Snake In The Muck

New image: the Snake Nebula (B72)

This image is the composite of the best 35 exposures out of 46 taken from Clearfield Observatory. I am pleased, no, surprised with the result considering the location and conditions. The snake varied between 25 and 23 degrees above the horizon during the exposures. This is the lowest I have ever seriously tried to image from my location and I was skeptical it would amount to much. With high humidity and stagnant summer air the stars close to the horizon are in the muck we say.

A combination of steps and technique helped this image:? I kept the sub-exposures to a shorter time to reduce thermal noise, a fan was blowing on the camera to help cool it, the target object was in the best possible location to avoid light pollution around my site and I discarded sub-exposures that were clearly affected by local traffic. Result: happiness.