NGC7000, North America Nebula

NGC7000, North America Nebula

The North America Nebula, also known as NGC7000, is a beautiful and frequent target in my backyard astrophotography endeavors, particularly during the summer months. Despite not being lucky enough to capture it under a string of clear nights, I am still proud to present the images captured during the available clear nights.

I captured this image using a Sony A7C camera and a William Optics RedCat 51 telescope, with a UHC filter installed in the back of the scope. During the photography sessions, I faced a problem with tracking and my keeper rate was slightly below 50% on 120-second exposures. I tried to achieve a quite good polar alignment but still, many of my subs didn't survive the selection.

I need to investigate the cause of this problem further. I tried longer exposures, and the 180-second sub doesn't look worse than 120-second one, the same pattern of smearing the stars. On the 60-second exposures, the keeper rate was a bit higher, around 75%, but the amount of details I was able to get out of 120-second exposures is much higher, so I decided to stick to longer exposures.

In terms of integration, I had to make a difficult choice between getting a smoother image with less noise but with stars not being round anymore, or keeping only the best shots, with less of them unfortunately, but the overall sharpness of the nebulosity is much higher, and the stars are more round. I chose the latter, however, it came at the cost of extra noise present in the image. Despite these challenges, I am proud of the final image and will continue to work on improving my technique and equipment to capture better images in the future.

  • #Nebula
  • #HOO