Friday, 6 December 2013

Andromeda - Now we're talking.

After trying to deal with the ETX-70 tracking issues and spending hours and hours working on its drives, oiling the gears and so on, I realized that the problem was not solvable. It must be a factory defect because not being able to track more that 2 seconds on a row simply didn't make sense.

With this situation I decided to invest on my passion and go for the better mount I could afford with my current savings. I thought that the OTA of the ETX worth trying to reach its limits but the mounting needed to be improved so I went for the HEQ-5 Syntrek (without goto).

With this piece of technology on my hands I felt that now, what was trying to reach with my previous pictures could be improved exponentially. Not knowing quite well how to align and locate objects yet, I went for an easy target that I tried previously. What by that time seemed like a great achievement to me, now clearly is not big deal. Our neighbor galaxy Andromeda only that this time I was able to get exposures of 4 minutes.

I also changed the software I was using to process the images to StarTools which I saw was an intermediate step before PixInsight (and of course a lot cheaper). The stacking is performed with DeepSky Stacker.

The picture was composed by 12 subs of 4 minutes, 5 darks and 10 bias. No flats which is becoming a problem as the sensor of my DSLR is starting to show dirt.


 And the annotated image: