Testing the autoguider on our intergalactic neighbour – M31: Andromeda Galaxy

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the chance to step outside and look up at the stars, too long! But with yesterday’s conditions I was fortunate enough to get out and test my newest configuration. I’ve recently added a standalone autoguider (Sky-Watcher SynGuider) to my telescope rig. Initially I was frustrated with the tube rings provided (They didn’t allow for adjustment in both axis). But once again I MacGyver’d a solution involving some adjustment screws, a spring, and a dovetail bar.

Having only a few hours to collimate, install, and align the telescope made for a narrow astrophotography session; however, I’m still somewhat please with the initial shots and proof of concept that the rig works. I took multiple 3 minute exposures, along with some dark and flat frames. With some moon glow present and heavy light pollution I would still deem the session a success. The autoguider kept the target locked well enough for little to no star streaks.

 

First  test stack using autoguided rig.
First test stack using autoguided rig.

 

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