Entries tagged as focal reducer

And oh, here's Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy, as seen in better conditions (15% size)

Just before taking photos of the Orion Nebula on November 12, I pointed my telescope to get some images of the Andromeda Galaxy. This was, of course, in hopes of getting better results than a week ago. And as you can see, there were indeed some improvements. Details near the core are more noticeable, and a part of the outer "ring" is starting to get visible on the lower left if you look with a bright monitor. Still, it seems that I need even darker skies to get a clearer photo of this galaxy.

FYI, the tiny galaxy to the left of the Andromeda Galaxy is Messier 32. If you click on the picture for a larger view, you can see another galaxy, Messier 110, at the bottom right as a fain blob.

Telescope: Celestron NexStar 6SE + f/6.3 focal reducer
Device: Sony A5000 (prime focus)
Settings: (945mm) - ISO 1250 - 30s - (f/6.3)
Filters: None (3 photos) + Baader M&S (2 photos)
Time: 2015-11-12 00:06-00:19 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
5 photos stacked with Deep Sky Stacker 3.3.4

Orion Nebula revisited

Earlier this year, I took photographs of the Orion Nebula, a.k.a. Messier 42, with the Canon SX50 HS camera or with Tamron 18-270mm lens attached to the Canon 450D. This was before I got my Celestron telescope, so I had high hopes of getting even better photos once the telescope was in my hands. Alas, the Orion constellation was already hiding below the horizon before midnight at this point, so I was focused in planetary targets most of the time.

Celestron 6SE and Sony A5000 pointed to the Orion constellation

As winter times creeped up again, the constellation was again viewable in the late night to early morning. That is, if the clouds, rain, or fog weren't obscuring it. This happened in the early hours of November 12, so I brought my telescope outside for a couple of hours of astrophotography. While I snapped several targets, the Orion Nebula looked the most promising.

The beautiful Orion Nebula spotted in the southeastern sky (25% size)

As the conditions were good, I took the photos mostly without any filters. Then I took a few with the Baader Moon & Skyglow filter on to see what difference it might make. Once I started post-processing, I could see that the one with the filter might have a slight advantage in bringing out the faint details, but nothing dramatic. With the individual frames ready, I used the Deep Sky Stacker for the first time for automatic selection and stacking.

After about an hour of processing, the software selected five frames from non-filtered ones and one from the filtered ones to deliver this beautiful result. If you click on the photo for a wider, larger view, you can spot a part of the reflection nebula NGC1977 at the top left as well. In the future I may try to get this properly into the frame.

Telescope: Celestron NexStar 6SE + f/6.3 focal reducer
Device: Sony A5000 (prime focus)
Settings: (945mm) - ISO 1250 - 30s - (f/6.3)
Filters: None (5 photos) + Baader M&S (1 photo)
Time: 2015-11-12 00:51-01:14 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
6 photos stacked with Deep Sky Stacker 3.3.4

Andromeda Galaxy through the fog

Andromeda Galaxy in the middle and Messier 32 at the bottom (17% size)

With the recent purchase of Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer (as mentioned in The Toon-Box) and the fine-tuning of the secondary mirror collimation, I've been quite eager to do some deep sky photography. Alas, the autumn sky at Naju has not been very cooperative.

For some reason, the days without clouds experienced thick fogs (and possibly smogs) and the days without fogs experienced cloudy sky. As the former at least provided some visibility near the zenith and because the constellation of Andromeda is currently very high up in the evening, the Andromeda Galaxy became the obvious target when the opportunity came.

The best three photos from the shooting session were manually stacked and processed, resulting in what you see above. It seems that the fog blocked much of the structural details of the galaxy, but you can still see a bit of it near the core. Also, the satellite galaxy known as Messier 32 (M32) are clearly visible in the bottom as well. I'll be trying on the Moon & Skyglow filter under a better weather condition to see if I can improve upon this.

(Note: M32 was misidentified as M110 earlier, and has now been corrected)

Telescope: Celestron NexStar 6SE + f/6.3 focal reducer
Device: Sony A5000 (prime focus)
Settings: (945mm) - ISO 1000 - 30s - (f/6.3)
Filters: None
Time: 2015-11-03 20:25-20:45 KST
Location: Naju, Korea
3 photos stacked

Today's "The Toon-Box"

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