Observing Report
Date: July 26, 2008
Site: 27N
Target: M08
Bennett Burbank aka: Mr. Freeze
Joe Moskowitz aka: Hyperstar Moskowitz

Another Saturday rolls around and I’m hoping the sky would be as clear as it was on Friday. After the last couple of months we have had, I did give it much of a chance. To my surprise it was looking pretty good around 6pm so I began to pack up my gear. The plan was to go to Fox until 8:30 or so then head out to 27N, but as luck would have it I forgot to charge my camera batteries…UGH! No big deal I’ll just give each one ½ charge and that should get me thru the night. Needless to say that puts me behind schedule and I don’t leave the house until 8:30pm. I arrive at 27N around 8:45pm and begin to set up and soon realize I’m the only thing the mosquitoes have had to eat in a week! Bennett and Joe arrive soon after giving them another food source, thank god!

On to the task at hand, shooting M8. This would be my first attempt at anything other than a glob cluster so I had no idea what to expect from my Nikon D100 or my 6” newt. Set up went well and before I could say “where’s the repellant” I was ready to go.

Goto was dead on, that’s always a plus.
Focusing went faster this time; I’m getting used to DSLR Focus and even took some time to frame my shot, not something that I’m very comfortable with yet.
I’m all set.

I start taking test exposures to see how long I can push this rig with out a guide scope.
30 seconds looks good
60 seconds looks good
90 seconds… not so good.
I settle on 60 seconds and try to get 60 frames.

An hour and change later I finish up with my lights and move on to darks, in which I could only get 30 before my batteries gave out, oh well.

After getting home and looking thru my shoots. I deleted 12 and stacked 48 lights and 30 darks; here are the results after much post processing in CS3.

Click this image to launch the full-sized version.

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