M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy from IISAC2009

I really wanted to capture a great image of the beautiful Andromeda Galaxy (M31) from IISAC2009, but everything conspired against me and it just didn’t work out the way I’d hoped.

With a host of problems, I only captured 15 minutes of data and no flats calibration. Despite all that, it’s my first image of M31 and even though it was only at 10deg altitude, it gives me some hope that I can capture a better image in future.

Click the image for a larger version and read more below.

M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy. Click image for a larger version.

M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy. Click image for a larger version.

On the first night, I started capturing data but wasn’t happy with my framing so I started to change the composition, and then I had problems with guiding and clouds. On the second night the guiding problems continued to plague me, and once they were sorted out, I had issues with my USB hub which took quite a fall during the day when a big gust of wind blew my laptop hutch off the table. On the third night, clouds low in the North prevented any imaging of M31, so I turned the scope to something else.

So all I ended up with was 3 usable frames from the first night, with no flats calibration and an awkward composition.

The image was captured with my normal Deep Space Imaging equipment –  the unmodded Canon 350D with the ED80, riding on the EQ6 and guided with an 80mm refractor using my DMK21AU04 and PHD guiding.

Exposures were 5 minutes each, with dark frame subtraction in camera. 3 exposures @ ISO800, FL ~ 480mm, F/6.

Thanks for looking.

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