Tuesday, 17 September 2013

The Andromeda Galaxy - M31, M32 & M110

This is the Andromeda Galaxy, taken 14th/15th September 2013.  The image consists of 6 x 30 minute subexposures.  Read on below for technical details.

Andromeda Galaxy (M31)

Imaging telescope: Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro
Imaging camera: Canon EOS 500D / Digital Rebel T1i
Mount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6
Guiding telescopes: ST80
Guiding camera: QHYCCD QHY 5
Focal reducer: Sky-Watcher 0.85x for 80ED
Software: PHD guiding,  AstroTortilla,  PixInsight,  EQMod,  APT
Filter: Hutech IDAS LPS P2 2"
Dates: Sept. 14-15, 2013
Light frames: 6x1800" ISO400 bin 1x1 (3.0 hours)
Dark frames: 109
Flat frames: 101
Bias frames: 330

This was shot when the moon was slightly over half full, but it was low in the sky and more than 90 degrees away from the target.  Helpfully a front was clearing out and the moon was behind the cloud bank for the first couple of exposures.

Guiding proved tricky with this image.  I got six good subs, but one other was rejected as it had trailing and I had to abandon three others about a third of the way in due to run-away guiding in declination.  I don't yet know the cause.

All processing was performed in PixInsight, and will be posting a series of updates explaining my workflow over the coming weeks, the first of which is Part 1, Bias Frames.

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