Star Trails with my Telescope

On October 24, 2014, at 12:00 in midnight, I arrived at Glen Major to image the night sky again. This time I decided to bring my telescope with me for its tracking. It took me a long time to set up the telescope, for two reasons.

It took me a while to find a star to align with because my finderscope was out of alignment with my telescope. Some time passed before I found Vega, and align my finderscope to it. I then proceeded to align my telescope to the stars using the Skyalign method. It failed every time, even when I went onto different stars. I then decided to do a one-star alignment with Betelgeuse. It worked and my telescope was ready to do.

I attached my camera on the piggyback mount, and I set the intervalometer to image the night sky indefinitely setting the exposure at 15 seconds, f/5.6, and ISO 1600, and I let it image the night sky. After that, I go into my car to say warm.

I did some homework during that time as well. After that, I turned my telescope, and pointed it towards the Big Dipper. I took a few photos, and then decided to pack up. It got really cold that night, therefore I had to pack up fast. I packed up very quickly, and I went home. Here is the result of that night:

This video tells me that tracking isn’t moving as fast as it should, and that dew is going to be a problem in the coming days. Hopefully, I can correct that quickly.

Happy Observing!

Advertisements

Timelapse of the Moon

On October, 9, 2014, I decided to image the waning gibbous Moon. My main motivation was to capture the Moon at close to the full phase for a friend of mine, but I also took the opportunity to make a time lapse video of the Moon’s movement.

IMG_9967

Waning Gibbous Moon. Exposure at 1/160 seconds, f/5.6, ISO 100

I first imaged the Moon exposing it for 1/160 of a second, at f/5.6 and with an ISO of 100. After looking at it, I reduced the exposure time to 1/200 of a second, and stopped down the aperture to f/8, which gave me an image with better contrast between the mariae and mountainous areas.

IMG_9988

Waning Gibbous Moon. Exposure at 1/200 seconds, f/8, and ISO 100

After I got good shots of the Moon, I activated the camera’s intervalometer and left it to shoot the Moon. The video below is made up of 184 frames at 15 fps. Each frame was taken 15 seconds apart. It took the camera a while to get all the shots, therefore, I passed the time by raking the lawn. It was fun, and it was great exercise. Once I got all the frames I needed, I packed up and went back inside. The next day, I made the video using a program downloaded from Startrails.de. Here is the video:

I had a great and productive time that night. I got a lot of pictures of the Moon, and I have another timelapse video to share. I hope to have more productive nights like this in the future.

 

Keep looking up! You never know what you’ll find up there.