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M8 the Lagoon Nebula

M8 the Lagoon Nebula
This is commonly called the Lagoon Nebula. It is located in the constellation of Sagittarius. It is one of the few bright nebula visible to the unaided eye.

The photo was taken through an 8" telescope using a Paramount ME mount to provide excellent tracking. The camera was an SBIG ST2000 cooled CCD unit. I shot four 10 minute exposures with red, blue, and green filters which totals three 40 minute exposures plus eight 10 minute luminescent exposures which totals an 80 minute exposure and then combined them after subtracting dark frames. The camera was cooled to -15 C. to minimize thermal noise from the CCD chip. The image processing was done in CCDstack, with some finish up work in Photoshop. In my opinion the most important part of the process is the mount to be able to track effectively and get consistent images.

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