This image was taken on my first night out following the street light switch-off in the nearby towns (between midnight and 5:00am), helpfully the moon was also on the opposite side of the sky by this time. As you can see, I have also also managed to capture a fair few of M101’s companion galaxies in this image, including NGC5474 just left of top centre.
This is also the first image I have processed using PixInsight’s new ‘Masked Stretch’ process (released this week, replacing the old script version). It has made a massive difference to retaining colour in the cores of the stars and the galaxy, so much so that I may well have to go back and reprocess some of my earlier images which suffer from a lack of star colour (a common problem with DSLR images).
Imaging: Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro, Sky-Watcher 0.85x reducer, Hutech IDAS LPS P2 2″, Canon EOS 500D (Unmodified), APT
Guiding: Orion ST80, QHY 5, PHD guiding, Sky-Watcher NEQ6, EQMod, AstroTortilla
Processing: PixInsight 1.8.01
Date: Jan. 12, 2014
Lights: 30 x 600 seconds ISO400