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Not my Andromeda
Lens: DA300mm ED Camera: K-5 Photo Location: Florida ISO: 80 Shutter Speed: Above 6s Aperture: F4 
Posted By: blues_hawk, 08-11-2018, 09:34 PM

A friend posted raw data from his 300mm Ed lens as part of a discussion on the merits of low iso ultra long exposure astrophotography and I decided to process it to see what I could get. This is the result. Despite the low noise and deep light well at iso80 I still think it would be better if he shot at higher gain as the data was all but buried in the haze of the shot. I processed a small stack of 8 subs with Siril and Gimp in Linux.
Iso 80
Shutter speed 600sec --that's ten minutes of tracking!

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08-11-2018, 11:13 PM   #2
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This is very cool. How did you know where to shoot to get what appears to be a galaxy?


Where in Florida did you get sufficiently far away from city lights?
08-12-2018, 04:51 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Excellent
08-12-2018, 07:44 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mroeder75 Quote
This is very cool. How did you know where to shoot to get what appears to be a galaxy?


Where in Florida did you get sufficiently far away from city lights?

While I can't comment on where in Florida to go to get away from lights, I can comment on the first question. This is a galaxy, one of our closest neighbours Andromeda, that is currently speeding towards our Milky Way and will, in 2 billion years, collide with our galaxy.
As to where to look, download Stellarium and input your location and you have an excellent map of the stars that moves with time according to how they'd look to your area.
Andromeda is a large galaxy, and although extremely dim to the naked eye, it takes up about 6x the area in our sky as the full moon. You can, under very dark skies, see it's core with the naked eye though and it looks a bit like a fuzzy star through a telescope or binoculars.

A comment to the thread itself. ISO 80! wow. Testament to the fact that the longer the shutter is open, the better the outcome vs. stacking more shorter exposures. But yes, a little higher ISO would be better. Good experiment though!

---------- Post added 08-12-2018 at 07:51 AM ----------

Great job on the edit BTW

08-12-2018, 12:49 PM   #5
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Outstanding!
08-13-2018, 12:18 AM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
This is a galaxy, one of our closest neighbours Andromeda, that is currently speeding towards our Milky Way and will, in 2 billion years, collide with our galaxy.
We'd better start working on the Warp drive then.
08-13-2018, 02:28 AM - 2 Likes   #7
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This is a great shot and interesting approach to processing I want to try something like this myself.
08-13-2018, 09:04 AM   #8
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We will be getting a much closer view in about a billion years

08-13-2018, 10:49 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
While I can't comment on where in Florida to go to get away from lights, ---------- Post added 08-12-2018 at 07:51 AM ----------

[/COLOR]Great job on the edit BTW
Perhaps you did not notice your original post states the photo location, is Florida.
08-14-2018, 06:54 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mroeder75 Quote
Perhaps you did not notice your original post states the photo location, is Florida.
Take another look, I'm not the original poster I was just commenting on where to find a good map of the night sky. blues_hawk is the original poster, but even then, it was a friend of theirs that took the image, so blues_hawk may not even be from florida either.
08-14-2018, 02:26 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
Take another look, I'm not the original poster I was just commenting on where to find a good map of the night sky. blues_hawk is the original poster, but even then, it was a friend of theirs that took the image, so blues_hawk may not even be from florida either.
You are very knowledgeable about astronomy, and I appreciate your comments. You are right, I didn't carefully distinguish between posters. Your limited geographical knowledge of Florida is excused.
08-15-2018, 06:47 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by aitrus3 Quote
While I can't comment on where in Florida to go to get away from lights, I can comment on the first question. This is a galaxy, one of our closest neighbours Andromeda, that is currently speeding towards our Milky Way and will, in 2 billion years, collide with our galaxy.
As to where to look, download Stellarium and input your location and you have an excellent map of the stars that moves with time according to how they'd look to your area.
Andromeda is a large galaxy, and although extremely dim to the naked eye, it takes up about 6x the area in our sky as the full moon. You can, under very dark skies, see it's core with the naked eye though and it looks a bit like a fuzzy star through a telescope or binoculars.

