Taken 15-Jun-13
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Cocoon nebula

The second target for the night was the Cocoon nebula with its dark clouds in Cygnus. I had imaged this nebula 2 years ago with my DSLR/telephoto combo, and looking back at that image almost gave me eye cancer :), so I wanted to redo this. While this is more of a narrowband target, I didn't have enough time to get decent data with the H-alpha filter, so I just collected broadband data. The final result is not bad at all. If you look at the image at 100%, you'll see two galaxies (UGC11802 and UGC11806) in the lower right hand corner. I was no aware of their presence until I scanned the final image at 200% and saw the characteristic spiral pattern that I associate with galaxies.

Technical details:
Date: June 15, 2013
Time: 2:00 am - 4:00 am
Camera: SBIG STF-8300M
CCD Temperature: -12 C
Optics: Takahashi Sky 90 II @ 406 mm fl (f/4.5)
Filter: Astronomik L (UV/IR reject)
Light frames: 20x5 min
Dark frames: 10
Flat frames: 20
Binning: 1x1
Guiding: Orion SSAG @ Orion finder (~162 mm)
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Dithering: Manual
Processing: Stacking in DeepSkyStacker, Curves and Levels PSCS6.

What an amazing night. The moon set shortly after midnight, a thick marine layer killed the light domes from Santa Barbara and Santa Maria, and the valley fog took care of the light dome from the Santa Ynes valley. Pitch black skies.

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Cocoon nebula