A little while back I reacquainted myself with a telescope and then promptly wondered how to take photos using it. Who cares that I didn’t really have the best equipment for it and that you’d see better outcomes from even moderately better gear than mine (and simply better photographers) – but that’s not really the point! There are really smart solutions, such as stacking, to the problems I faced which still net decent outputs – for example the image of Carina below looks far more impressive than when looking through my equipment in real time.
Note click images to see larger versions. All images taken from Karori, Wellington NZ.
Southern Celestial Pole Jan 2013
Stacked image from 2 hours of 30 second exposures using D7000′s intervalometer feature, post in Photoshop.
De-rotated stacked image from 2 hours of 30 second exposures using D7000′s intervalometer feature, post in Photoshop.
Venus, Mars and Saturn converge late July 2010
5 second exposure, Nikon D50, ISO 400, 5 sec f/5.6 42mm. Cleanup/resized in Paint.Net.
Moon, Oct 2009
First attempt at focal projection photography, using Nikon D50 (1/50sec exposure), Meade ETX 80 (80mm, internal 2x Barlow), Meade Variable Projection Camera Adapter, Meade Series 4000 Super Plössl 26mm eyepiece.
Not the best seeing and damn that dust! Definitely more difficult that I’d expected
Carina Nebula, Jan 2009
14 x 5 second exposure, ISO 1600 prime focus on Meade ETX 80 (visual port, 3.15″ aperture @ F5, 400mm focal length) . Stacked in DeepSkyStacker. Noise reduction applied in Paint.Net.
Venus & Jupiter Converge after Dusk, Nov/Dec 2008:
See here for more info.
Dec 2: Venus, Jupiter & Moon, Nikon D50 ISO 400, 1/10 sec f/5.6 70mm.
(Dec 1 rained out)
Nov 30: Moon, Venus & Jupiter. Nikon D50, ISO 400, 1/20 sec f/5.6 48mm.
Nov 30: Venus & Jupiter. Nikon D50, prime focus on Meade ETX 80 (visual port, 3.15″ aperture @ F/5, 400mm focal length). Small amount of post, noise reduction.
Nov 29: Venus & Jupiter, Nikon D50, ISO 400, 1/20 sec exposure, f/4, 70mm.
Moon, October 2008:
Waxing from gibbous to full moon, allowing some contrast to show some of the craters in relief.
If you’re interested to know where the Apollo landing sites are on the moon, check out this useful site.
Nikon D50 1/1250sec exposure time ISO 400, prime focus on Meade ETX 80 (visual port, 3.15″ aperture @ F5, 400mm focal length).
Scorpius, August 2008:
1st attempt with unguided Nikon D50, 50mm (f 3.5 ISO 800) 40 images @ 3s (and 20 dark, 20 bias) images stacked, de-rotated, de-convoluted, white balanced and noise reduction in IRIS.
Slightly defocused and obvious convolution – however an interesting enough target that I’ll make another attempt using piggyback guiding and computer-based focusing (50mm lens through camera viewfinder provided no detail on target – and the Nikkor lens unfortunately focuses “past” infinity).
Jupiter near the Teapot, August 2008:
Unguided Nikon D50, 100mm (f/4 ISO 800) 40 images @ 1s (and 20 dark, 20 bias) images stacked, de-rotated in Deep Sky Stacker.
I might look at another attempt capturing Jupiter independently of the constellation and then combining using a mosaic approach.
Large Magellanic Cloud, August 2008:
Second attempt with Nikon D50, 300mm (f5.6 ISO 800) 40 images @ 30s stacked (including 20 dark and 20 bias) frames and de-rotated using Deep Sky Stacker; deconvoluted (RL2), some noise filtering (MMSE) and a final GAUSS in IRIS, resizing/cut in GIMP.
Guided (against NGC 2070) by a small Celestron Nexstar 60m GT (AltAz only) – some convolution and obvious field rotation.
Total Lunar Eclipse, August 2007:
Images taken 28 Aug 2007 from Wellington NZ with a Nikon D50 using timed/manual exposure settings as indicated in the JPEG camera settings. Some post NR was done.
The early part of the eclipse was hampered by bad seeing (for timed exposure) due to cloud. Nearing the end however, the moon was easily seen.
Comet McNaught C/2006 P1, Jan 2007:
Images taken 30 Jan 2007, overlooking hills at back of Karori, Wellington NZ with a Nikon D50 using various timed/manual exposure settings, mostly indicated in the JPEG camera settings. Some post NR was done.
Images have aberations due to strong street light nearby.