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M 31 from last night using my refracter


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Well having been inspired my Mikes M 31 using his sd 80 and having refurbished my Helios 127 frac I just had to try it out last night on M 31.

Due to heavy cloud cover not clearing until well after midnight and starting off by shooting M 51 I only had the chance of a very quick go at this target before the dawn made it impossible to continue.

The photo is using just 6 3 minuet subs at ISO 800.

Stacked in DSS along with 11 darks and 11 flats.

The flats were taken using my laptop again inspired from Mikes post.

Very light processing in PS 6.

To say I am delighted would be an understatement.

To get this much detail from so little just blew me away.

I am looking forward to the next clear night so I can take many more subs just to see what I can achieve.

Compared to the image I got from the Newt using 150 or so subs I have to say the Frac wins hands down.



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Nice try Graham - bet you're thrilled with the core and the dust lanes. You have a tiny bit of star trailing so maybe polar alignment needs a tweak - well done :)

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Plenty of dust lane detail there. M31 is a very good 1st target because its so bright, doesnt need much in the way of exposure time to start bringing stuff out and theres tons of stuff going on in there.

Good picture, now add a few more hours of exposure to it and see what you get :)

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Cheers folks.

I am pleased with it.

Kim I was having some grief with the guiding last night.

I didn't have the balance right which is first thing on the list to do this morning. ( mental note to me - balance the scope with the camera ***** ATTACHED *****. lol )

With only 6 subs I didn't have a lot of choice but to use all of them and hope for the best.

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Well I must have been pissed when I set the scope up yesterday.

I went to re-balance it this morning due to the guiding problems I was having last night.

I undid the clutch on the Dec axis and the scope plummeted forwards as it was so lens cell heavy. ????

No idea how I managed that.

Anyway set up correctly now so the next session should be a lot better.

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Looks good for just 6 subs

a slight imbalance is good so as the worm is always loaded ,but not too much imbalance

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It helps to balance up with all the gear already on the scope (cameras, finders, guiders etc) :)

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I think I must have had a senior moment.

I moved the OTA the wrong way in the rings.

I like to keep my rig slightly camera heavy so the gears are always driving pushing the scope up.

With the way it was set up it would have been rocking back and forth on the backlash.

What a numpty. :blush: :blush: :blush:

Still all is well again now just need this infernal rain to stop so I can have another go.

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