3 Minute Andromeda Galaxy Comparison Part 2

After my previous 3 minute Andromeda Galaxy comparison, I decided I needed to get a light pollution filter to get better pictures from my driveway given our Bortle 7 skies.  I picked up a SkyTech 2” LPRO-MAX CCD Filter and the image above is the result. 

For comparison, here is a picture using the same settings and location with no filter.

And here is a picture using the same settings from Bortle 2 skies.

All these pictures used the same equipment and settings.  For the purposes of this comparison, I did not do any processing.  I think the filter was worth it.  Dark skies are definitely worth it!

Camera geek info:

  • Canon EOS 60D in manual mode, 179 second exposure, ISO 1600, custom white balance 3500K
  • Williams Optics Zenith Star 73 III APO telescope
  • Williams Optics Flat 73A
  • iOptron CEM40

I also experimented with settings to use from my driveway.  Results are in the table below.  Lowering the exposure length and ISO cut down on the sky noise.  I’ll have to see what I can do with the 1 minute ISO 400 images in PixInsight.  

SiteBortleFilterExposure LengthISOResult
Dell City, Texas2 – 3None3 minutes1600Gorgeous detail in M31, M32 and M110 visible
Friendswood, Texas7None3 minutes1600Almost all white picture
Friendswood, Texas7Light Pollution3 minutes1600Bright blue background, M31 as a fuzzball, M110 visible, M32 not obvious
Friendswood, Texas7Light Pollution2 minutes1600Teal blue background, M31 as a fuzzball, M110 visible, M32 not obvious
Friendswood, Texas7Light Pollution1 minutes1600Dark blue background, M31 as a fuzzball, M110 visible, M32 not obvious
Friendswood, Texas7Light Pollution1 minutes400Very dark blue background, M31 as a smaller fuzzball, M110 visible, M32 not obvious

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