Adventures with astrophotography

I posted my very first astrophotography picture taken of the Andromeda Nebula (M31) a few weeks ago. Weather hasn’t been that good for taking pictures of the sky recently, but during the recent spell of good weather, I gave it another go and managed to get a better picture of M31. So, here is my second attempt.

There is more detail and a bit more colour in this one, but I can do better.


If anyone is interested, I’ve dropped a full size high quality version at

It’s 32.5 Mb and does look better than the smaller version above.


That’s brilliant. I’m waiting until we get into our new home which should be in January and then I’m going to be buying a telescope hope to be able to see and take pictures like this.
Thanks for sharing.

That looks good, what size is your scope, I have a 150mm reflector set up in france due to less light polution, bought a chinese made adaptor for the nikon to the scope but cant get the adapter off now haha.

Nice pics/

The thing that always strikes me is that there is an entire galaxy - a trillion stars and we can see it in one picture. the chance that there is not an Earth-like planet somewhere in there seems inescapably tiny.

And if there isn’t that field of view contains at least a dozen other galaxies.

The odds are that somewhere out in the universe life exists must approach 100%, even intelligent life must be 100% - however much the odds are stacked against it run the experiment 100’s of trillions of times and I can’t believe it worked only once.

Sadly though we are unlikely to ever meet up and shake hands (or tentacles or whatever). Physics, notably the speed of light, just gets in the way too much.


Something I’ve been dying to get into for years.

Hi @ykm71 , if you want to take good pictures, the thing I’ve learned during 2 years of research, before I bought, is that it’s much more complicated than you may think, and it’s also much more expensive than you may think as well :moneybag::moneybag:. I’d look forward to swapping pics and ideas.

1 Like

Hi @Corona , I have a 90mm F6 APO triplet refractor. With this, I have a 2 element field corrector. As a camera, I have a 20MP cooled colour astrophotography camera and a 60mm tracker scope. With this I have a Skywatcher HEQ5 pro mount. Using a good DSLR camera is a good alternative to a dedicated astrophotography camera, especially decent Nikon or Canon cameras.

1 Like

There’s definitely one other galaxy in that picture, and that M110, which is the bright blob directly to the left of the centre of Andromeda. In the bottom right of the picture is a glow that is the edge of another, bigger galaxy, M32. Unfortunately, I cant get all of both into the picture without buying a bit more equipment (something called a barlow). Maybe next year if finances allow :crossed_fingers:

Me too. Been wanting to do this for over 20 years, but decided to wait for retirement so that I could put some real time into it.

Hi @hairbear - yes I tought that might be the case - I had a quick look at telescopes/cameras a couple of months ago and came away thinking it’s going to require some research - hence my waiting till I move into the new house - things are just too hectic with the house purchase and associated logistics.
I’d love to exchange ideas in the new year.

It’s a thought that somehow should be made more of, in an attempt to put the conflicts on ths planet into some sort of perspective.

After all, "We are either alone in the universe or not. Either way, the implications are staggering." Arthur C Clarke or someone similar.

Physics gets in the way of contact and I suspect religion might get in the way of the implications.


Only two outcomes, we’ll either worship them or coat them in batter and deep fry them!

Ever since I realized that there was a universe and that it was rather large it struck me as inconceivable that life does not exist elsewhere. And if it does exist elsewhere it exists in a whole bunch of other elsewheres.

Lets hope that if there are intelligent life forms out there, they are taking better care of their planets than us.
I imagine there must be dark skies a plenty in France. An old colleague used to polish glass
for reflector scopes by hand - I think before applying a mirror coating. He was a satellite earth station tech and farmer in Herefordshire where reasonably dark skies can be found. He used to graze his sheep in between the satellite antennas!
Old workshop where hand made optics were made.

1 Like

Well done!
If you haven’t already discovered him, you might like to take a look at Jamie Cooper’s work on Insta…

After a long hiatus caused by both bad weather and having to spend 4 weeks in the UK in three separate trips, I have finally been able to get the telescope out for one night to capture some images of the Orion Nebula (M42). I’ve attached an unfinished preliminary image below that consists of about 63 x 400 second exposures.

The core of the nebula is blown and so I will need to take some lower length exposure pictures that I can overlay onto these exposures in order to bring the detail out at the heart of the nebula. This will also probably allow me to bring the finer details of the nebula out more as well. I will probably have a chance on Wednesday night :crossed_fingers: :crossed_fingers:


After waiting a long time to try out my new multi narrowband filter, which is designed to help to increase the contrast of deep sky objects, I have now created a single image from a multi image session. The final image is 205 Mega Pixel (not a typo) of the Filamentary Nebula. Even converted to JPEG and compressed to the hilt, the image attached here is still 9MB :open_mouth:. The original image, which looks more impressive, will possibly be printed out in a large format and framed.


That’s very impressive, even if I had to go into a dark room to look properly