Monday, September 23, 2013

The Andromeda Galaxy

I know there are lots of great astrophotographers out there with large telescopes in their own observatories and fancy dedicated astro-oriented CCD cameras. At this point in my life, I don't have the funds to have a setup like that or the time to dedicate to that type of astrophotography.

However, I do have some equipment and I like seeing how far I can push it. Tonight I went for the Andromeda Galaxy. The equipment included a Canon 60D, I used the EF-S 55-250mm zoom lens, a wireless intervalometer, and an iOptron SkyTracker.  It was a little tough to find the galaxy at first when I was shooting at 250mm so I backed off to 55mm to get a wider field of view. The wider field of view made it much easier to get my first pic. 
IMG_9725Once I found the galaxy, I was able to get a couple of pics at 250mm. My alignment wasn't perfect tonight so on the longest exposure (1 minute) you might notice a little star trailing.
IMG_9736IMG_9735In these images, you can see another small galaxy above the Andromeda Galaxy. The smaller galaxy is a companion to Andromeda, M110.  Slightly below and to the right of the galaxy is a bright object. This would be M32, another companion of M31. If you look closely, you can see some dust lanes, especially right above the nucleus. 

I think with practice I can do better, but I am generally pleased with the first attempts at capturing the Andromeda Galaxy. Even if you have relatively modest equipment, it's worth going out and seeing what you can capture. 

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.


MinnesotaChick said...

THAT.. is cool.

lizardmom said...

wow, really cool!

hey, is that where Andromodo77 lives??

OrbsCorbs said...

Holy cow. Pictures of galaxies. Wow.

I think you're right, lizardmom.

Tender Heart Bear said...

Awesome pictures Hale!

andromodo77 said...

Yes lizardmom, I come from the outer cortices of Andromeda, near the end of the vortex. "77" designates the........on second thought, ask Minnichick, she will explain. loloololololol

andromodo77 said...

Don't forget the Bootes constellation, I think that is where another one of the irregulars came from, and Cygnus, my nemesis.
Back to work now, and thanks for the great post Halebop.

Anonymous said...

The brightest stars of Boötes form a cone shape, with brilliant yellow-orange Arcturus at the base of the cone. The name Boötes comes from a Sumerian word that means "Man Who Drove the Great Cart." The "Great Cart" was the Big Dipper. Boötes trails the Big Dipper as it wheels around the North Star.

It is I who invaded JTI. My name is
Babealonia. I retired as a female warrior from Bootes Constellation.
I do not understand all of human emotion and distaste was expressed
amongst members of JTI. I mistook JTI as part of the JEDI. I follow them
In an irregularly regular venue.

I watch from above as well as in cyberspace. I can become a computer virus as well if you show distaste to me.

The Andromeda interests me. The photos are top notch for the capabilities of a human.

kkdither said...

I'm stunned, hale. Thanks for sharing with us. Pretty darn spectacular for a first attempt!

andromodo77 said...

Anonymous - Babealoniia, that was gggggggggood, ah I am sttttttutering again. BALONYIA!

andromodo77 said...

Andromodo has spoken!

drewzepmeister said...

Nice pics Hale!

OKIE said...

Thanks Hale. I can look up into the sky but being in the city makes it hard to see. I love this stuff.

hale-bopp said...

Thanks...I was pretty pleased for a first try at this. I got to practice so I can really rock pics when Comet ISON comes by later this year!