Last weekend I practiced doing some astro-imaging during a beautiful night that featured a nearly full moon night, up at Hopewell Observatory. I was particularly concerned with getting decent ‘flat’, ‘dark’ and ‘bias’ subframes, which are shots where you take images of what appears to be nothing at all. However, using those apparently ‘nothing’ subframes, you can subtract out noise and unwanted internal signals, in order to get decent images. I was using a Celestron 14-inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope on an ancient Ealing mount whose drive has some problems; as a result my ‘light’ sub-frames could only be 2 minutes long. I am also using a second-hand Canon EOS Xsi 450D DSLR camera that has had the infrared-rejection filter removed.
I did the stacking and registering and removal of noise using a program called Deep Sky Stacker, with no further processing. One day I will learn how to adjust colors with something like Pixinsight to make it look more beautiful I was fairly pleased with the results, which you can see here: