This past October I was able to spend almost two weeks at Cherry Springs State park. The plan was for 1 week, but personal things prevented me from leaving despite dismal weather. This was my first October at the park since I starting taking astro images. I had 3 usable nights. While I’ve taken lots of pictures of Andromeda and the Pleiades I decided to focus on those objects and get a lot of subframes under truly dark skies.
On the nights of October 13 and 16, I imaged M31 with exposures of 15 seconds, 60 seconds, and 240 seconds. In the end I got just short of 5 hours of total integration time worth of usable subframes. Can you find PGC 090494 in the image? Look to the right of Andromeda, find the bright triangle of stars, then look down from the brightest star, keep going down and just before a dim star you can see a small dim streak. You found it!
I stacked and processed the subframes with Pix Insight. This was my first attempt with this software and I am impressed. I will now start processing my 3 nights of the Pleiades that I also shot that week. The Pleiades sub frames came in 4 sets, two for each region (top and bottom). I took 35 images at 30 seconds and 36 images at 180 seconds of the top part of the nebula and 28 images at 30 seconds and 26 images at 180 seconds of the bottom part of the nebula. There is a galaxy hiding in there to, but is much easier to spot UGC 2838 to the left of the nebula. I think I’m getting better with PixInsight, but this image could use a second pass to fix a “pinched” star where the mosaic frames joined. Can you find the problem star?
That’s it until 2021. I will be proacting with PixInsight on some old images from 2014 that I have not yet processed to my satisfaction.
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