Astrophotography by Walt Davis

M45 (the Pleiades) is a very bright star cluster that can be seen easily by the human eye as a bright patch in the sky. Its beautiful to look at with binoculars and is a winter time favorite. This picture was taken with a Nikon D70 and a 600mm f4 ED lens. By Walt Davis.
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Object Information

Name: M45, The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters
Type: Star Cluster with Nebulosity.
Description: M45 (the Pleiades) is a very bright star cluster that can be seen easily by the human eye as a bright patch in the sky. Its beautiful to look at with binoculars and is a winter time favorite. This picture was taken with a Nikon D70 and a 600mm f4 ED lens.
Magnitude: 1.2
Size: 100.0 x 100.0 arcminutes
Related Photos: none

References:

M45 - Pleiades Star Cluster
Reflection Nebula
Google Images
Acquisition

Location:

Latitude 44.841N by Longitude -122.869W at an elevation of 87 meters.
Aumsville, Oregon USA

Date:

 September 12, 2008

Zone: -8 (Pacific Standard Time)
Equipment

Imager:

Nikon D70

OTA:

Nikkor 600mm f4 ED super telephoto lens
Barlow: none
Platform: 2X Super Modified Nikon Imaging Platform
Guiding: Orion StarShoot DSCI II, Nikkor 300mm f2.8 ED lens, and MaxIm DL Essentials.
Imaging
Mode: Mode 2
White Balance: Sunlight

Color Space:

sRGB
Format: RAW (3008 x 2000)

Light frames:

8 x (5 Min  @ ISO 200)

Darks:

none

Flats:

none
Filters: Nikon 39mm UV/IR
Mask: none
f-stops: f4
FOV: 136 x 89 arcminutes
Scale: 2.71 arcseconds per pixel
Software: Nikon Capture 4 Control
Image Processing

Stacking:

Deep Sky Stacker 3.2.1

Combined:

Average
Processing: PhotoShop CS3, Astronomy Tools CS2 V1.5, New Astro Zone System, Noiseware Professional Plugin.
Notes
  • Stars away from the optical axis show significant flare.

  • While the Nikon 600mm ED Lens is a high quality lens; all lenses of this size are have aberrations like this especially when at full aperture.

  • One way of removing aberrations is to stop the lens down at least by two steps; however, on bright stars this will produce very large refraction spikes.

Copyright  2008 Walt L. Davis All Rights Reserved