The Andromeda Galaxy
M31 is a barred spiral galaxy. It is the nearest galaxy of significant size to our own. Early records refer to it as a nebula. It is visible to the naked eye from dark locations. With a span of over 3 degrees, it is a popular wide field target that fits well in the range of a 200mm - 350mm focal length.
Seven hours of data, combined exposure lengths, with Optolong l-eXtreme filter for hydrogen alpha.
I experimented with a new set up last night and captured three targets. The third is M31: the Andromeda Galaxy. The camera I used is a Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless (unmodified) along with a Samyang 135mm manual focus f/2 lens. No telescope!
These are stars appearing above storm clouds hovering over the turbulent Pacific Ocean as it dashes against Gull Rock.
The Oregon Coast is not the best place for astrophotography because of the clouds, but sometimes you just work with them. While a storm was raging and blowing rain on our balcony, I looked up and realized I could see stars on top of the clouds. The Andromeda galaxy (M31) is just to the left of center. If you connect the galaxy to two bright stars left, the three of them point to a soft blur that is the Triangulum Galaxy (M33).
A long exposure of the night sky.
Captured from our villa in Grand Cayman using the portable Sky Watcher Star Adventurer GTi mount.
A first look at the Andromeda Galaxy as it reappears in the fall of 2022. Captured unguided on the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer Mini (SAM).
5 nights of dedicated imaging for 15 hours of RGB (combination of 45-second, 1-minute and 3-minute exposures) and 5 hours of narrowband (Optolong l-eXtreme). Honestly, I processed this about four or five times before getting to a result I was satisfied with... future revisions may come!
Anticipating Andromeda. This is the time of year that M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, begins to appear for longer periods of time. I've done some fun shoots in the past, but this year I feel like it's time to go for a magnum opus photo (for me, personally) and I decided to practice some shots. Those are just practice shots, so I won't be posting them, but I did have my Sony Alpha 6300 ride shotgun on the imaging runs. It snapped this photo of the bright stars that define the Andromeda Constellation chasing the galaxy off the edge of the frame. This is 10 2-minute exposures.
The Andromeda Galaxy for 24 minutes in one-shot color.
An interim stack of multiple sessions for a 2022 project to achieve as detailed an M31 as possible.
A detailed capture taken by composing multiple exposures and filters.
A dramatic version of M31 with a bit more saturation combined from 6 1/2 hours of exposure taken over the course of 2022.
First attempt at capturing this galaxy with nothing but an ordinary camera and zoom lens.
Over 2,000 10-second exposures went into stacking 6 panels that were blended to produce this capture of Andromeda with neighboring galaxies M32 and M110.
A detailed image taken over just a few minutes with a remotely controlled telescope in Spain.
The Andromeda Galaxy occupies a large field of view. It is both near to the Milky Way and bright enough to see with the naked eye.
Wide angle shot using the Star Adventurer Mini (SAM).
Collage of planets, galaxies, nebulae, and more that I captured in 2022. From Saturn and Andromeda to Thor's Helmet and the Milky Way.
2022-12-20 00:00:00 +0000
Stellina, an automated observation station that makes astrophotography easy for everyone, added a new mode for mosaics. I tested it on a wide Andromeda Galaxy and large Pleiades shot. Here's how it turned out!
2022-12-17 00:00:00 +0000
My adventures in Grand Cayman photographing Mars, the Pleiades, Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Orion, M31: the Andromeda Galaxy and M33: the Triangulum Galaxy using my Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless camera with 12mm and 50mm Samyang lenses, the Svbony sv503 70ED 420mm doublet refractor, and using the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer GTi mount.
2022-10-25 00:00:00 +0000