A Private Competition
The Sunflower Galaxy (M63) in Canes Venatici

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I awoke in my chair staring at the fourth version of my recent project and considered the competitive nature of this hobby. Not between hobbyists, but with ourselves. Each of us remembers our first images. Looking back, some may even seem embarrassing. But at the time they were taken, those first images were full of *wonder*!

It was the eventual realization that something could be made better which drove us to try again and do it differently, next time. So here are we, dozens of next times later, still engaged in a private competition. During each contest, there are no spectators, no coaches, no impartial judges. Just a single contestant hunched over a keyboard, literally groping in the dark, exposing new wonders about ourselves.

It's a beautiful sport filled with a really cool players that have also become good friends!

My most recent event occurred at a familiar venue, M63. Since I've always liked to play in the dirt, I thought it would be a good way to test my green thumb.

195 minutes Luminance
45 minutes red, 27 minutes green and 51 minutes blue* (2X2)
20-inch RCOS (f/8)

* one 15 minute blue sub-exposure was synthesized from luminance