Moon Stacking Fail & Lagoon Nebula?

First things first, I set out to spot something cool. My primary targets were the Lagoon Nebula, the whirlpool galaxy, and Hercules globular cluster. I actually may have seen a couple of these… however I am unsure. For the Hercules globular cluster, I thought I saw a hazy thing, roughly in the correct position in the night sky, however when I zoomed in it got worse and showed no detail. I worry this may have been some dust on my eyepiece. For the Lagoon Nebula, I certainly saw something that looked like a cluster of stars. However, it was not quite in the correct place and it also had no color. While this could be due to light pollution, I have no idea. So, I am going to chalk it up as no new spots :(

Like any frustrated new stargazer, I decided to look at the moon to help heal my bruised ego. Since my brother did not come along, I didn’t have his camera to play with. So, I took some shots on my iphone 7. They came out a bit better than I thought they would - the lack of quality is my shaky hand and the fact that it is super hard to point the amera into the eyepiece, unaided.

moon1

Since it was 2am and I had tea WAY too late in the day, I wasn’t tired yet so I decided to try to stack these photos. With 4 very inconsistent photos, no recollection of how I did this 5 years ago, and it being my first time using AutoStakkert (Registax did not work on my Windows 10 machine), this did not go that well. Here is the final product… yep…

moon2

And here is the reference image.

moon3