Observing Report 22nd-23rd August 2014 (Andromeda cover-story)

Posted by @ 10:06 pm on Tuesday 2nd September, 2014.
Categories: Observing Reports

I have a book which was a gift from Chris and the kids a few years ago, a fair while before I bought a decent telescope and started down the slippery slope of astro-kit buying.

I remember looking at the Andromeda Galaxy image on the back cover and thinking "I'll never be able to get images anywhere near as good as that":


Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd (6 Oct 2005)
ISBN-10: 1405310715
ISBN-13: 978-1405310710




Andromeda Galaxy (M31).
Subs: 35 light @ 300s, darks and bias frames, ISO800.
1000D on the C80ED-R refractor, guided with PHD.

I doubt that it's cover-worthy but I'm chuffed with it anyway.

Another night or two of imaging should provide enough additional data to allow me to reduce the noise and tease out more of the finer details.

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2 Responses to “Observing Report 22nd-23rd August 2014 (Andromeda cover-story)”

  1. GeoffC says:

    Being long out of touch, I don't know how far equipment has progressed, but that's magnificent compared to our pathetic attempts in the 80s with an SLR coupled to a Celestron 8 with manual drive corrector.
    I quickly nipped that astro equipment bug in the bud before it ruined us!.

  2. BG! says:

    @GeoffC - To be fair, today's tech takes care of the donkey-work. The computer points the mount and imaging scope in the right direction, runs an auto-guiding process, and controls both the imaging and the guiding cameras, so there's very little manual input during the data-acquisition phase. Various bits of software "stack" the data into recognisable images, the rest is up to the user and Photoshop.

    I can't imagine doing the whole shebang the way that you did, but hey, if you lot hadn't imaged that way then, we wouldn't be doing it this way now. I imagine that in a few years even our current methods will be obsolete, regarded as quaint and inefficient by the geeks of the future, in much the same way as we now chide previously hi-tech Peter Storm orange nylon sweat-cags in favour of breathable laminates and P****o, or eschew the map/compass combo in favour of GPS.

    That said, there's still a lot to be said for sitting out star-gazing all night with just binoculars, a chair, a flask of tea and maybe a sketch-pad. It's the astro-equivalent of going up on the fells without a map or a coat and not minding if I get rain-soaked and a bit lost. It ain't the end of the world, it's a different experience of it, and perhaps a tad nostalgic to boot.

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