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5 October Astrophotography Targets to Photograph this Month

Updated: May 30, 2023


The spookiest month of the year is here! Welcome to October! We have compiled a frightfully fun list of deep-sky objects for astrophotographers to check off this month. This post is one of many entries in our special monthly series which you can find on our tutorials page. Now, sneak a peek at our October astrophotography targets below.


Best Astrophotography Targets for August

Below are 5 deep sky objects that are at their highest elevation in October. We have fun lists like this one for all months of year, so if you don't see a target that you might expect for this month it is probably in another list! Each one is different with no duplicates making for a fun challenge all year long.


As with our other posts, we have a total of five objects. The first three are easier to photograph, but the last two are more difficult - but that's why it's scary good fun!



5 October astrophotography targets:


 

M31 - The Andromeda Galaxy


The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest and closest popular galaxy in the night sky. This object is often the one that makes people fall in love with astronomy when observed through binoculars or a telescope!


Messier 31 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.

M31 The Andromeda Galaxy Astrophotography

 

M33 - The Triangulum Galaxy


Messier 33, also known as the Triangulum Galaxy, 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 them!


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.


Messier 33 the Triangulum Galaxy Astrophotography

 

NGC 1499 - The California Nebula


This was our very first object imaged from our new house in 2020! 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 California Nebula Astrophotography

 

Simeis 147


The three first targets in this list were extremely easy to photograph, but this is a different story! Despite being larger than the other objects, Simeis 147 is very faint and can only be captured in narrowband.


A 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

The Spaghetti Nebula Astrophotography

 

M74 - The Phantom Galaxy


Messier 74 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 image M74 in Episode 11 of Galactic Hunter.


The Sadr Region and butterfly Nebula Astrophotography

 

Final Thoughts


These were a good mix of easy and challenging ideas for October astrophotography targets. We hope you appreciated the spooky option. Don't be afraid to come back to this page to get your next idea. We have a list for each month, so check out November and the other months.


Be sure to review our list of the 15 best fall astrophotography targets too! It's great to have a choice of targets, and you can view our other seasonal astrophotography lists.



Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to stay up to date with our work!


Clear Skies,

Galactic Hunter




 

ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY TUTORIALS




 

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, cataloging 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.




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