It's great to see photographers on here. @CaptainTrips - your Flickr page is beautiful! I have a website also: DoubleA.photography. I've also been fortunate to be showcased twice at the National Photography show in 2018 and 2019, as part of the Loxley Colour People's Gallery.
Just thought I throw some slightly alternative stuff up here for the fun!
I'm a bit of a Space Nerd and bought myself a 6 inch Dobsonian reflector last autumn. It's been a total pleasure - and welcome distraction - spending some of the winter evenings catching views of some incredible sights. It has a solar filter also so daytime viewing of the sun can be quite breathtaking too but nothing makes you feel more in awe of nature in my view than seeing the faint light from a Galaxy that took over 12.5 million years to reach your retina. (Although what a sad end for those photons after such a collosal journey to end up in my eye ball. Never mind the ones that missed me and ended their trip in my flower pot in my garden! )
Anyway, I finally managed to find a way to get my Canon EOS M5 connected to it and am having fun with some basic astrophotography. No better place to start when snapping stars to start with our very own - a busy week for sunspots as it turns out. The biggest one nearest the centre is about the size of Earth - which kind of puts Putins plans in perspective for the pointless and ultimately insignificant quest that it really is....
I've had limited success with other objects - mostly because the weather here has given me the opportunity to get good views of anything noteworthy. But here is M35 - a nice open star cluster in Gemini. I like how the different star colours come through in a way that your night vision can't discern when looking at it directly. (You might not see much detail or colour depending on what monitor you are viewing on incidentally.)
My telescope mount is a simple Dobson type which means I can't track anything and this limits me to a maximum of about 0.5 second exposures - and even at that there is still some obvious star trails visible as they rapidly pan across the field of view. Such a rapid shutter speed means I can't gather much light and am therefore severely limited as to how much detail I can pull out of the image.
The below is a stack of 150 images - which allows for a dramatic improvement in Signal to Noise ratio so I can turn up the exposure in post processing without causing excessive grain - and isn't a bad result really overall.
And finally, the worst quality by a few orders of magnitude because of the ridiculous tight crop but still my favourite - a 1/2500 shutter speed to catch the ISS as it whizzed across the field of view. The solar arrays clearly visible either side of the main section.
I have read that simple telescope mounts such as mine render them unsuitable for astrophotography, but I can tell you that I shall be having a lot of fun over the next while! Space and Cameras combined - what more could I want!!
Just thought it would be interesting to demonstrate what stacking does for anyone who hasn't played with it. Conceptually it is basically reinforcing the consistent and therefore desired information within a set of images while allowing the removal of anything that isn't consistent from one shot to another. This is what improving the Signal-to-Noise ratio really means. It doesn't increase the information ultimately gathered as that is a simple function of shutter speed.
Here is a single image from the 150 image stack of M35 - but with the same post processing applied (more or less) that I applied to the final result after stacking everything. The difference really is quite dramatic I think!