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Orfanidis

Andromeda galaxy appearing like a gray blob

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Posted (edited)

So i recently started doing deep sky astrophotography and tried to take a picture of the andromeda galaxy but all i saw was a gray blob with no shape. I tried using by binoculars in case i was only looking at the center of the galaxy but no. It still was a gray blob
The weather was also great no clouds or rain.
I am very confused about what im doing wrong so if you could help would be really appreciated
Note i have tried some other messier objects like the m45 and they appear just fine.

meda.jpg

Edited by Orfanidis

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It will help if you listed your setup, scope, camera, settings etc. 

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You are using a very wide angle lens and your result is pretty much what would be expected. In that respect you are doing nothing wrong.

To get M31 at its best you need a wide field imaging telescope set-up or a longer camera lens (telephoto). Then you need to start thinking about tracking the motion of the celestial sphere to avoid the trailing of the stars that is seen in your image... The list goes on!

The key to success is lots of money and a bit of experience! :)

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Posted (edited)

I think your astrophoto of M31 is not bad at all. It is very wide angle view first of all. Then I can see you have managed to capture the shape of M31 itself, even showing hints of spiral arms. Beside that I can see in the lower part you have imaged the Triangulum Galaxy (M33). That is great! For comparison I attach below a chart of that region of sky( ignore the bright dot beside the star Mirach, it was a satellite passing that region of sky):

 

 

D37022AB-61F7-4354-85BA-96A0C9EF48B1.jpeg

Edited by Dippy
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Posted (edited)

As Paul says that's a huge swathe of sky (40 x 28 degrees) and you have actually captured the Triangulum Galaxy (M 33) as well.  You seem to have a bit of light pollution and quite a lot of noise.  If you can take multiple images and stack them, together with some calibration frames, you may well be able to get some more detail and reduce the noise.

But if that's your first try, well done: you have got the Andromeda galaxy almost dead centre.  It's just a matter of learning the techniques now.

Here's a link to your image solved in Astrometry.net:   link

Edited by almcl

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Thanks for the suggestions i actualy read that in order to capture andromeda you need to do a long time exposure and also track the night sky in order to avoid everything leaving a trail. The photo i took was with the camera lens. My t2 ring and adapter are coming next 2 weeks but looking at it with my refractor telescope (650mm focal lenght 25mm eyepiece focal lenght is still get this gray blob) I will try using a lower field of view eyepiece as suggested above. I received a question about my camera; It is a nikon dslr D3200 and the lens are AF-S NIKKOR 18-105mm. In this picture i used max magnification. Iso at H.1 or 6400 not sure it was a 5second exposure and the apperture at F 5.6. I believe tommorow i can update using a lower focal lenght eyepiece. Again thanks for the suggestions it was very helpful!!!

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I think your exposure needs to be a lot longer (minutes rather than seconds) and then a lot of them stacked to get more detail than you have got. 

 

 

 

 

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18 minutes ago, John said:

I think your exposure needs to be a lot longer (minutes rather than seconds) and then a lot of them stacked to get more detail than you have got. 

 

 

 

 

I agree, since the core of the galaxy is relatively brigther than its arms longer exposures are needed in order to capture the dimmer areas

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I actuly tried taking a picture of andromeda but with a longer exposure 30seconds (sadly my camera doesnt allow more)
It looks way better

M31 (1).JPG

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I saw a trick on youtube where you take a few short exposure pics (like 5 seconds) and then stack them. That way you avoid stars trailing and you can still get some good photos out of it with less noise.

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I think this should be in the imaging section...

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Hi, Andromeda has been a favourite of mine since this hobby took off for me earlier this year. I was thrilled to capture it at first, just a little smudge in the sky. Very smiliar to your pic above dated July 29th. Awesome! I have a friend that is also very new and I had to point out that he had caught Andromeda in his shot one night. He didn't believe that that little smudge was a Galaxy at first, now he's looking for it all the time lol.

Anyway, I have very basic equipment. Just a Canon 700D and a few lenses but for these two pics below I used a 50mm f1.8 lens @f2.8 and cropped them. I intend to use my 55-250 stm lens now I have a star tracker and get a chance.  The first pic was 250, untracked, 4 secs shots with iso 1600. Just light frames. Bortle 5 location at home.

The second pic was my first attempt with a tracker (Omegon minitrack LX3) Same location at home, same lens, cropped again, 35x1.5mins stacked, iso 200. Just light frames again too. This pic really impressed friends and family but they don't know better haha!

andromeda2j.jpg

androme50.jpg

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Hi

Reduce the ISO to 400. If you can take say 100(0) similar frames and stack them, you'd begin to reduce the noise and see the spiral. 

Worth a try?

Cheers

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Like any modern DSLR the Nikon D3200 has a bulb mode that allows exposure of any length you desire, you certainly are not limited to 30 seconds. However to avoid camera shake you should do it with an appropriate remote which can be bought for peanuts.

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