We’ve talked a lot about the CHDK software available for Canon Powershot series cameras. We took the old Canon A540 with the new software to Fall’N’Stars and did three sets of imaging.
The first was the night of Friday September 14th, 2012 after a thunderstorm blew through, of Cassiopeia in the northeast. Humidity was quite high.

cass – 15 sec

cass – 32 sec

cass – 64 sec

cass – 128 sec

cass – 256 sec

cass – 512 sec

cass – 1024 sec

1024 seconds! over 17 minutes! on a compact consumer NON DSLR camera!
Each exposure included another equivalent time period of a dark frame, so all in all the last image took over 34 minutes.
The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) appears quite clearly, as does the Double Cluster in Perseus.
I think we favour the 64 second exposure as the best before star trailing takes over too much.

Next up was Sagittarius on Saturday September 15th


sagg- 32 sec

sagg- 64 sec

sagg – 128 sec

sagg – 256 sec

Last up that night was Polaris and the Little Dipper

polaris – 15 sec

polaris – 32 sec

polaris – 64 sec

polaris – 128 sec

polaris – 256 sec

The NiMH AA batteries were dying by this time and that’s the biggest reason this test did not run into 512 and 1024 seconds for the last two subjects.
All in all extremely successful! The next test will be to do this on a barndoor tracker