Andromeda Galaxy, M31, First Deep Space Object

Here is the Andromeda Galaxy (M31 Galaxy) and that makes it official, after a couple more orders from Orion to get things I didn’t think of the first time, and a lot of time practicing with the scope and connecting it all to a new netbook, I am an astrophotographer (albeit a pretty crummy one, heh). Crummy or not, I am really excited to be able to create images of these beautiful objects millions of light years away. Without further ado, here is Messier 31:

Stretched image of the Andromeda Galaxy   It takes an amazing amount of work to get one image. My first few images on the blog (the moon with my 114EQ and Jupiter with this scope) were both single images (OK, Jupiter was two single images sandwiched together). This one is a whole slew of images combined in a special piece of software called Deep Sky Stacker with other images called darks which are taken with the lens cap on. All of those are combined and then the resultant image is put into Photoshop and “stretched” by using levels and curves to get the result you see above. Hours and hours of work to get this one little image. Man, glad I didn’t know all this before I bought the scope, I may have hesitated! Here is what the image of the Andromeda Galaxy looks like before all the stretching:

Unstretched M31   Amazing, right? I also had a chance to do the Orion nebula too, here is my shot from it:

Orion nebula Not too bad I guess but it has a lot of issues. Since I was mainly concentrating on the Andromeda galaxy I was not to worried about how this turned out, I am very sure I will be shooting Orion many more times in the future.

I hope you enjoyed my first DSO images including the Andromeda Galaxy!

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