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Messier 31 - Andromeda Galaxy

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by smr, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,046

    Location: Leicestershire

    The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth, and the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. Its name stems from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda.

    The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that the Andromeda Galaxy contains approximately one trillion stars, more than twice the number of the Milky Way's estimated 200 to 400 billion stars. The Andromeda Galaxy, spanning approximately 220,000 light-years, is the largest galaxy in our Local Group, which is also home to the Triangulum Galaxy and other minor galaxies. The Andromeda Galaxy's mass is estimated to be around 1.76 times that of the Milky Way Galaxy.

    The Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are expected to collide in 4.5 billion years, merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy or a large disc galaxy.

    This image is my second DSO attempt. Around 2 hours of exposure and many more hours spent processing.

    [​IMG]Messier 31 - Andromeda Galaxy by Joel Spencer, on Flickr
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  2. SupraWez

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Nov 17, 2007

    Posts: 1,531

    Nice, what sort of equipment do you use?
     
  3. xdcx

    Wise Guy

    Joined: Apr 24, 2013

    Posts: 2,159

    @smr - Fantastic image! Please could you share some more info on your gear and your processing methods?

    I am just waiting on proper dark skies up here (very north Scotland) to get cracking again. Skywatcher Star Adventurer tracker and dabbling with Canon 400mm and a Tammy 600mm for DSO. I only managed a very average Orion Nebula last winter due to rubbish cloud cover every single night of life it felt. M31 is on to do list and if I can get anything close to what you have done I will be a happy man.
     
  4. The_Abyss

    Sgarrista

    Joined: May 15, 2007

    Posts: 9,187

    Location: Ipswich

    Excellent. This is something I've always wanted to try but the sheer amount of initial investment and sustained attention to detail means that I'm unlikely to ever get close to where you've reached already. Nice one!
     
  5. doodah

    Capodecina

    Joined: Oct 18, 2002

    Posts: 17,316

    Location: London

    That's damn impressive. Please tell us more about how and what it took?

    Wanted to do another MW attempt in Wales weekend just gone but there was a solid 48hrs of clouds :(. Apparently there are a couple of dark sites inside London :eek: which I find hard to believe. Tempted to jump on a train down to Surrey with my camera and tent.

    And finally........a 2 hour exposure!!! Damn!
     
  6. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,046

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thanks, I took this image with my Canon 80D, EFS 55-250mm Lens and Star Adventurer Mount on my Manfrotto tripod.

    Thanks, I was lucky to have a couple of clear nights last weekend whilst on Holiday in Norfolk, near the coast so relatively dark skies. See above for gear, processing wise the original image above I took multiple images of 30s, 1m and 1m30s at different ISOs ranging from 1600-3200. No bias, darks or flats were taken, I then threw away any poor subs and stacked with DSS, using Photoshop for levels and curves adjustment and some astrotools processing. I then used Lightroom to finish off a few tweaks.

    Thanks. It's really only been an investment in my Star Adventurer Mount as I had all the other gear before getting into Astrophotography, but it can be an expensive hobby that's for sure.

    Thanks, not sure about dark sites where you are but I would think Surrey has some. This image as I said above was taken in Norfolk, it probably wouldn't have come out as well if I had taken it from my back garden, but then you can get Light pollution filters if required.

    I actually tried a different method of processing today with a different data stretching algorithm,and here's the result, which do you prefer...?
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2018
  7. Rroff

    Man of Honour

    Joined: Oct 13, 2006

    Posts: 56,831

    First one looks more like a traditional space picture. Second one does pick out the detail a bit better though.
     
  8. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,046

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thanks. Yes the second edit I think is better.
     
  9. Phate

    Caporegime

    Joined: Nov 1, 2003

    Posts: 33,473

    Location: Lisbon, Portugal

    Amazing stuff! The patience required must be huge! I am frankly shocked at the equipment. Meaning the only thing out of the ordinary there is the star tracker dohicky. :D

    Was fully expecting a telescope and other various bits & pieces.
     
  10. socreative

    Gangster

    Joined: Dec 29, 2006

    Posts: 476

    wow! Awesome shot! When you said it was a few hours of processing what did it actually look like before the edit?
     
  11. Combat squirrel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Aug 7, 2004

    Posts: 9,479

    Awesome photo, nice skills !!
     
  12. Vargas

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 15, 2012

    Posts: 3,935

    Nice, it’s the most distant object visible to the naked eye. I can’t see it when I’m at Rannoch. Through my 22” it’s very bright.
     
  13. smr

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Mar 6, 2008

    Posts: 8,046

    Location: Leicestershire

    Thank you!

    Thank you! It looked very washed out before the edit, half the work is in the processing.

    Thanks very much!

    Yes if you go to a dark sky place it is visible by eye. Amazing!
     
  14. Vargas

    Mobster

    Joined: Apr 15, 2012

    Posts: 3,935


    Sorry I meant to say I can see it at Rannoch, it’s a naked eye object, great in binoculars.

    Horsehead nebula visible with 16” dob etc
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2018