1600 with CLS in DSS, CS2 & XAT.

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