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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!
Having had to move to an apartment where I could not use my CPC 1100, I decided that I have to see what I could do with my NexStar SLT 102 (alt-az achromatic 102mm f6.47 refractor). Setting up on my narrow balcony was challenging and the altitude bearing was so loose that it almost moved from the weight of the Canon 700D. I could not see M31 in the estimated 3.5 magnitude sky so I did a two star alignment and used the live-view to focus on a bright star. I then took a 15 second exposure after slewing to M31 which allowed me to see that I had it in the field of view. After a few more 15 second exposures and playing with the motion controls I managed to get it centered. The resulting picture is from 39 subs of 30 seconds at ISO 1600, 9 flats. The images were stacked and stretched with Siril and then I played with the curves on Gimp, cropped and scaled. Not too unhappy.
I am one happy newbie.
A short break in the cloud last night and I got my first hit on Andromeda.
At first it was a small grey patch but with persistence and averted vision I got glimpses of a bright central core with grey "cloud" extending out from each side.
So my question from my LP back garden what might I be able to do to improve or at least get a more consistent visual.
I have a skywatcher 130p the best views came with the supplied 20mm.
Would flocking and a dew shield help with contrast? A 25 or 32mm eyepiece clean up the image? Or maybe a colour filter to make it pop a little?
I understand the limitations of both the scope and viewing site both have a major effect but there must be steps I can take to get the best from what I have.
Thanks in advance Ian