A comment to the thread itself. ISO 80! wow. Testament to the fact that the longer the shutter is open, the better the outcome vs. stacking more shorter exposures. But yes, a little higher ISO would be better. Good experiment though!

---------- Post added 08-12-2018 at 07:51 AM ----------

Great job on the edit BTW
Thank you! and for jumping in with the explanation too.
08-15-2018, 07:14 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by mroeder75 Quote
You are very knowledgeable about astronomy, and I appreciate your comments. You are right, I didn't carefully distinguish between posters. Your limited geographical knowledge of Florida is excused.
My friend complained about Florida lights the entire time he lived there. Andromeda is pretty big in the sky and is fairly easy to photograph, just not so easy to do it well due to the wide dynamic range between the hot core and the ourter gas lanes which are quite dark. This pic actually had quite a bit of brown haze I had to scrub off using a mask and carefully setting the level to just nip off the lower signal. Some software will do this for you but I scowl in their generile direction(best spanish kniggit) and use only free opensource programs. Siril darktable and gimp were used on this one.
I'll be trying my own andromeda again next month when it gets above the trees at a decent hour. The only one I have right now from the k-50 was done several years ago with a 135mm f2.5 takumar I got for 30$ from an estate sale. I cropped it too much, over exposed it, and didn't really know how to process things yet. But(hands over face) here it is anyway..and yes I know the stars are crazy blown out and the fringe is unbearable. It's not as bad as my first ever try. --I wonder where that is...
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08-16-2018, 09:16 AM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by mroeder75 Quote
You are very knowledgeable about astronomy, and I appreciate your comments. You are right, I didn't carefully distinguish between posters. Your limited geographical knowledge of Florida is excused.
No worries mroeder! Heh
All my knowledge of Florida comes from Bad Boys 1 and 2, Miami Vice, and some show about these folks that capture dangerous animals like Crocodiles and large snakes etc. Oh that and I LOVE Cara Cara oranges from Florida; January is on of my favorite months of the year for that reason.

blues_hawk, you should see my first attempt!
It's not the bright vs dim challenge about this target that I don't like. M42 is just as challenging in that respect, but I just can't get a good edit of M31 even with amazing data taken by serious amateurs. I'm convinced M31 is out to get me.
08-17-2018, 04:48 AM   #15
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I used m31 as a big easy target while I tried to get my motors tracking right so I have a ton of terrible subs from it from various cameras. I'm not sure how I should feel about posting non Pentax pics on the forum...will I catch fire? I have a better one from a canon t1i. It's not much better but easier to look at. oh what the heck..all they can do is fire me.
M31 2017 at Google Photos

There's a note about the motor change on that. They work now...hence the never ending clouds?

tl;dr A comedy of camera errors:
After spending the better part of a year working with/testing for Marcus Meissner at Gphoto, Marcus eventually got the gphoto/pktriggercord wrapper working and many K series cameras now tether(at least in Linux)...except mine. :/ something about the way it does bulb is unknown. I bought a used eos-m thinking it would make a great AP camera only to find it wouldn't tether either(facepalm) and is a hateful little thing. Canon was pretty nasty when approached about it. So I watched ebay and made my next mistake... A canon 100$ t1i. It's noisy but at least it would tether. In my defense I was watching for an older Pentax but they hold value so good I couldn't find one that would pass the (you bought ANOTHER camera) wife test. Then I decided to get a "real" astronomy camera. For the moment I'm now using an ASI178mm and filter wheel on a 6inch imaging newtonian but it lacks the fov for m31 so..I'm back to mosquito yoga next month for the big galaxy and probably will try with the k-50.

I'm in Virginia(the 2018 land of perpetual cloud) in case anyone missed it. :P--just to pile on. lol
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