I have a Celestron CGE 1400 and a SBIG ST-2000XM CCD camera which I'm just getting to know. I started looking at the sky through the telescope and I think I know the basics. However I'm a bit more interested in the astrophotography part.
Could you please give me some hint on how exactly everything goes? I mean - I have read quite a lot on the internet and in spite of this I still can't figure out how to make a decently good picture of... something.
The thing I started off with is the Andromeda galaxy. My telescope is facing north (west-north-east) and in the last few days the only good thing I could see was the Andromeda galaxy (and Venus). So I tried and I took a couple of pictures of both of them. Well it didn't go very well... or... to be honest I don't really know how it went.
I have attached the picture of Andromeda that I got (a single picture, no processing, nothing).
Could you guys give me a little bit info - firstly I don't know if a raw picture should look like this (attached file) and then... could you please give me like a guide to... what I should do in order to get a good picture in the end? I'm pretty convinced that when I do it once (with Andromeda for example) I'll get the hang of it and then will be able to shoot other objects on my own. I don't know what exposure times I should be using, how many frames, how many dark frames, when to subtract the dark frames (before I stack the images, or after, or should I do a stack of dark frames also or...??) how to take and use "flats" and what about cold and warm pixels and...
Any information that you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.