Flintstone Stargazing

September 28, 2008

M8-Lagoon Nebula on 9/28/08

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Messier Objects, Observation Journal — Tags: — Ed @ 11:52 pm

It’s been cloudy for several days and I haven’t been able to get out until tonight. It was really nice, clear and dark, but started to get windy about the time my Nikon camera battery gave out so I called it a night. This is really the only image I got – the Lagoon Nebula. Unfortunately, the IR filter on the D50 blocks out a lot of the Hydrogen Alpha light which normally makes this very red in color (though you can see a bit of that). It’s a big nebula found in Sagittarius. I’ve still got coma going on, particularly in the right side of the image. I’m trying to figure out if I can take care of that without spending anything by just collimation and alignment. We’ll see…



  1. Nice Ed, good contrast! If you aren’t already using Nikon Capture software, I highly recommend it. Also, consider getting an AC adapter for your D50. Remember, the battery generates heat along with the other components. You might be able to reduce noise even further by avoiding battery consumption.


    Comment by Pierre — September 29, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

  2. I’ve never been able to get that software to work with the D50 – I just connect the USB cable and copy the images over as they are taken. I would like to get a power plug, just haven’t gotten around to it…

    Comment by Ed — September 29, 2008 @ 3:20 pm

  3. Hi Ed!
    Are you setting the camera’s USB mode to PTP? If you don’t do that Camera Control Pro won’t be able to detect it. That happened to me!

    Comment by Ricardo — September 30, 2008 @ 4:30 pm

  4. You know – I haven’t messed with that in forever. I don’t really remember what I tried. Can that software handle longer exposures than 30 seconds?

    Comment by Ed — September 30, 2008 @ 5:13 pm

  5. Ed, Ricardo is correct about PTP but there are more issues too. If you’re curious, just email me privately. Thanks.


    Comment by PierreS — September 30, 2008 @ 9:51 pm

  6. I downloaded the trial version and it really doesn’t help me on exposures longer than 30 seconds. I still have to use the IR remote to open and close the shutter. If it allowed me to set the time to say 3 minutes then that would be really super useful to me. It did, however allow me to easily take a bunch of bias frames. I’m actually looking at getting some sort of IR device that I could program to replicate the Nikon Remote and send open/close instructions at whatever interval I specify.

    Comment by Ed — October 2, 2008 @ 8:45 am

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