An Appreciation, Photography
Comments 2

Well, looky what we have here…

 

That right there is the Andromeda Galaxy, also known as M31.
To those of you who read star charts, that is…

Now…
I’ve always heard it said (or written) that the galaxy watching/photographing/staring-in-awe-with-drool-dribbling-down-your-chin season was pretty much limited from May to October.
I think I might want to revise that to September, because there hasn’t been much to shoot lately.

This was from a shoot last week, and this is how it looked in the camera.
A little Lightroom magic… okay, a LOT of Lightroom magic, and the end result was this:

It’s an okay picture… nothing special… but when you compare it to a picture from several weeks before (i.e. end of September-ish) the amount of available stuff to see is remarkably different…

So the viewing is getting progressively… well, not worse, but ‘less’…
There’s just not as much stuff that I can see, much less shoot…

Which brings us to the current round of thinking, which will either be rejected or expanded upon, based on how the experimentation goes.

I’ve also always heard that you should get a wide-angle lens, open her up and shoot for as long as the math allows before trailing begins.
So the above shots were taken with a 14mm lens… as has most of everything you’ve seen here.

But one day I got to thinking (NEVER a good sign…)
If the 14mm lens is only a 2.8 aperture, what if I take an equally fast (or faster) lens, of some unknown focal length, do the necessary math and start playing around?

Thus the following:

Done with a 50mm lens, and in all ways a truly forgettable picture.
Except that it was done at 50mm, which is NOT a wide-angle lens, but actually a slight telephoto.

So the ‘prophets of wide’ would seem to be a grouping of defecating cattle… or ‘herd’, if you will.

Here’s another at 50mm:

Done early this year, with more photogenic material.
Overall, a much better attempt/execution!

So…
How much further can I take this thing?
Well…
the top photo is an example of how far I’ve pushed it so far.
Taken at the same 2.8, but at 200mm this time…

Yikes!
The noise in the picture is intense, because I had to push the iso to 10000 to make the math work.
But I haven’t begun to play with it in post yet.

Maybe I can get it better yet.

All the same, that’s a picture of something that’s 2.5 million light years away.
Which translates to, roughly, some 5.88 trillion miles per light year, times another 2.5 million…

Let’s see… carry the one…

That comes in at right around 1.4696563e+19 miles… or 2.3651826e+19 kilometers…

Give or take a kilometer…

Let’s just say you ain’t driving there in that rusted out pice of junk you got.
I don’t care how good your mileage is…

Still, that’s a picture from plain camera on a tripod.
Not a telescope.
Of course, I got lucky in spotting it in the first place.

They say (…again with the ‘they’) that Andromeda is the furthest object in the night sky visible to the naked eye… but while I know it’s general vicinity, I can’t spot it un-aided.
Which makes sighting it at all a hit or miss affair.

Haven’t been able to lock it in since.

Still too much light in these here parts…

 

All things considered… pretty good though…

Right?

 

UPDATE:

Seems I was repeating some outdated information…
The Andromeda Galaxy is actually some 2.9 million light years away!
That’s another 400,000 light years worth of travel.
If you’re planning a trip, this means quite a few more miles than you thought.

… I’ll let you do the math…

 

 

 

 

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