I spent most of last evening practicing with a new astronomy image acquiring program, and computer cables to download images directly from the DSLR camera into the computer, much like a CCD camera would do. After a few “first time out glitches” I got it to work. I then spent the next 6 hours tweaking my ability to focus, capture and download over 100 long exposure images. Most of these were of the Andromeda Galaxy (M 31), and the spiral galaxy in Triangulum (M33). Here’s one of the first images of M31 as it appeared over the trees in my backyard.
For those of you interested in the technical aspects, this single image was taken with a Canon 20D modified digital slr, with a 85mm Nikon Lens. It was exposed for 120 seconds at an asa of 1600. Processed in Photoshop.
Here’s a small version of the final product of 20 minutes of exposure of M31 through a 200mm Nikon Lens.