RBA Premium Astrophotography

Andromeda (M31)

Posted: August 15th, 2009

Bigger size: 3050x2174

August 15 and 16, 2009

Exposure time:
L: 18x5' & 10x20'
RGB: 10x5' each channel
Total: 7.3 hours
Focal: 500mm, f/5

Imaging scope: FSQ106 EDX
Camera: STL11000
Guiding camera: StarShoot Autoguider
Mount: Takahashi EM400

Henry Coe State Park, California
Seeing: Very good
Transparency: Poor

Stacking: DeepSkyStacker
Processing: PixInsight & Photoshop

M31 or Andromeda is without a doubt one of the most imaged objects of the sky, and one I knew I had to come back and try to get an image that at least escaped mediocrity. For that reason I focused on capturing an image that would allow me to get as many details as possible from the bright core that otherwise it tends to be either oversaturated or simply too bright to discern any details. I'm very happy with the results - with a fairly modest equipment I was able to scrap details out of the core that other images taken with much more expensive telescopes simply do not show.

I "blinked" several images from other authors - sometimes after a bit of tweaking to reveal the details in the core in such images - to make sure the details I was obtaining were not processing artifacts, and also made this animation:

Please note:

  • The quality of the images used in this animation is not great. In particular the "slides" from Tony Hallas and Robert Gendler are at a much lower resolution than the original images from these two fine astrophotographers. The purpose of this animation is not to compare the QUALITY of the images, but only to verify whether the details in my image are real or artifacts - or both.
  • Just because a particular image does not show more details in the core than another does NOT mean the image is of a lesser quality, not at all. Different images will have different goals when imaging M31 (or any other target). Again, the only reason to post these images is verify if the details in mine are real, not a competition to see who revealed more or less details.
  • To me, the most revealing comparison is the one with the image from Mark Jenkins and Roland Christen, and that's why I placed their "slide" right after the visualization of my image.
  • While none of my images are subject to traditional copyright and instead use a Creative Commons License, because this animation uses images subject to copyright by their authors as indicated in the next bullet, copy or reproduction of this animation is not allowed.
  • Portion of M31 image from Tony Hallas is Copyright by Tony and Daphne Hallas
    Portion of M31 image from Robert Gendler is Copyright by Robert Gendler
    Portion of M31 image from Vicent Peris and JL Lamadrid is Copyright by Vicent Peris and JL Lamadrid
    Portion of M31 image from from Mark Jenkins and Roland Christen is Copyright by Mark Jenkins and Roland Christen



Joe Manley (Contact, Page), August 30th, 2009, 14:21
Exceptional work. Thank you!

Alonso Garcia (Contact, Page), September 28th, 2009, 22:17
I was viewing your site.
You get better year after year.
This photo is one of the greatest works i ever seeen:
* Simple: Because of your equipment.
* Superb: Because of GALEX in UV and you in Visible.
* Unbelievable: I simply can't. How, how did you? I mean: eeeexcelent work. You matched GALEX or the opposite?

กกกก Gracias !!!

Antoine Vergara (Contact, Page), September 29th, 2009, 1:06
Great website, a constant progress in your astro-photographer ability.
By the way congratulation for your 2009 September 29 APOD, the best Orion I've seen to date, similar to a great renaissance painting.

Rajendra Pareek (Contact, Page), September 30th, 2009, 0:33
I totally agree with Antoine Vergara. Great picture of M31 but the Orion on APOD is something to be admired wholeheartedly.

Tom Pressburger (Contact, Page), October 14th, 2009, 13:34
Congratulations and thanks!! Your M31 photo is the only one I've seen (not that I'm a pro) that shows the stellar-like core. The stellar-like core is very remarkable to me when observing M31 visually, and I've never seen it in the usual photographs of M31, nor seen it mentioned. I think I've heard that it is caused by stars close in to the black hole.

RobbiNewman Photo&Vision (Contact, Page), November 3rd, 2009, 23:37
superb again..only feel the blacks are a bit thin..tricky

Daniel J. Leibow (Contact, Page), December 29th, 2009, 10:01
Your work is like rare and precious art and you are truly a Da Vinci!

B (Contact, Page), February 11th, 2012, 4:11
I was examining today's APOD when I decided to trek through Deep Sky Colors collection.
I believe R B Andreo has done outstanding work with ccd imaging technology. The image of Andromeda galaxy M31 is particularly fascinating. However, the color intensity of image seems to fade with higher resolution. There appears to be a significant difference between 'thumb tack' image and the full scale image of higher resolution. If the color intensity can be adjusted and corrected, I believe an Andromeda portrait can be obtained similar to the artistic expression of those by R Gendler and T Hallas. It is truly wonderful what ccd technology can do with astronomical images. I recall that once upon a time institutional research and a whole field of knowledge depended upon black and white emulsion plates of the heavens. Best wishes

Claudio Voarino (Contact, Page), May 8th, 2012, 17:23
Dear Rogelio,
Your astrophotos are the very best I have ever seen.
My name is Claudio Voarino, and I am the Manager of "Astronomy And Electronics Centre".
We are the Australian And New Zealand Sole Dealers for Takahashi. We have been in Business for about 25 years!
I would like to ask your permission to put some of your great Deep-Sky images on our website.
Please let me know what you think of this idea.
Thank you.
All the best,
Claudio Voarino
Cleve - South Australia
Tel./Fax: 61 08 8628 2678

Carl Henshaw (Contact, Page), June 22nd, 2013, 14:02
this site is AWESOME, I love all the colors of space.

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