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M31, designation NGC 224, the Andromeda Galaxy, with companion galaxies M32 (NGC 221, near), and M110 (NGC205, far),at about 2.5 lightyears from Earth. one of the best known galaxies to us. Shot w/ Canon EOS 1100D 300mm lens at ISO800, f/5.6, these are 26x5m, 3x10m and 6x3m esposures, calibrated w/ith 154 dark frames (about 50 for each exposure length, 56 bias, and 21 flats.
Hi Guys, tonight I took my new telescope out for the first time since I got it, having had some issues since October that have restricted my viewing to Jupiter and the Moon and then the weather.... Anyway, tonight seemed promising, clear skies all day going into night albeit a little hazy here in South Oxfordshire as we are rather too close to the Thames. So, thinking I had fixed my issues I went out for a look. Can anyone help me with confirming my observations (particularly the DSO) and in particular can anyone PLEASE help me with my continued issues with my telescope? Here are my field notes: Weather: Clear, little/no breeze, bright Half Moon near zenith, LP was fairly high due to a couple of local houses and the moon, but I was in a 'shaded' area. Possibly 'fairly' hazy. Targets: Moon, Jupiter, Andromeda Galaxy (M31/NGC 224). Observations: Moon: Half moon, high in the sky VERY bright (note). Good views of the whole moon using a 25mm lens, but could not get my Samsung Galaxy S2 to take a decent picture as the image kept turning the moon into a fuzzy white blob. 25mm lens soon misted up so I switched lenses. I got Excellent views of craters and seas along the 'light/dark' divide using a X2 Barlow and a 10mm lens (see pic below taken with my Samsung Galaxy S2 with the moon approximately centred - I think). Notes: Why does my S2 not work with the 25mm EP but with the 10mm x2 Barlow setup? The moon is BRIGHT, use the moon filter next time! Jupiter: 25mm Lens showed Jupiter as a bright brown object about the size of the inside ring of a Polo mint with 4 moons in a loose diagonal (top left to bottom right) formation starting from approximately the centreline of Jupiter (offset to the left of course) down to below the planet offset by nearly equal distance to the bottom right. Switching to the 10mm with x2 Barlow Jupiter grew to about the size of a garden pea. I could make out two distinct brown bands in the centre and possibly a brown cap on the top (north) pole. No sign of the BRD, perhaps it was not good enough visibility or perhaps it was on the other side? Looking at the moons more closely from top left moving down to the right, the first moon (top left) seemed furthest away, next right seemed to be the closest and on the right side (and below) seemed to be the next closest followed by the final moon in the 'penultimate' furthest away position. Notes: Could getting a 6m or 4mm improve the image detail? Reference to 12DString website shows the moons as (top left to bottom right): Ganymede, Io, Europa, Callisto. Andromeda Galaxy (M31/NGC 224): Optics used throughout was a 25mm EP. Well, this really was an eye opener. IF what I think I saw was M31 then I am staggered at how little there was too look at. As I cannot be certain I was looking in the right place (see my plea for help below) I shall describe what I saw. M31 (till proven otherwise) appeared to be about twice to three time the size of a garden pea, appearing in a elliptical shape with the apex of each ellipse appearing top left and bottom right. Object had no colour and was almost impossible to notice. In addition, putting the telescope 'bang on' it made it 'disappear'. In order to view it, best results seemed to be gained with an off centre targeting and by looking in the opposite direction. -Does this sound about right for M31 to anyone? (More) issues with scope: A plea to anyone in the know! I have been having trouble getting the telescope to 'find' targets accurately despite a good 'sky align' 3 star alignment. Every time the scope seems to be out by about one to three 'fingers' in the lateral (up down) axis and perhaps a teeny/tiny bit to the right. I find this aberration to be very disconcerting as it makes gaining confidence in the telescope very difficult unless the target is self evident and bright (eg the moon or Jupiter). It also means that as someone who started the astronomy hobby about two months ago, I can't rely on its positioning to help find 'harder' targets like DSO's. As I have no point of reference as to what to look for (or where) it makes confidence and fun hard to come by. All reviews I have read of this scope say its great, especially for beginners and even a naff alignment will get good results. I spent an hour getting a great calibration of the red dot sight with the optics (on a 10mm lens) and I believe I am setting it up right - can anyone offer any observations or suggestions. I think I have set up the correct TZ (standard timing, (i.e. NOT daylight savings), universal time code) and I used an app on my phone for my Long/Lat and time derived from the GPS satellites (I have tested the app and its extremely accurate so this can't be at fault). -Please can anyone offer any advice? Regards, Sharpe
So, although I had some issues with my auto guiding (which I found out afterwards) I did manage to get 9x180s exposures and 5 darks of Andromeda and give both stacking (using DSS) and processing (using GIMP). My first attempted DSO.... I am pretty sure that people could get far more information out of the TIFF file from the stack. Hopefully I will get another clear night soon. I am in a heavily light polluted area so I do have a clip in filter on my DSLR which I think took a lot away. More practise needed! Lance