Peltier Cooled Modified Canon Digital Rebel XSi (450D)

& Astro-Tech 127mm Triplet

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy

Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park - August 30, 2008

by Gary Honis


Temperature was unusually warm for this time of year and mountain location. Skies were clear except for some very high clouds resulting from Alaskan volcanoes; see sunset images below. This was the second deep sky image taken with a Peltier Cooled Modified Canon Rebel XSi (450D). Ambient temperature ranged from 70 to 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperature of the peltier cooled camera was below freezing for the imaging session and reached a low of 19.2 degrees Fahrenheit allowing for noise-free imaging with the DSLR.

Telescope used for imaging was an Astro Tech 127mm ED APO Triplet refractor using a Celestron f/6.3 focal reducer for Schmidt-Cassegrains. The Astro Tech 127 and ED80 refractor guide scope were mounted on an Orion Atlas EQ-G mount. The EQMOD ASCOM driver was used to drive the mount directly via an EQDIR interface module. Image is Full Frame.

Equipment used:

M31 - Andromeda Galaxy - Full Frame:

30 five-minute exposures at ISO 1600 were combined using DeepSkyStacker and reduced in size for display:

The observing field at Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park became awash with golden light during sunset at 8:00 pm on August 30, 2008. The sky had been perfectly clear all day but now fine striations in very high clouds became apparent. We were treated to a colorful rainbow type pattern following sunset of gold, red and deep blue. Our suspicions of volcanic activity were later confirmed as coming from Alaska. We wondered how these upper level clouds would affect deep sky observing and imaging during the night ahead.

8:07 pm:

Four minutes later at 8:11 pm:

Removal of Canon XSi (450D) IR Cut Filter for Astrophotography


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Canon Digital Rebel DSLR Camera -Canon 450D - Canon XSi - Refractor Telescope