Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A night at the camera















I decided that I would forget about the telescope for a while (although I have been getting my best views of the Orion Nebula lately at 52x - really fills the eyepiece view) and simply concentrate on the camera.
I have never been overly successful at taking pictures with the scope, so I dismounted the telescope and replaced it with the camera - I can now properly "track" stars using the EQ mount and motor drive. This is essential for long exposure photography - anything above 10secs. really needs a drive.
After a few shots of Orion I decided to swing towards Cassiopeia in the hope of catching M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy, and what do you know .... I did!!!
The photo in the top-left clearly shows M31 and if you look closely you see the diffuse light produced by the spiral arms. WOW!
[Camera: Nikon D40. 55mm F/5.6 30 sec. ISO-1600]
For comparison, I have "auto-leveled" (the light) in the second image to prove that indeed it is where I say it is.
This was my first try at this sort of thing. I really wanted to do a few exposures in minutes, but my remote release had packed-up!
It is true that you really do not need much equipment to get some really good results.

MJ

PS - Don't forget about Star Gazing Live on BBC2!


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