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Strange ring in corner of my photo?

Guest paul j

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Hi all im new to astrophootgraphy, i took some images of the m45 unfortunetly i couldnt get it all in my celestron c8 scope but i wanted to have a go imaging it anyhow mainly cos it was an easy target and i could see it.i gave up on the processing as it turned out so so but my question is i got a big ring in the corner of the photo any idea what it could be,its baffling,sattelites i thought went straight,hubble? i cant see any marks on my scope and ive took clean pictures after this.

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Is it an eyelash or something like a scratch? Which scope is it and did you check all the lenses and/or mirrors? Mike will help you with M45 - he's done great stuff with it recently (perkil8tor). You've got a bit of a gradient in the top center as well - maybe amp glow or light ingress. Just ideas but Hth :)

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On the whole, that has the makings of a good image, so don't get too dis-heartened.

To me it looks like reflected light off the corrector although I could be wrong. You would be suprised how little light needs to be reflected off it to start to show up when you process an image. I had a similar issue when I tried to image M31 a while back, it turned out it was a distant streetlight just and only just reflecting off the scope. I solved this with strategic placing of a piece of wood and a dew shield to obscure the streetlight. If you have a dew shield, use it, that will help block any stray light from bouncing off the corrector. Also watch out for the moon, that will cause gradients and reflections in some cases.

You may be able to process out some of what you have there with gradient removal tools. Gradient Xterminator is good if used carefully. There are lots of tutorials on Youtube on gradient removal, a search on there should help you with that.

In your image you also have a few dark spots, these are known as dust bunnies and are likely to be either dust on the camera sensor or on one of the mirrors. Consider using flats for calibration to remove these, or most of the effect anyway. But for now, concentrate on tracking the source of your stray light and eliminate or block it from bouncing off your scope.

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