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Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 1:33 am
by RonAM
Andromeda Core Dust Lane Details
Andromeda Core Dust Lane Details
Andromeda Dust Lane Detail 8-19-2020 low-res.jpg (139.97 KiB) Viewed 717 times
Andromeda is beautiful in wider field images, but in this case I wanted a close in look at the details of the dust lanes near the core. This image was acquired 19-August 2020.
Starmaster hybrid truss Dobsonian reflector, 14.5" f4.3 Zambuto mirror
Skycommander goto and tracking
ZWO ASI 294 MC pro camera at 5-deg C set point temperature, gain = 309
4144 x 2116 RAW 16
11.15 seconds exposure per frame
81 frames live stacked in SharpCap
Save stack with adjustments
Some minor post processing in Digital Photo Professional
Bortle 7 light polluted sky in major midwest US city suburbs

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 8:27 pm
by admin
Hi,

a very nice image! I'm always amazed to see what images people can pull out from very light polluted skies using modern cameras. Also impressed by the sharpness and good star shape that you have – an f/4.3 Newt must be a challenge to collimate correctly - I can remember the fun I had with f/5!

cheers,

Robin

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:11 pm
by RonAM
Thanks Robin, and SharpCap makes this possible via the live stack capabilities including such excellent control of the camera functions. I’m enjoying this so much now. Also, the live display on the laptop screen provides a wonderful way to share with my friends and neighbors while the image is being acquired while social distancing too. Thank You for such an excellent program. I’m happy to be a lifetime license owner.
Cheers,
Ron

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Fri Aug 21, 2020 11:58 pm
by RonAM
For collimating the f4.3, I’m lucky to have it in a Starmaster hybrid truss Dobsonian reflector. The hybrid truss remains fully assembled with it, the upper tube, and the secondary mirror all as one unit. From one session to the next I just separate the truss section from the rocker box, and then put those 2 pieces back together again the next time I use it. From one session to the next the laser collimator check is always very close. A tweak of the secondary to center the laser dot on the primary mirror center, and a few tweaks of the primary to center the laser return path to the collimator gets it done in just a few minutes.
Cheers,
Ron

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Sat Aug 22, 2020 2:41 am
by RonAM
Here is a section of Andromeda’s core
Enhanced section of Andromeda core dust lane
Enhanced section of Andromeda core dust lane
CF6A9D87-BF32-4A00-80EB-71092BFCDE29.jpeg (226.38 KiB) Viewed 673 times
dust lane that I enhanced where it appears I may have captured some globular clusters

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 1:51 am
by RonAM
One more look with image rotated, cropped and further enhancements with Digital Photo Professional to see the star clusters in the core dust lane. Ignore the foreground stars and focus on the small luminous features in the dust. Some may be stars, some appear to be globular clusters.

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 4:43 am
by oopfan
Ron,

Robert Gendler made a wonderful mosaic of M31 containing globular clusters he identified:
http://robgendlerastropics.com/M31NMmosaicglobs.html

I annotated your image and identified three clusters. To most people viewing your image these are indistinguishable from regular stars so they need help identifying them.

Brian
RonAM M31 Globular Clusters.jpg
RonAM M31 Globular Clusters.jpg (111.29 KiB) Viewed 639 times

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2020 10:16 am
by RonAM
Thank you Brian. This is a fantastic reference. Your review and added annotations are much appreciated and indeed very helpful.

All the best,

Ron

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 12:21 am
by RonAM
Thanks again Brian for your annotations on my image, and your note regarding Robert Gendler's excellent documentation and images for the globular clusters in Andromeda.
I have pulled up my original image as acquired, without enhancements, rotated and slightly cropped it, then added annotations for all the clusters that are noted in Robert's images that correspond to the ones in my image. This is attached. Now we know which luminous features are indeed globular clusters within this core region of Andromeda. For those who haven't yet done so, visit the reference to Robert Gendler's work as noted by Brian. Thanks.
Cheers,
Ron

Re: Andromeda Core Dust Lane Detail

Posted: Mon Aug 24, 2020 5:36 am
by oopfan
Ron,

Very impressive! G205 and G146 are quite bright. Nice work!

Brian