M31 - Andromeda Galaxy


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M31 - Andromeda Galaxy: The Great Galaxy in Andromeda it the most distant object generally visible with the naked eye. Also visible in the image are M32, the close companion, and M110, slightly farther away.

Messier: 31
NGC: 224
Right Ascension: 0hr 42m
Declination: 41° 16'
Apparent Magnitude: 3.44

Date: October 2011
Equipment:
Mount: Losmandy G-11 with Gemini 2
Telescope: Orion ED80T CF 80mm apo refractor (no field flattener)
Camera: Camera: SBIG ST-10X
Guiding: AO-8

Exposure: L: 10x1min binned 1x1
RGB: 10x1min binned 2x2

Processing Notes: Data acquisition with CCDSoft. Reduced and aligned in CCDStack. Subs combined in Sigma Beta. Arcsine stretch import of L into Photoshop. Adjusted curves and levels. Increased contrast via a highpass filter overlay layer. Slight blur on the dim areas and sharpening on non-star bright areas. RGB combined in AstroArt at 1:1.03:1.7 ratio. Adjusted curves and levels, and reduced noise of RGB. L was combined with RGB using three layers: Luminance on the bottom; RGB as a multiply(30%) layer; and RGB as a color layer on top. Final color adjustment and tweak in Photoshop.
Scale: ~3.6"/pixel

Additional Comments: This is the first light image through this camera/telescope/Losmandy G-11 combination. Only one drive motor was working, so the image was guided via AO-8, which had to be re-centered every 3-4 exposures.

An unguided DLSR exposure can be found here:
http://www.fortlewis.edu/observatory/image_detail.asp?ID=247

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