K3's Astronomy - Deep Sky
"When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which You have set in place, what is Man that You are mindful of him?" -- Psalm 8:3,4

M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

Click the image to see it at full size (0.96"/pixel).
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy - Core, 9.12.2002 (22:06-22:35 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675 SC2 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 25x40s (gain 100%, Amp OFF, outdoor white balance), 10xDF
Captured and processed by K3CCDTools, then in ACDSee Editor + Neat Image
Seeing: average, temperature about -5C

This is my first test of my new Vixen GP-DX mount. All 25 frames of 40s exposure taken in prime focus were perfect - so I could use them for summation. This is better efficiency than it was with my GEM1 autoguiding system.
Some structure (dim areas) near the core is visible. At first I thought, that it was only some dust in my webcam, but I captured the same structure in various places of CCD area. Later I compared them with Digitized Sky Survey picture and it confirmed, that these structure really exists.

Processing details:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools
2, histogram stretching + gamma 1.20 in K3CCDTools
3, contrast and gamma adjustment in ACDSee
4, because of bad white balance I decided to convert picture to grayscale in ACDSee
5, noise reduction in Neat Image


This is photo from Digitized Sky Survey. You can compare the dim structures northerly from core.
Click the image to see it at full size.

Click the image to see it at full size (0.96"/pixel).
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy - Core, 9.12.2002 (22:36-22:42 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675 SC2 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 5x90s (gain 100%, Amp OFF, outdoor white balance), 4xDF
Captured and processed by K3CCDTools, then in ACDSee Editor + Neat Image
Seeing: average, temperature about -5C

GP-DX showed its perfect performance also with 90s exposures! All 5 captured frames were acceptable.

Processing details:
1, aligned and summed in K3CCDTools
2, histogram stretching + gamma 1.20 in K3CCDTools
3, contrast and gamma adjustment in ACDSee
4, because of bad white balance I decided to convert picture to grayscale in ACDSee
5, noise reduction in Neat Image


Click the image to see it at full size (0.96"/pixel).
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy - Core, 9.12.2002 (22:06-22:42 UT)
Resolution: 1.92 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675 SC2 at prime focus
Telescope: 8" F6 OrionOptics Europa Newtonian
Result focal ratio: F6
Exposure: 25x40s + 5x90s (gain 100%, Amp OFF, outdoor white balance), 10x40s + 4x90s DF

This is combination of above 2 photos.

Click the image to see it at full size (34.7"/pixel).
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy, 9.12.2001 (23:00-23:07 UT)
Resolution: 46.2 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC piggy back on OrionOptics Europa 200
Objective: 2/50 Flexon
Exposure: 30x120s (gain 20%), 15xDF

The spiral arms are now detectable. Postprocessed by Loreal.

Click the image to see it at full size (23.1"/pixel).
Click
here to see to result image (173kB) in K3CCDTools in 2X mode (11.5"/pixel).
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy, 9.12.2001 (23:00-23:07 UT)
Resolution: 46.2 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC piggy back on OrionOptics Europa 200
Objective: 2/50 Flexon
Exposure: 28x80s (gain 0%), 10xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5

Gain of webcam was set to 0% to suppress the noise of camera. The noise usually affect the quality of image, because the compression of data is wasted for compressing the noise and star images are poor. Such large field photo contains a lot of stars, that means it contains a lot of information to be compressed.
The spiral arms are now detectable (particularly in full size photo)!!!


Click the image to see more processing results and the full size pictures (23.1"/pixel).
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy, 11.11.2001 (0:29 UT)
Resolution: 46.2 arcsec/pixel
Camera: Vesta 675SC at photo tripod
Objective: 2/50 Flexon
Exposure: 20x5s (gain 100%), 25xDF
Seeing: lim.magnitude for naked eye 4.5

The farthest object visible by naked eye. The core of galaxy is bright, but the spiral arms are very dim. Very difficult object for astrophotography.

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Last Update: 10.08.2003