I took a picture of the North America Nebula last night and I initially stacked it with just biases and flats. However, I get frustrated as usually when I post process I see little small pixels of reds, greens, and blues making up the black parts of the sky. Naturally I decided to take dark frames and see if they work to reduce this noise level, but I feel like it made the image worse. I did take this shot under a full moon, so is it just the full moon's light infesting the picture or is it the lack of dark frames? After doing nearly identical post processing methods on one with darks and one without it seems to me that the one without darks looks better. I made sure everything is properly set up, all calibration and light frames are the same gain and temperature ratings. I made my flats 1 second 250 gain by using my smartphone and white t-shirt to reach about 26k ADU peak on the histograms. All frames are at -12 degrees Celsius including the new darks.
Here's the one without darks:
PS i just realized that I forgot to use noise reduction on the picture with darks but even with noise reduction you can still see specks of color where it should be black