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First attempt at AP - M31/32/110

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#1 HT417

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 04:12 PM

Hi all,

Thought I'd post up my first AP attempt. While trying to nab M31, I inadvertently got M32 and M110 in the same frame. Still learning so now I have a better understanding of some more galaxy locations/locations. :D My setup was a Nexstar 5se in Alt-Az mode, f/6.3 FR, and Canon 60D. The photo is a single 30 sec. exposure @ ISO 6400. It's a raw file that I edited in LR5 then converted to jpeg. I flipped it horizontally to show their true orientation in the heavens. Some elongation is visible but I guess to be expected. For the short exposure times possible with the 5se, it seems like high ISOs and post processing are the way to go. All comments/criticisms are welcome to help the noob get better. Thanks.

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#2 rflinn68

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:00 PM

I see from your sig that you're a Celestron fan. Whats the matter, dont they make dew shields? :lol:

All I can tell you is keep at it and get more data. At 30 seconds you'll need to take a BUNCH of subs and stack them. Work on your framing and try to get your target in the center of the image. I started out the same way and spent months taking single subs of different targets just exploring the sky. If you find you really like it want to go further in the hobby you will want to buy a decent German Equatorial mount. The CG5's are still available in some places at a really cheap price. They would work well with your C5 or you could get a small 60-80mm refractor. It would be good to get you started. Good luck! :)

#3 HT417

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Posted 04 October 2013 - 05:46 PM

Thanks for the feedback. I am kinda looking like a Celestron fanboy, aren't I? :grin: Actually, they don't make one for the 5 inch. You can cut one made for the 6-8 inchers to fit but it has a more reflective interior than the Astrozap one which is black felt lined. Multiple exposures is my next move although I was also getting good color out of the Ring Nebula with just singles. I am still in the experimentation mode and a little frustrated that the faint fuzzies just don't get picked up in Liveview even at 6400. The plan for next time is to line up the scope through the EP and then switch out the camera and start shooting. I'm starting to really enjoy AP since it helps pull color from the monochrome views through the scope.

#4 dmcnally

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Posted 05 October 2013 - 04:34 PM

Hi and welcome. Here's a piece of advice that was given to me and it helped me.

1) Use the GOTO to center a bright star that is close to your real target in your eyepiece.
2) Replace the eyepiece with the camera.
3) Focus the camera on the bright star.
4) Use the GOTO to move the telescope to the dim object.
5) Take short (5, 10, or 20 second) exposures and then use the hand controller to center, or frame, the object the way you want it.
6) The object is now framed, and focused, and you can take longer exposures.

Hope this helps.
Dave

#5 HT417

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 02:44 AM

Dave, thanks for the tips. It sounds easier than squinting up through my viewfinder and I'll put them to use next time. When I was shooting this target, I was able to center it through my camera viewfinder and get a few decent shots but I just thought it was cool having all three in the same frame. Pure noob enthusiasm no doubt. Since I'm starting to like this, I think it's time to program the intervalometer and get a bunch of subs to stack. Wish the weather would cooperate.

#6 dmcnally

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 06:15 PM

I have a laptop for camera control, but I don't use it. I bought a wired remote with a timer (or intervalometer) for $13 delivered on eBay. I think it's great and I don't like setting up the laptop. I'm a noob too and don't have a guider yet. When I get a guider then I'll be forced to setup the laptop.

Good luck with the weather. I'm on the central coast of CA and the marine layer has been really bad at night this spring and summer. There's only been 8-10 decent nights in the last 5 months, and most of them have been when the moon was full.

Dave






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