Here’s my first attempt of photographing NGC 891, an edge-on spiral galaxy hidden about 30 million light years away in the constellation Andromeda.
I was surprised by how big the galaxy was especially since I was using a low powered telescope to view it. There are a couple of interesting things about this galaxy. 1) its edge-on which simply means what you think it means — we are looking directly at the edge or side of the galaxy. 2) Its an unbarred galaxy, which basically means there’s a big bulge in the middle of the galaxy. Since we are edge-on with the galaxy, we can see exactly how big that bulge is. These two factors working together along with the galaxy’s relative closeness and apparent size make NGC 891 a perfect astrophotography target.
During post processing, I had a few problems and some noise was introduced into the photo. I attribute this mostly to a bad set of flats. My flat field photo taking skills are one of the items on my short list for improvement. Problems aside, I’m still happy with the results and I will definitely be back to photograph this guy again.
William Optics FLT98 APO Refractor
Celestron CGEM Mount
Canon 20da DSLR Camera
1 hour exposure = 5 minute x 12 @ ISO 400