I've read tons of stuff about this argument, but I still don't understand whether or not I should image when there's a full moon (with +- 1 week from actual full moon date).
I have a stock DSLR, no filters and lots of patience. I live in a Bortle 5/6 town.
For example, let's have a look at the attached image. I have selected LDN1235 as target, and from Stellarium I went checking the Lunar elongation.
What's a good value, degree, for imaging when there's full moon (or almost full)?
Hi, I have been imaging last night and tonight, almost on a full Moon (88% yesterday, 93% today).
I have seen countless clear, beautiful nights go by this Summer, when I didn't have a telescope to image with and while I was waiting for almost 5 months for it to arrive.
I got it October, 2nd. Been out imaging or testing things every single time the sky was good enough. As you know, since you live probably not more than 50 kilometers away from me, this period is not ideal. Nice and warm during the day, cold, cloudy, humid and foggy during the nigtht. Last night and tonight were actually the best skies I have seen in a month, but of course the Moon was almost full.
I have been working on a particular subject: the Heart Nebula. I managed 1 hour and 20 minutes on October, 13th, with no Moon, but I really needed more data, so last night I took a little more than 3 hours. And tonight close to 2 and a half hours.
I have actually integrated last night's data with the one from October, 13th, and the signal and nebulosity are actually stronger than the 1 hour and 20 minutes integration by itself. So, I think it's still worth imaging, even close to a full Moon. Subject was about 70° away from the Moon last night and 50° tonight (estimates).
My shooting conditions are a little different than yours, though. Still Bortle 5/6 sky, but I use an astromodified Nikon D5300 and an Optolong L-Pro 2" filter, which definitely helps taming some of the moonlight, while letting through almost completely the H-alpha from the Heart Nebula. Just as a comparison, though, for a mean background ADU of 900-1000, with no Moon, I was shooting 4 minute subexposures. Last night and tonight, 2-3 minutes at most, for the same ADU. This means that, despite the filter, the moonlight accounts for 25-50% of the light collected - still quite a lot.
Anyway, some decent signal is better than no signal at all. So, while the season and weather doesn't stabilize, I'll take any clear night I can get. Moon, or no Moon...