Monster Galaxy

This post showcases one of my first images of the Andromeda Galaxy. The photo was captured using a small refractor telescope on a tracking equatorial mount. I have since photographed Messier 31 several times through a variety of different telescopes.

Have a look at my experiences photographing Andromeda using a William Optics Z61 refractor on an iOptron SkyGuider Pro mount: Let’s Photograph the Andromeda Galaxy. This post includes a video and description of my deep sky astrophotography setup.

M31 Andromeda Galaxy taken with Canon Xsi in July 2012

M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy

On Friday July 21st, I spent another lonely night at the CCCA Observatory in Wellandport Ontario. I started a bit late, and it was complete darkness as I made the 40 minute drive from my house.  I was delighted to see the milky way appearing as I looked out my sunroof on that cool July night.

When I got to the observatory, I instantly noticed how clear and stable the air was.  I took a few 30-second exposures on my tripod while I set up.

Milky way taken with Canon XSi on Tripod

The Milky Way at the CCCA

After setting up all of my equipment, I set my sights on Andromeda.  After a little bit of framing with some 10 second exposures, I let Canon EOS Utilities take over and set it to take (75) 240 Second Exposures at ISO 1600.

My PHD graph was looking great so I knew I was in for some great data.  Because I had almost 3 hours of great frames, and I was under dark skies, processing was very straightforward and a pleasure to perform.

Here are the details for the above photo of M31

51 x 240″ ISO 1600

Stacked with 16 darks

ES ED80 Triplet Apo
Orion Mini Guidescope
Meade DSI II
Canon 450d unmodded
Stacked in DSS

As you may or may not have noticed, I have updated the astrophotography image gallery of this website.  I wanted to include more details of how I shot each object, in hopes to give some direction to aspiring astrophotographers.  It is still a work in progress, but I plan on having it finished by the end of the month.

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