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  • Posts Tagged ‘astrophotography’

    To Catch Some Photons From Across Our Cosmos


    2011 - 12.06

    So I’ve been researching telescopes with the goal of getting into astrophotography.  So far I’ve learned that I have A LOT to learn.  As in, seriously, A LOT.  This remains a distant goal.

    A good part of this research is simply gawking at awesome pictures that people have taken and seeing what equipment they used to do it.  This has also been a learning experience about objects in the sky and a good calibration of expectations towards what I might achieve on my own someday assuming I put in the time to learn the tricks of the trade, the money to get a capable setup, and practice enough to become talented with it.  Just tonight I saw the first amateur image of an object I really love, 47 Tucanae.  This picture was taken in the Andes mountains, with a mind-mindbogglingly expensive telescope setup, but still… it gives a glimpse of what is possible.  Even a fraction of this is mind-gasmly sweet:

    This JUST happened. 3 hours of starlight


    2011 - 10.08

    I’ve been up to my usual shenanigans tonight, which involve staying up till all unreasonable hours of the morning.  While doing so, I set out the camera and captured this sweet startrails image from 12:30-3:30am.  Saaweeeeet!

    Since the above image is actually composed of 800+ individual 10 second exposures, I also made this version which is only a short part of it; a good stretch without any clouds.  And just to keep things fresh, I flipped the canvas horizontally.  Because, ya know, why not?

    Note that clicking on either of these will unleash the 1920 x 1280 sized versions.

    So I didn’t get a timelapse video during the Perseid meteor shower, but I DID get this:


    2011 - 09.24

    Enough clear photographs to make a startrails image!

    I just now realized I could do this, using a program called StarStaX.  This is badass, and I am going to be doing more of it.  YES!

    Originally I had intended to use my intervalometer to shoot exposures all night (which worked) but something I didn’t anticipate ruined the fun: DEW on the lens!  Who knew.  In any event, a totally full moon also blew out the sky and prevented me from getting many stars.  The images used to build the star trails picture you see above were captured before the moon rose above the tree line behind me.

    There’s always next time.

    The Sky’s Not The Limit–It’s A Boundary To The Endless & The Timeless


    2011 - 09.08

    So right now there’s a supernova named SN 2011fe going on, one that’s visible with a set of binoculars, if you know where to look. That’s pretty awesome. I have to admit, I totally feel like I’m missing out on some rare, limited offer by not being in possession of a telescope.

    Let’s talk about that–how awesome it would be to have your own telescope. This is something I’ve been thinking about for a long, long time now, and I feel a steady itch building. Something tells me I might have one within the next year or so. My chief interest is of course, simply checking out the stars, but a close second priority would be using it to make pictures. I’ve read many articles about neat things discovered by amateur astronomers who just sort of happened to be looking at the right thing at the right time, and think, man, it would be so badass to join those ranks.

    Indeed, the picture on the wikipedia page for supernova SN 2011fe was generated by this guy, using a Canon 60D (which has the exact same sensor/guts as my very own Canon T3i). JEALOUS! SO COOL. TOTALLY JEALOUS! It’s my turn to exclaim, with no dignity, oh that should so be me taking that picture! Maybe someday. Maybe someday you too could get a wikipedia-worthy photo of a rare astro-event. Keep on dreamin’ kid.

    So I did some searching to see what people out there are already doing and get an idea of what kind of images I could potentially attempt to make on my own, and I happened upon a few websites that well, jeez, just about exploded my eyeballs with pictures you’d swear came from a hundred-million dollar Hawaiian telescope or something. The picture above is one such example, taken by Mr. Georgiy Suturin. I mean, I have no illusions that these guys are way beyond anything I could achieve, but STILL, the fact remains that they are doing this in their own backyards with cobbled-together setups. That blows my mind. Spend a little time checking out the galleries on the sites below, I promise you will not be disappointed:

    Steve’s Astro

    Igor Chekalin

    Georgiy Suturin

    So yeah, wish I had a telescope. I’d check out that supernova. Maybe it’s time to start researching and figuring out what hardware I’d need…