Welcome to October! Let's keep our monthly series of targets going with five new astrophotography objects you can capture this month!
Below you will find 5 deep sky objects that are at their highest elevation in October. If you don't see a popular object listed below, don't worry! It is most likely featured in a different month as we are doing this guide for every month of the year and are making sure we avoid duplicates.
In order to make sure you find some inspiration no matter your skill level, we will go over three easy objects and will add two more difficult targets for the more experienced amateur astrophotographers at the end.
Make sure to watch our video guide on YouTube for more information and a bit of fun!
Want more inspiration for Fall targets? Read our full guide about the 15 best Fall Astrophotography targets!
5 October Astrophotography targets:
M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy
M33 - The Triangulum Galaxy
NGC 1499 - The California Nebula
Simeis 147 - The Spaghetti Nebula
M74 - The Phantom Galaxy
The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest and closest popular galaxy in the night sky. This object is often the one that make people fall in love with astronomy when observed through binoculars or a telescope!
M31 is bright and very easy to photograph with even a very cheap DSLR camera. It can be captured with and without a telescope and even without any tracking device. Make sure to click on the link below to see several of our images of M31 in high definition.
If you wish, you can also use an HA filter to get some of the Hydrogen Alpha data in the galaxy's spiral arms, which will make your image even more impressive!
Watch Episode 4 of Galactic Hunter to see us photograph the Andromeda Galaxy with a DSLR camera.
Messier 33 lies close to M31, and is another large and bright galaxy. It is the second largest apparent galaxy in the Northern hemisphere and is once again very easy to capture with and without a telescope.
Both of these galaxies stay very high in the sky for several months, so no need to rush in order to capture it!
M33 also has Hydrogen Alpha in its arms, and some of its immense nebulae are even visible from Earth! Learn more by clicking on the link below.
This was our very first object imaged from our house! The California Nebula is a large emission nebula full of Hydrogen Alpha, so we definitely recommend the use of either a DSLR Clip-On HA filter or a narrowband filter like the TRIAD Ultra.
If using one of these filters, you can easily capture this nebula from any light polluted area. The image below was taken from a Bortle 9 zone on a full moon night! Visit our full blog post about the California Nebula to watch the full video.
The three first targets in this list were extremely easy to image, but this is a different story! Although even larger than the other objects, Simeis 147 is very faint and can only be captured in narrowband.
An Hydrogen Alpha filter is what you will want to use the most if you wish to attempt the Spaghetti Nebula. It is recommended to use a regular RGB palette for the background and stars, from a very dark zone as there are some interstellar dust lanes going on here and there.
Simeis 147 by Rogelio Bernal Andreo
M74 is the second faintest object in the entire Messier Catalog, and is nicknamed the Phantom Galaxy.
This is a relatively small spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces and can be difficult to process if you don't have enough data on it. We spent 3 hours and 30 minutes on this target from a Bortle 4 zone and we felt like it was just enough to get an Okay image.
You can watch us image M74 in Episode 11 of Galactic Hunter.
And that's it!
We hope this list will help you pick a target to photograph tonight. If you do image one of these beautiful objects, make sure to show us your results in the comments section!
You can read our pick for the TOP 15 Fall Astrophotography Targets if you want to see more great objects for this season.
GALACTIC HUNTER BOOKS
Description: Discover 60 Deep Sky Objects that will considerably improve your Imaging and Processing skills! Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced astrophotographer, this detailed book of the best deep sky objects will serve as a personal guide for years to come! Discover which star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies are the easiest and most impressive to photograph for each season. Learn how to find each object in the night sky, and read our recommendations on imaging them in a quick and comprehensive way. Each target in this guide contains our advice on imaging, photos of expected results, and a useful information table. We've also included a few cool facts about each target, a map to find it in the night sky, and more!
Description: The Astrophotographer’s Journal is a portable notebook created for the purpose of recording observations, cataloguing photographs, and writing down the wonderful memories created by this hobby. This book contains more than 200 pages to memorialize your stargazing and imaging sessions, as well as a useful chart on the last pages to index exciting or important notes. Read back on the logs to see how much progress you have made through the months, the problems you overcame, and the notes taken to improve in the future. Just as the pioneers of astronomy did in their time, look up and take notes of your observations as you are the author of this star-filled journey.
Description: The Constellations Handbook is a logical guide to learning the 88 constellations. Learning the constellations is difficult. Remembering them is even harder. Have you ever wanted to look up to the night sky, name any pattern of stars and be able to tell their stories? This book groups the constellations in a logical order, so that the reader can easily learn them by their origin, and see how their stories interact with one another as a group. The last pages of this book include an index of all 88 constellations, each with a slot where you can write your own personal tips and tricks in order to memorize them with ease. The Constellations Handbook is not just another guide listing all the constellations from A to Z and their location, it is the perfect companion for stargazing, and a learning journey through the ages.