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Revisiting the Triangulum Galaxy
It's hard to believe that so many beautiful deep space objects are actually fairly large in the night sky. We just can't see them because of the limitations of our eyes. This galaxy M33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, is actually larger in apparent size than the full moon. Back in 2007 when I started to get more serious about deep sky astrophotography, I was really looking forward to taking pictures of it and I thought given it's large size and magnitude of 5.7, surely it would be an easy target to take pictures of. Little did I realize that that was not the case. It's brightness, being spread out over a large area, translates into a target that is actually pretty faint for even my camera.
Anyways, here are my first two attempts from photographing this back in 2007 with my canon 300D and then with the canon 40D
Before this winter arrived I revisited this target again. I really didn't know what to expect as I remembered how hard I worked on those older shots and had such a tough time bringing out the details and fighting the noise. I tell you though, what a difference six years can make with the advancement of cameras, telescopes/lenses, and improved techniques in processing.
I used the Astrotech 8in RC, SBIG8300 camera and collected 10min sub exposures totaling 2hrs of Luminance, 50 minuites each Red, Green and Blue. Preprocessing was done in Pixinsight and post processing in Photoshop. Pixinsight's deconvolution process was a major help in achieving the details with the poor seeing conditions from home. I was also able to use it to correct the elongated stars that I had from poor tracking. Finally, lightroom... it has got to be my favourite software for making it easy to put the finishing touches on this before publishing to web.
Hope you like the results! Clear skies!!
Keywords: Astrophotography, processing
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