Astrophoto thread (your own photos please)

YL3GDY

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Hi all.

Some of recent discussions encouraged me to create a thread, where astrophotographs (real, of course!) can be posted.

So, you are welcome to post here your shots of the sky!
 

agentgonzo

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I've just started astrophotography. Here's my first image of the moon (bit blurry, am trying to sort it out as I'm still learning)

Celestron Ultima 2000 (8", f/10)
Canon 350D at prime focus.
 

YL3GDY

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And here is my shot. I have used Nikon D40 camera with Nikkor 55-200mm lens. Exposure: 1/200 sec., f/5.6, ISO-200. The photo was taken in Riga, in 1st December 2007.

I have a bit photoshopped this image a bit...
 

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silent_protagonist

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Well, they're not nearly as good as what's already been posted, but here are two of mine:

This is the only half-way decent image I've been able to get just holding my camera to the eyepiece of my scope. (I ought to try this again, now that I have some eyepieces with eye-cups; should make things a bit easier.)

17P/Holmes taken with just my camera.

Oh yea, I'm using a Meade model 4500 (Newtonian, 4.5' f/8) and a Fujifilm FinePix S7000 :rolleyes: :whistle:
 

Artlav

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Artlav, which equipment were you using?
Canon PowerShot A700 for 6Mpix camera and the telescope is labeled "TeleScience", made in China.
Labelled as having 450x zoom, but in practice it's about half that - you can only see a quarter of the Moon at medium zoom, and maximum won't focus due to shakiness of the structure.
 

spcefrk

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Hey guys,

I've got a Nikon D40 and I want to get a telescope (and preferably a motor mount to track the sky) that will fit it. I haven't owned a telescope in a good 10 years, so I'm woefully out of practice.

What is a good reasonably priced telescope that I can get a Nikon body adapter for and will track the sky?

Or is there a website I've overlooked that explains this already?

Moreover, I don't even know what type of telescope is best for astrophotography...
 

YL3GDY

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Hello spcefrk,

It's nice to see that here are people interested in astrophotography :)

Basically, there's no question of connecting Nikon camera to a telescope. Universal solution is an adapter. Preciously, two adapters: T-mount and 1.25". I've bought them on eBay for $32.

The main thing - the telescope. First and main is optical scheme. Basically, you can use any, but in Newtonian you'll have fewer problems with centre of mass. But, as far as I know, people use very different machines.

Extra useful feature is a drive that rotates the tube around polar axis. For taking more that 2 astroshots it is obligatory. Also a good and heavy tripod.

Personally I am using Meade RS-2114 Newtonian reflector, equipped with computer-controlled tripod. This works great, but I haven't interested for other models. This device I received as a prize on an astronomical contest.

If you have any questions, you could PM me, and I'll try to help.
 

Artlav

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Tried to get my setup back together tonight...
The Moon was the only visible target, and the pictures are far from perfect quality, but that's about the best i can get on my rig.

A close of the Moon, the unfocusing gives a weird effect as if Luna had an atmosphere.


An attempt at close-up. The least blurry one...
 

spcefrk

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The main thing - the telescope. First and main is optical scheme. Basically, you can use any, but in Newtonian you'll have fewer problems with centre of mass. But, as far as I know, people use very different machines.
...
Personally I am using Meade RS-2114 Newtonian reflector, equipped with computer-controlled tripod. ...
If you have any questions, you could PM me, and I'll try to help.
Do you know of any good books I can pick up or websites that give a sort of "so you want to get into astrophotography" that I might read through? I'm really starting from square one here.

I knew I would have to get a T-adapter -- I'd figured that much out from stumbling around the web, but I made the mistake of looking around websites selling them before I knew what I was doing and promptly confused myself. I've got a well established track record now of finding good entry-level models for all my hobbies (the D40, my basic Fender Strat, Spyder MR1, Saitek Yoke and Throttle, RC Trainer, etc...) I'm effectively looking for the good but entry-level automated telescope that doesn't necessarily assume I've been an astronomy buff for the last 10 years. Something nice enough that I don't have to jury rig anything but cheap enough that I don't need to take out a loan for it.

Effectively what I know about astrophotography is this: Telescopes are used like very powerful camera lenses. You remove the lens from an SLR and attach it to the telescope with an adapter. To take long exposure shots, you need to track the movement of the sky or get streaked stars (which can be nice too). If possible a telescope that can track specific objects (planets, stars, etc...) would be nice, but not necessary.
 

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Mah'scope -- ha! that's great..

Well, about the two pics below:
The cmos chip that grabbed the image was 1MP 960x1280, and then digital-zoom (what a marketing gimick!) reduced the resolution to 120x160, a factor of 8! Look! it correctly assigned grey pixels according to where the craters are..


As you can plainly see, interpolation with digital zoom does not make up for optical zoom. But little tricks like using natural noise and camera shake to reposition the image over other ccd elements you can "fill in" the pixel that was supposed to be between the other two pixels (or ccd elements). A good algorithm will generate sub-pixels based on rate and intensity change between frames or camera movement. Kinda like a microscopic parallax analyzer, but with a different goal in mind. This is different than just upscaling your image in photoshop.

By 2010 or sooner we are going to see 20Mpixel imagers, with 12-15Mpixel chips being the norm in professional cameras right now. Pocket cameras nowadays are up to 9Mpixel, with 6-7Mpixel being the sweetspot right now. I'm talking consumer-class products here now because the largest CCD array today is 84MP !! OMFG!! ..and is intended for research applications. http://luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=3598 This has got to be able to resolve far more detail than film! I think the elements are smaller than the halide crystals! By 2x

I bet the guy who invented photography is flipp'n in his grave right about now


One of these pix is from my old trashy fone and the other from the voyager spacecraft.
 

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tblaxland

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Moon-Jupiter conjunction

The near full Moon and Jupiter were in conjunction earlier tonight so I took the opportunity to give my digital compact camera a turn at some astrophotography. I didn't get any of Jupiter through the telescope (I was thwarted by a cold front carrying some high cloud). I thought I'd share the two best images I got. They are not bad for $150 camera. These are unedited except for cropping.

Here is the conjunction itself (about 2° between Moon and Jupiter) taken with the camera by itself:


And here is the moon taken through the telescope (handheld to the lens):
 

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Messierhunter

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I guess I may as well join in the fray. Here's some of my best shots, taken with an 8" LX200 classic Schmidt-Cassegrain and Canon XTi except as noted:

This one's actually a stereoimage of the moon taken over the course of a lunar cycle. Cross your eyes till the images overlap to see it in 3d.


Globular Cluster M3 taken from my slightly light polluted backyard.


Shuttle Endeavour taken with an LPI webcam on 3-25-08


The only part of February's lunar eclipse that I got the chance to see - stupid clouds!
 

tblaxland

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I guess I may as well join in the fray. Here's some of my best shots, taken with an 8" LX200 classic Schmidt-Cassegrain and Canon XTi except as noted:
Some nice shots there mate! They give me a little extra incentive to get out to the garage and try and build myself a camera adaptor.

I forgot to mention, my scope is a 3" Celestron Firstscope 76EQ Newtonian reflector. For those that are thinking of trying, you really can take astrophotos without spending a bomb. They won't be professional quality but they will be very satisfying nonetheless.
 
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