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My first attempt at M31 (unguided on EQ3-2!)


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This is very much work in progress, but I though I'd share what I have managed so far. Finding M31 processing/editing a bit of a challenge but enjoying every minute of it. I plan on at least doubling the amount of data I have...if we get some more clear nights....:)

EQ3-2 (unguided) using RA motor.

Skywatcher startravel ST102 (no filters etc)

Canon 500D, no mods.

Moderate light pollution.

143 x 30sec exposures. 50 x darks, no flats, stacked in DSS, editing in Photoshop CS2.

:)

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Edited by stan26
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That is rather good for unguided especially on a EQ3-2...One key thing about processing M31 is that you can easily blow the core.... Hope you don't mind but done a slight re-edit to get rid of that gradient at the bottom of the galaxy..

Nadeem.

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Edited by Deneb
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Thanks guy's. Really just learning the basics at the mo, I do plan on eventually getting maybe a HEQ5 and APO refractor and getting the gear to start guiding but for now my finances are restricting any growth to my kit list, plus being mostly an observer with particular interest in the solar system the next tool on my wish list is a TAL100RS :). That said the 102 is a great little scope for the money and I would highly recommend it to anyone just starting out who maybe wants to have a dable with dso imaging. The worst bit is dealing with the purple halo's. I think the key to my sucess with the EQ3-2 is a very precise polar alignment. I have spent many hours drift aligning the mount which now sits on a concrete pier (soon to be displayed in the DIY section) I'm surrounded by street lights on a small village estate, so LP also becomes a pain when using higher ISO's. Only now starting to get to grips with the PS gradient tool....

As I said, this is very much WIP, I want to get more subs and try to push the EQ3-2 upto 1min subs to try and capture the fainter outer regions of the M31.

Thanks

Stan. :)

Edited by stan26
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Very nicely done Stan, lots of hard work and effort have gone into that, and it's paid off. You will miss out on some detail with the shorter subs, but it shows what can be done with lower end kit. I found though, that frustration very quickly set in as you hit the limits and bounce off. But keep at it, all practice is good practice.

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That is rather good for unguided especially on a EQ3-2...One key thing about processing M31 is that you can easily blow the core.... Hope you don't mind but done a slight re-edit to get rid of that gradient at the bottom of the galaxy..

Nadeem.

Much better thanks, did you use Photoshop gradient tool to do that? I did use the tool with a darker backround layer to remove some of the gradients when I was editing, Just not sure if I'm doing it right..?

:)

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  • 5 years later...
On 10/7/2011 at 10:55, Deneb said:

Oh !!! Who brainwashed you with that Idea !

Who? :happy7: Just about 90% of all as I can see. Every advise starts like this: The minimul in ap is an heq5 or better buy an eq6. I have an NEQ3 and I see that I could do some ap with an ed80 on it but after reading many threads about Eq3 to see if to sel it or invest in it(polar scope and traking motors) almost all threads start with the mentioned phrase. Until someone shows some ap with an Eq3 then they all are: waw great photos... Then the optimist comes and answers: It depends if you would like to have 4 good subs out of five(heq5, Eq6) or 2 out of 5 (Eq3) with an ed80 for example. Well then voila it is posible! It's just a matter of expectations and work involved.

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1 hour ago, Sacalu said:

Then the optimist comes and answers: It depends if you would like to have 4 good subs out of five(heq5, Eq6) or 2 out of 5 (Eq3)

I have an EQ3-2 and I tell DSS to stack the best 90%.

Please help kill the myth by posting your successes here:

 

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