A 46 minute exposure of the Andromeda galaxy, M31 – my first serious attempt to image this wonderful neighbour of ours. I’ve captured it before with a camera on tripod and made some half-hearted attempts to shoot it with my telescope in suburbia.
This object will clearly benefit from much longer exposure times, as the outer fringes of the galaxy are not visible.
M31 is only visible here at latitude 34° S. for short periods. It is technically above the horizon daily for about seven hours and is only seen in October and November. It crosses the meridian at an elevation of 14.75° and is only visible through the metropolitan glare of Sydney. So it is a challenging object, even without considering its tenuous outer spiral arms.
Image captured during a field night with Macarthur Astronomical Society.
Speaking of metropolitan light glare, the local council replaced the street light in my street last week with a powerful LED array. The new pole is 1-2 metres higher and the luminaire is unshrouded. I’m trying hard not to exaggerate but the result is a blinding view of the actual light source itself as I walk out the front door at night and catasrophic glare and extensive light intrusion onto residential properties, including mine.
One thing that authorities need to learn is that street lights should be designed to illuminate the street . ⛔
If it is their desire, residents should illuminate their own properties.
I’m now scrambling for methods of protecting my optical telescope from unwanted glare. It’s already got a dew shroud and will now need a light shroud extension on it to keep the unwanted glare out.
Not happy! 😠
Designation: Messier 31, M31, NGC 224.
Visual magnitude: +3.3.
Apparent size: 178′ x 70′
Diameter: 220,000 light years.
Distance: 2,500,000,000 light years.
Altitude during exposure: 12.5° rising to 14.25° above N. horizon.
Also in image: galaxies M110 (NGC 205), M32 (NGC 221) and NGC 286.
Astrometry overlay image: Astrometry.net
Blog ends here. All the technical stuff follows:
Exposure: 27 x 103 sec = 46.3 min.
Image acquisition: SharpCap.
|Telescope:||SkyWatcher Esprit||Type:||120ED triplet refractor|
|Focal:||840 mm F/7||Mount:||SkyWatcher EQ6-R Pro|
|Camera:||ZWO ASI 071 MC Pro
||Type:||CMOS 28.4mm 16 Mpx
|Optical aids:||Flattener + LP filter||Guiding:||Yes|
|Polar aligning:||QHYCCD PoleMaster||Polar Error:||56”|
[ZWO ASI071MC Pro]
Auto Exp Target Brightness=100
Image © Roger Powell