Flintstone Stargazing

September 9, 2007

Hello Andromeda


Andromeda Galaxy (M31) – second shot 9/8/07

On Saturday night, I borrowed Dave’s new Meade Deep Sky Imager (DSI) Pro and tried it out with my telescope. The viewing wasn’t too bad and I took a look at several different objects. I only had a small period of time to view the Andromeda Galaxy and so this photo is really the best one I got of it. Andromeda is a spiral galaxy and is M31 in the Messier catalog. The DSI is monochrome – it’s meant to be used with colored filters to gather each channel of color seperately, but I don’t have any of the filters yet. That said, once the camera cooled down (which is important for getting a decent image) I was able to take the image above. Andromeda is the galaxy on the left of the picture and there’s enough detail that you can (if you look closely) observe M110 as the very small blur to the left of Andromeda. I’m hoping I get a really clear night this week so that I can take some really long exposures of it which should help reveal a lot of detail that can’t be seen in this short exposure.

I also got this shot of the Double Cluster near Perseus (though I always find it from Cassiopeia) which I don’t think is all that good. I’m still figuring out how to get the most out of this device.

Double Cluster 9/8/07
Double Cluster near Perseus

Unfortunately, tonight is completely covered up with clouds. Of course that means I’ll actually get some sleep…

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5 Comments »

  1. what resolution was it turning in?

    Comment by stelmodad — September 10, 2007 @ 12:16 am

  2. A couple of questions? How long of an exposure are you taking with these shots? Do you have a motorized mount to keep from getting star trails? I ask because it seems like a longer exposure (20-40 minutes0 might help bring out more detail and color, but only if you can keep up with the Earth’s rotation.

    Comment by Gary — September 10, 2007 @ 3:05 am

  3. Previous comment was directed toward some previous blog posts you had, I notice in this one you mention trying out a longer exposure, so we’re on the same page. Good luck.

    Comment by Gary — September 10, 2007 @ 3:08 am

  4. Stelmodad, the images I uploaded to Flickr were full res (648×489 pixels). I used the Meade Autostar Envisage to take the images. I think I’m going to try using K3CCDTools3 the next time out – I think it’s got some nifty features and makes a bit more sense to me in how it opperates. I’ve also heard of folks using the Meade software to just gather the frames and then using Registax to stack and align them. From what I’ve read online, the DSI is something you need to get used to using and get a feel for what will produce the best results.

    Gary, I’ve got a motorized german equitorial mount though it’s kind of a kludged one – as a result the motor prevents me from viewing in a couple parts of the sky – unfortunately one of those is exactly where Andromeda was after I had been looking at it for about 15 minutes. I’m also still just figuring out how to even use the DSI šŸ™‚ so I’m hopeful that once the skies clear up (not expected this week, I’m afraid) I’ll get out there and try some different stuff. I also when I started viewing was unable to see Polaris so my polar alignment was no more than an educated guess which I could see when I took longer exposures was a good, but not great, guess. That’s part of the reason I’m most excited about using a DSI rather than my Nikon D50 – it allows for mediocre alignment (you just throw out the bad frames). Unfortunately for the color, right now I don’t have any color filters (though I hope to get some soon) so I can’t get a color image at this point with the DSI. Thanks for the suggestions – I’m always looking for advice since I can use all the help I can get.

    Comment by Ed — September 10, 2007 @ 8:28 am

  5. “Iā€™m always looking for advice since I can use all the help I can get”

    You and me both. Cheers!

    Comment by Gary — September 11, 2007 @ 2:38 am


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