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Thread: Astrophotography

  1. #1
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    Astrophotography

    thought i would share something interesting with y'all. a guy who works with us in santa fe, nm is heavily into astrophotography and is scary talented.

    his site's name is Dark Atmospheres.

    honest-to-god, this guy has a mini mount palomar in his back yard... containing an amazing telescope built from carbon fiber and a very cool specialized digital camera that is computer controlled to track the earth's rotation *and* programmable to reposition itself to shoot specific galaxies at specific points in time. handy for making multi-day exposures.

    If you have a nice Mac 30 monitor or equivalent, visit this link and click on the picture for a larger-sized version. this was a 9.5 hour exposure.



    sorry i don't post here much... very time-constrained these days. i do enjoy looking at the pics i *am* planning to buy the new canon EOS 5D MarkII. .

    ian
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  2. #2
    Once there was a Tavern PAULBACH's Avatar
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    Great Choice

    That new Canon is a work of art and science but would hate to carry it around my neck for very long. Buy a good tripod with the camera.

    That shot is ... awesome

  3. #3
    rocketman
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    Pretty amazing photography fer sure...

    The thing about looking thru a good set of optics at "deep sky" objects for me is that they are in very real sense a Time Machine since what you are seeing is as it "was" rather than is...the deeper you go the more likely its no longer even there, or if it does still exsit it certainly isn't at the location it appears as you are currently seeing it. Kool stuff indeed....

    RM

  4. #4
    cheesewhiz
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    Back in the day I had a setup that included a Celestron 8" Schmidt Caasegrain scope, a Canon AE1, a 24 hour clock drive on the tripod, paper star charts, and a crosshair ocular for timed exposures. Very labor intense. I WISH I would have had the computer positioning and tracking capabilities that are available today.

    I now enjoy the heavens with wide field binoculars.
    Try it sometime. You will be suprised how much the sky opens up with just a set of binos.


  5. #5
    sMiling Voni's Avatar
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    Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing such incredible beauty!

    Voni
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  6. #6
    rocketman
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesewhiz View Post
    Back in the day I had a setup that included a Celestron 8" Schmidt Caasegrain scope, a Canon AE1, a 24 hour clock drive on the tripod, paper star charts, and a crosshair ocular for timed exposures. Very labor intense. I WISH I would have had the computer positioning and tracking capabilities that are available today.

    I now enjoy the heavens with wide field binoculars.
    Try it sometime. You will be suprised how much the sky opens up with just a set of binos.

    yeah I hear that. I often tell folks the same, one of the bigest misconceptions out there on scopes is POWER, NOT! its all about light gathering and exit pupil. I have a very nice 8" refractor on a simple balance mount, made by vernonscope with a hand figured primary mirror done by a local VA guy who was famous for his work, the person I bought it from wasn't aware of what he had, nor was I, untill I had the mirror recoated and the shop told me what I had! I just use it with a few low power eye pieces (x18, x30) but can easily split double stars, can't do astro photgs with it () and the light polution is pretty bad where I live now. I also have a 90mm Celstron with clock drive and use that more since its a hell of a lot more portable, but as you say its time intensive to shoot astro photography and so far mine have been well questionable at best but that was in the days of film and mostly not saved.
    If/when we move south and build a place in a more rural setting, a perminate place for the scopes is on the drawing board. In the mean time, like you some good binocs are the way I do most of my viewing. You can see an amazing amount of detail and star colors/temps are easily seen, once you know what and how to look. Heck, even with a little effort you can see the differant star colors in a decent dark sky with the unaided eye.

    RM

  7. #7
    Grow'd up Mini Trail munchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cheesewhiz View Post

    I now enjoy the heavens with wide field binoculars.
    Try it sometime. You will be suprised how much the sky opens up with just a set of binos.

    Here are a coupla nice setups:



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  8. #8
    It is what it is. Bud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocketman View Post
    yeah I hear that. I often tell folks the same, one of the bigest misconceptions out there on scopes is POWER, NOT! its all about light gathering and exit pupil. I have a very nice 8" refractor on a simple balance mount, made by vernonscope with a hand figured primary mirror done by a local VA guy who was famous for his work, the person I bought it from wasn't aware of what he had, nor was I, untill I had the mirror recoated and the shop told me what I had! I just use it with a few low power eye pieces (x18, x30) but can easily split double stars, can't do astro photgs with it () and the light polution is pretty bad where I live now. I also have a 90mm Celstron with clock drive and use that more since its a hell of a lot more portable, but as you say its time intensive to shoot astro photography and so far mine have been well questionable at best but that was in the days of film and mostly not saved.
    If/when we move south and build a place in a more rural setting, a perminate place for the scopes is on the drawing board. In the mean time, like you some good binocs are the way I do most of my viewing. You can see an amazing amount of detail and star colors/temps are easily seen, once you know what and how to look. Heck, even with a little effort you can see the differant star colors in a decent dark sky with the unaided eye.

    RM

    Rocket Man

    Ya gotta stop drinking the cool aid. Never seen a refractor with a primary mirror.

    I've been lusting over the Meade light bridge dob's for some time now. Lots of scope for the money.
    I used to post here, but now I don't.

  9. #9
    cheesewhiz
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munchy View Post
    Here are a coupla nice setups:




    Ummmmm......

    I was actually suggesting something a little more user friendly (hand held).


  10. #10
    Seattle-area Rounder OfficerImpersonator's Avatar
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    I have a nice pair of Canon Image Stabilized binoculars that are the schizzle for stargazing when they are on a tripod - or even just laying down on the lawn, staring up at the sky and trying to count the stars.

    Quite the humbling experience.
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  11. #11
    ian408
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    Losmandy (www.losmandy.com) makes some nice equatorial mounts that allow you to mount a camera and track objects.

    On how to make photos, you can do it with long exposures or a series of shorter exposures that are stacked. Longer exposures require a fair amount of time to process in camera (once the exposure is completed)--and you need to have available battery if you're going to use any in-camera post.

    Cool stuff.

  12. #12
    tonkandy
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    Solar Photography

    I remember back in the day when guys in the astronomy club I was in used to gas hyper their film. A bit after that they were using liquid nitrogen to cool down ccd's to reduce noise. I haven't done any astrophotography for many years now, but it seems that it's a lot more straightforward than it used to be.

    Recently I've been thinking more and more about getting a solar telescope. For one thing I'm more likely to actually be awake when it's visible.

    This is one of the most remarkable pictures I've seen. Timing is everything.

    http://www.astrosurf.com/legault/iss...s_transit.html

  13. #13
    look out!!! Visian's Avatar
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    thought you might enjoy this

    more astrophotography samples.

    when roth isn't sitting out in the dark, he's riding his F650GS around New Mexico. the music is his work, too.

    note: powerful computer and honkin' access required for viewing.

    ian
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  14. #14
    Grow'd up Mini Trail munchy's Avatar
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    Here's a nice little YouTube vid on how to shoot astrophotographs with your DSLR. He also makes a good point about focusing at infinity and the fact that most lenses can actually focus beyond that point (take that, you quantum mechanics !!) and how to deal with that.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxTalp6f7kw

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  15. #15
    Registered User dancogan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Visian View Post
    more astrophotography samples.

    when roth isn't sitting out in the dark, he's riding his F650GS around New Mexico. the music is his work, too.

    note: powerful computer and honkin' access required for viewing.

    ian
    Wow! It is humbling. And maybe I didn't get the full effect, but it seemed to run just fine on my Dell laptop.
    Dan

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