with over 7 hours, this is the longest integration for a single image since I started (or revived) this hobby and the first time I started a pure imaging run without the moon up!
I had a few nights in the past without the moon. But they all were wasted with gear optimization, fiddling around and solving problems. Sometimes I feel like this hobby needs more time to make it right than integration time itself...
I have chosen this particular composition because I like how NGC7343, Stephan's Quintet and NGC7331 accompanied by the (apparent) bigger stars, enclose a rich field of galaxies. The longer you look at the image, the more galaxies you can spot – almost like getting dark adapted . And you can even find smaller galaxies in outer most parts of the image.
The resolution of my setup is 1.19"/pixel. The seeing was good to mediocre. So I am quite satisfied with the amount of detail.
It was a "cool" night (about 0°-2° C with frost all over the scope in the morning), but the 6D Mark II has very strong and pronounced noise. Even stacking 145 frames and dithering won't give you milk and honey. The biggest problem with this camera is a strong coloured large scale noise structure, which is the reason why I had to knock down the background more than I like. In general, I am not a fan of clipped to black backgrounds. But it is still acceptable. After three attempts of editing the image, I am sure I made the best out of it with my limited knowledge of PixInsight.
I used PCC (PhotometricColorCalibration) in PixInsight with the spectral class of our Sun (G2V) but changed the color to my personal preference after stretching, because I didn't like the lemon-yellow stars. So I raised the the reds with CurvesTransformation, which also leads to a stronger pronounced blue in the arms of the galaxies without raising the overall saturation to the extremes.