The Andromeda Galaxy ... Messier 31
The Andromeda Galaxy
This is a 1 hour exposure ...
This is NOT through any telescope ... Nope, this is from my Canon T7i and a 75-300 mm zoom lens, zoomed to 300mm and attached to the telescope tube and CGEM mount which I used for tracking. This is a 1-hour exposure (30 sub-frames at 120 seconds each). I waited until the moon had set, shortly after 1:00 am to take the picture. The Andromeda Galaxy is our galactic neighbor being about 2.5 million light-years away and consists of about 1 trillion stars, as compared to about 250 billion stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy. You can see this galaxy with the unaided eye in dark skies high in the NE by 9 pm in mid October and high overhead around midnight.
When you look at the images coming in, you really need to use your imagination to envision the final product. As you can see in this picture, there certainly was a lot of imagination needed. I started recording the sub-frames around 1 am when the target was just past the meridian (high overhead passing from the eastern sky to the western portion of the sky with the last frame at 2 am. I had to keep the 'dew buster" heating straps on the camera lens active to ward off the nighttime developing dew in order to keep the lens clear. I had attached the camera 'piggy-backed' on the telesope in order to use the tracking mount to follow the galaxy as the earth rotates.
The Techy Stuff:
The Techy Stuff ... For those who want to know ...
Telescope Mount: CGEM ii
Guiding: Orion 50mm guide scope with StarShoot AutoGuider
Guiding Software: PHD 2
Camera: Canon T7i (Modified) with 75-300mm lens
Lens zoomed to 300 mm
Settings: ISO 800 at 120-second exposure
Total sub-frames: 30
10 Dark frames
10 Bias frames
Capture Software: Backyard EOS
Stacked in PixInsight & cropped
Post processing in PixInsight & Photoshop CC
Outside temperature 73°, Dewpoint 68° at 1 am
Bortle Light Pollution zone: 6.5 (Barely can see the Milky Way)
Sky Condition: 9.5 [scale of 0 (cloudy) to 10 (clear)]
Location: My Backyard, Savannah, GA
Return to Pat Prokop's Heavenly Backyard Astronomy Page