EAA First Real Success

A stacked photo of M31 the Andromeda Galaxy
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

For several months I've been struggling to setup an EAA (electronically assisted astronomy) telescope. It's been a very difficult process with a lot of trial and error. Last night, however, I had my first big success imaging M31, pictured above. This final view is approximately 5-10 minutes of total exposure time, but the intent of EAA is to offer near-real-time views of dark sky objects. M31 is generally an easy target because it's so bright and large, but this was the first time I got a good image. After months of giving up and restarting, the work finally paid off.

This is going to be a great setup to take out for public observing. For objects like Saturn and Jupiter I still prefer a regular telescope with an eyepiece because people seem to have a visceral connection seeing them that way. But the dimmer objects like galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters rarely resolve to anything more than "dim fuzzies" under city skies, even in large telescopes. EAA allows people to see these objects closer to what they actually look like in long-exposure photography. It's a fantastic tool to get people interested.

I was able to capture several other objects during the evening. Here's a few of the best.