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M51 Lite Stacking w / dSLR

Nikon d7000 Nikoor 180mm

M51 Lite Stacking w / dSLR

This image taken from Santa Fe, New Mexico was taken on 17 Feb 13 using Astro Trac, Deep Sky Stacker, and 94 frames X 30 Secs @ f/3.5.ISO was 3200. This was my first attempt using this lens. Tracking was not an issue with 30 second exposures. Noise was very minimal due to the number of frames used (only lights). While stretching introduced rather large star images, the composition of M51 was preserved. The faint nebulosity from M51's companion is quite interesting. Next attempt will be stacking 1 minute exposures stopped down to f/4.5. Recommend enlarging. Category "A" competition entry.

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