Congratulations to RLD for winning Challenge #1, with his excellent photo of the moon, Venus and Jupiter.
RLD's nomination for the subject of Challenge #2 is star cluster M45, The Pleiades, or Seven Sisters. (Also known as Subaru in Japan, so this is appropriate, what with Subaru withdrawing from Rallying recently.)
Don't worry about images you've seen in the past of M45. Deep exposures show glorious swirls of blue reflection nebulosity. But you don't need to reveal this to get a good image. M45 still looks good in widefield images, or as just a quick exposure revealing the seven sisters. (I took some shots at 600mm the other night, and was able to see the stars with very quick (sub 1-second) exposures.)
Here's a link to some details on M45 if you need them.
We've decided that images taken in the past are allowable, to try and get as many entrants as possible. You have to have taken the image yourself of course!
I was going to suggest we let this run until midnight on new years eve. Ideally it would be nice if we could get one challenge each month, starting on the first day of the month and ending on the last day. The winner of the M45 challenge will choose the target for February, while an additional target, (will perhaps take suggestions on what that could be), shall be the January challenge. Does that makes sense?
Anyway, good luck with shooting M45, (unless you're digging out a previous photo), and post the submission here.
Thanks, and Clear Skies,