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Andromeda M31 - 20 minutes under Bortle 3/4

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#1 pptw

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 08:28 AM

Hi all,

 

Last year I bought my astrophotography setup. Everything arrived in march/april, but due to busy times with work, family with my wife and little daughter and weather not being cooperative... I only shot 1 project with my setup. This was shot with quite some moonlight.

 

I live in Denmark, Europe, and to get good dark nights in summer time... it's difficult. Now since time change to winter time (some time ago... I know), yesterday was finally my first night out with good weather, little moonlight (new moon you could say) and a schedule that allowed it.

 

Because of issues with my Nikon remote I lost half of the clear sky time... and after 1.5h or so, the clouds came in, but I was able to shoot roughly 20 minutes on Andromeda.

 

My personal opinion? Astonished. Not on processing level, but on what you can achieve with basic equipment and good conditions. I read posts and I see pictures of hours and hours on Andromeda, and I have been able to gather such a clear view with only 20 minutes. Yes, much less color, more noise, less detail, but it's there. It's just there! In all it's beauty.

 

I feel blessed that the house we bought last year is in such a good location. I think on clear nights with low moisture levels it reaches Bortle 3, on worse nights Bortle 4. It's crazy we achieve this clearness in the sky being only 10min away from a 150k city with a decent airport.

 

Andromeda was straight above me tonight, so very little horizon light pollution, no moon, little moist. I think conditions were perfect.

 

Since the shot only consist of 20min of exposure, it was hard to get any color. I only boosted the blue's a bit in PS, otherwise little editing.

 

Details:

Skywatcher Esprit 80mm F5 apo
Skywatcher EQ5 with dual stepper motor without guiding
Nikon D5300 unmodded

40x 30s exposure ISO400

No filters, no darks, no flats, no bias.
Stacking and primary editing in Siril on macOS, the finer tweaking done with Photoshop.

 

I am happy star color is still existent, and I'm proud so much of the dust lanes are visible in this short exposure. And that all, from my backyard.

 

I'm happy to share editing steps if anyone is interested.

 

Any thought, positive or negative, are welcome. I'm looking forward to the day I can get 3h of exposure!

 

Full version on Astrobin: https://www.astrobin.com/5k0idt/

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#2 lee14

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Posted 17 November 2020 - 09:37 AM

Nice tight pinpoint stars, jet black sky, perfectly resolved dust lanes. And no darks, flats, or filters with an unmodded DSLR. Well done! Thanks for sharing.

 

Lee



#3 pptw

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 01:01 AM

Nice tight pinpoint stars, jet black sky, perfectly resolved dust lanes. And no darks, flats, or filters with an unmodded DSLR. Well done! Thanks for sharing.

 

Lee

Thank you Lee. The pinpoint star is just a result of a fantastic apo I guess smile.gif  Resolved dust lanes was what excited me the most on first view of results. Thanks for the compliment.

 

Meanwhile I reprocessed the data for a more realistic result. Full version on astrobin https://www.astrobin.com/5k0idt/

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