My first true astrophotos

After a nice cloudless day the cloud cover roller in as the sun was setting. But since the forecast had promised a cloudless night, I nevertheless set up my simple telescope. And boy was it worth it. Last spring the dark nights ended before I got to test the telescope with a digital SLR, but now the T-ring adapter saw its first use. Unfortunately I hadn't really prepared for searching more than two objects, and both of those were behind a tree on Harri's backyard after a rather short while.
Thus, it was time to improvise. We looked at the planisphere to see what would be visible, and the obvious choices were M31 (the Andromeda galaxy), Plejades, M81/M82 and M57. Not having a close-up chart makes it interesting to find a small bright smudge in an upside-down view of bright spots, where you basically can't tell brightnesses apart. And of course the close-up chart would have also indicated where exactly the feature is, instead of the generic smudge on a planisphere showing it somewhere between a few stars. Thus we couldn't find M81/M82, but the Andromera galaxy, Plejades cluster and the M57 Ring nebula were found to a big surprise. More over, the M57 was found with just generic understanding that it's somewhere between the lower Lyra stars.

Full frame of the M57 nebula (scaled down to 1600x1066):

2x scaled crop of the nebula:

Unfortunately the telescope motors drive a bit inaccurately and apparently uses full steps causing rather heavy vibration rendering anything beyond 30 second exposures useless. But still, it's a lot better than without the motor drive. More pics on this are on their way to the gallery.

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