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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Northern Sweden

    Default M 31 Andromeda Galaxy, 27 megapixel mosaic

    Hi guys!

    This is an rather old image (winter/spring 2014), but I thought I'd post it here as well, since ACP + Scheduler played a very central role in creating the image.
    It was Robert Gendlers shots of all the globulars inside M 31 that inspired me to pull this off, so first of all, my humble thanks to Mr.Gendler for sharing his inspirational work that set me off into this wild idea.

    Long story short: One picture of M31, 27megapixel 2x2 mosaic, +3 months of imaging in crappy weather, data from 18 separate nights being used, 534 separate exposures, +150 hours of processing, 1233 manually annotated objects inside M31.
    (images in the end of this post, lots of "bla bla" first)

    Due to my work as full time helicopter-pilot, I simply cant find the time to stay up all night due to the need of a full nights rest, so that's where my homemade robotic observatory together with ACP + Scheduler comes in handy.
    I entered the four mosaic-tiles using the scheduler web-interface, and after that I just selected the filters and picked many hours of total data. After starting the schedulers dispatcher, all I had to do was wait. As months went on, the piles of exposures where slowly building up, requiring only minor input from me, such as re-posting plans that had some light clouds affecting the data.
    And as spring-time was closing in and astronomical twilight came to an end, I pulled the plug for the season at over 40 hours on this target.

    I also spent countless of hours studying the M31 Atlas available online at:
    It contains +40 annotated plates of M31 captured with Kitts Peak 4m telescope and contains +1000 globular clusters, open clusters, stellar ascossiations and dust-clouds inside M31.
    By looking at those charts, I manually annotated 1233 objects in my image, along with names & outlines (except for dustcloud-names, since it cluttered the image too much)

    Here's what I found within my image:
    232 Globular Clusters
    235 Open Clusters
    140 Stellar Assosciations
    626 Dust Clouds

    Data captured using ACP + Scheduler
    Calibration was done in Maxim, registration & stacking + mosaic-merging done in PI, the rest in photoshop.

    Telescope: Orion Optics AG12
    Camera: QSI 583 wsg-8
    Mount: 10Micron GM 2000 HPS
    Guiding: None, completely unguided

    Summary of exposures:
    Lum: 364 x 180s / 1092 minutes
    Red: 39 x 300s / 195 minutes
    Green : 36 x 300s / 180 minutes
    Blue : 43 x 300s / 215 minutes
    Ha : 52 x 900s / 780 minutes
    Total time: 2462 minutes / 41 hours

    Here are a few 100% crops so you can appreciate the level of resolution and the hard work behind it.

    (note Hubbles famous Cepheid, marked as "Var 1")

    Also, here's one of the charts used for annotation along with a matching crop from my image:

    If you're not using a mobile device, I highly recommend following the links to my homepage where the image is presented in full resolution along with selectable annotation-layers containing the following:
    Globular Clusters
    Open Clusters
    Dark Nebulae
    Stellar Associations
    Grid + DSO's

    It was really mind-boggling processing a image of this scale, realizing that all those fuzzy spots visible inside the galaxy are actually open clusters and globular clusters, along with Ha-regions and much more!

    Unfortunately mobile devices usually downscale the huge 27MP resolution images and have trouble with the annotation-layers, so if you're using a computer(highly recommended), click the following images to be taken to my homepage where you can select which layers of annotation to be displayed, as well as the choice of smaller resolutions. Otherwise there are direct-links to all versions below the images in this thread.

    Click image to 100% resolution on my homepage, where you can select which features to display annotation for, (Globular Clusters, Open clusters, Dark Nebulas, Stellar Associations, Background DSO's) :

    Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoy exploring all the details in this fantastic galaxy.

    And thanks to Bob Denny for making such a great software which made all this possible for me!

    Best Regards
    Jonas Grinde
    Last edited by Jonas Grinde; Dec 6, 2014 at 10:48.



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