M33 – The Triangulum Galaxy

M33 is three million light years away and the third big member of the Local Group of galaxies, along with the Milky Way and Andromeda.

This was taken at quarter moon, but luckily on the opposite side of the sky.I tried three different integrations in PixInsight – normal, Bayer Drizzle (1x with 1.0 drop size) and Drizzle 2x with 0.9 drop size. The Bayer drizzle did a better job on the colour with less bleeding of colour in/out of stars, but resolution and overall quality doesn’t seem much better than standard integration. This version presented above uses the standard drizzle to produce a 2x larger image with much better resolution. There is a noticeable difference in the size of small stars, roundness of larger stars and many more tiny stars in the galaxy arms. Even when down-sampled for presentation (4x in this case) the image is much superior to the non-drizzled version.

Imager: Sky-Watcher Evostar 80ED DS-Pro, Sky-Watcher 0.85x Focal Reducer, Canon EOS 500D (Unmodified), Hutech IDAS LPS P2 2″, APT – Astro Photography Tool
Guider: Orion ST80, QHY 5, PHD Guiding
Mount: Sky-Watcher NEQ6,  AstroTortilla,  EQMod
Processing: PixInsight 1.8
Dates: March 1st, 2014
Lights: 61 x 300seconds ISO400 (~5.1 hours)
Darks: 109
Flats: 102
Bias: 330 (PixInsight SuperBias)

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