Dave's Astronomy    NGC 7331 - Deer Lick Galaxy
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NGC 7331 - Deer Lick Galaxy
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NGC 7331 - Deer Lick Galaxy
Near Lindbrook, Alberta, Canada
2014-Sep-21
OSC 14 x 5min, total 1hr 10min
AFX, DSS, CPT
E11, EQ8, NS8300, SSAG, LE80
NGC7331 is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Pegasus

As explained below, this was a fairly short exposure run and did not really capture the full extent of this galaxy. It also came out a bit gritty. It did however succeed in showing the basic structure of the spiral as well as a few of the neighboring galaxies.

The reason for the short run is because this was really a test of using a separate guidscope on the Edge11 instead of the usual Celestron Off Axis Guider. For this test, the mount was guided by the Lunt 80mm refrator I'd been using with my NP101is for wide field imaging. Based on the results seen here I decided that the test failed. During the imaging run the PHD autoguider graph looked really good, but in the final image, the stars were no where near as round as I wanted them to be. I think the problem was that the Lunt has quite a bit shorter focal length than the EdgeHD and as such it could not really keep up with minute changes in position that the Edge can pick up.

I do have a 900mm Vixen and a barlow so maybe that will work if I choose to continue this experiment. Not that there's anything wrong with the OAG mind you, it works very well indeed. Its just that I've found its easier to run the guiding from a separate scope and wanted to see if it was practical to combine the Lunt with the Edge (it isn't).

Guiding issues aside, based on other images of this galaxy I've seen, it looks like a really good picture of the Deer Lick will take a very long run of exposures along with excellent focus, better guiding and so on. Still, all things considered I'm pretty happy with with this as a first go at imaging this galaxy.

UPDATE: Some time after taking this image I did try using the Vixen A80Mf refractor with a barlow as a guidescope. It works really well and I've been successfully using it ever since. But to get it working I needed a better guide camera too. The SSAG guide camera used on this photo just isn't sensitive enough to work at f22 so I ended up getting a Lodestar guider to replace it.

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