Stellar(?) weekend…

Minor febrile knockout aside, I managed to get some pretty good shots of the kiddo, and some of the amazing skies at Mom & Dad’s house this weekend.  She really loved the train over at Hill Ridge Farm, especially since she got to ride with her Nana:
More pictures are over on the book of face, for those who have access.

We were under the weather that afternoon, but by bedtime what ever bug had waylaid me had subsided.  Kiddo went to sleep much easier Saturday night than she had on Friday, and after I put her to bed I wandered outside to let the dogs do their business… and realized I could see the Milky Way with the naked eye.  Back inside, grab the camera, and with no tripod, shoot with the camera propped up on the roof rack on the Explorer.  I should have shot more at each location so I could stack them better, but I still ended up with a couple of decent stitches / stacks of the sky:

This one was stitched together as a panorama in Photoshop, and then the levels were adjusted in Lightroom:
Milky Way Panorama

I didn’t have much luck getting Deep Sky Stacker to put all the shots together, so I tried converting the aligned layers in Photoshop to smart objects, then using the median blend plug-in to reduce some of the noise.  It turned out reasonably well, albeit with some visible overlap layering.  While that bit was annoying, it was able to get more detail out of the area near the light pollution from Raleigh (lower right of the frame):
Milky Way Stack

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