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Night Sky - Wales
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January 7, 2013
8:01 pm
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(Apologies – I posted this in the wrong section earlier!)

So, as I said in my intro post on the forum, my interest is in astronomy and astrophotography. At the moment, my equipment is very limited (as I’m very new to it), so the type of photos I can take at the moment is also limited!

Here are two pics I’ve taken so far – two of the very first. My first attempt used a 30 second exposure, but the rotation of the earth was pretty evident through the star trails, so I dropped to a 10 second exposure and fiddled with the ISO value to get the exposure.

First image is of the planet Jupiter (in the centre) with the Pleiades in the top right.
https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-u9mjvb8ThCs/UOsiAnzLecI/AAAAAAAABmk/EfoTi28NHm8/s800/IMG_0827%2520-%2520s2p.JPG

Second image is of Orion. The M42 Orion Nebula is just visible in the sword – the purple hazy patch in the middle of the sword.
https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-YHBHRmhl0LA/UOsiQHCky8I/AAAAAAAABms/_L_ahTcN6d4/s800/IMG_0828%2520-%2520sp.JPG

Both images taken using Canon EOS 1100D, using the standard 18-55mm lens. ISO 6400, 10 second exposure, f/5.6. Both have had their brightness and contrast altered to make the sky darker. I also saved JPEG images as I forgot to set it to RAW!

As I say, it’s a first attempt with basic equipment. My next plan, when I get a clear night, is to try to get an image of the Andromeda galaxy and use some stacking software. I also intend to get a zoom lens sometime soon, and a telescope in the near future. But it’s early days yet! :)

Hopefully I’ll be good enough by November when we will be treated to a rather impressive comet in the sky! (Comet Ison)

January 7, 2013
8:12 pm
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nice

January 8, 2013
11:46 am
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Thanks, Silky.

I live halfway up a mountain! :D I’m in a reasonably large village on the outskirts of a town, so we do get quite a bit of light pollution, but certainly not as much as in the big cities. It’s nice and dark in my back garden, as long as I don’t venture more than 2 or 3 metres away from the door. If I do, my neigbour’s security light switches on and I lose my night vision!!! :D

(BTW, the images were slightly altered to make the sky darker than it actually appeared!)

January 8, 2013
12:12 pm
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This is over my head.

-- Mandrake --

January 8, 2013
6:30 pm
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I think it is a good first attempt with equipment you have. I would like to learn more about stars from you. Keep on posting photos and tell us some stories. :)

January 8, 2013
7:24 pm
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Bujin
I like astronomy too and would love to see more posts from you in the future.
Dale

January 8, 2013
7:55 pm
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I’ll do my best!

My remote switch for the camera arrived today, which should make taking shots easier, so I don’t have to rely on the self timer.

Just got to wait for some clear skies! :)

January 12, 2013
9:54 pm
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Bought myself a cheap Tamron 55-200mm lens today (still trying to do things on the cheap! :D ) and luckily the skies have cleared this evening after a few days of cloud and fog!

Here’s a few pics I’ve taken this evening. Again, nothing award winning, but then I’ve only been doing this for two weeks! :)

The Pleiades. (200mm, f/5.6, 5″, ISO 1600)
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BprfZ3Ne8lg/UPHU9GtB3QI/AAAAAAAABno/y9F1aTwNcbU/s800/IMG_0960s.jpg

Jupiter and its four largest moons. (200mm, f/5.6, 4″, ISO 1600)
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-t79pkh1thOM/UPHU9NYZ3XI/AAAAAAAABnw/upQCgQfQo2g/s800/IMG_0968s.jpg

The same image annotated to show which of the tiny dots are the moons!
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-a07yyzESMX4/UPHU9LJtzHI/AAAAAAAABns/P48py-fpNbQ/s800/IMG_0968s%2520-%2520Annotated.jpg

M42 – The Orion Nebula. Looks a little blurred because the shutter speed was a bit too long! But you can see the shape of the nebula, at least! (200mm, f/5.6, 10″, ISO 6400)
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-gNw9XjgXLmY/UPHU-qTXQeI/AAAAAAAABoA/1KO1syi5NZQ/s800/IMG_0972s.jpg

M31 – The Andromeda Galaxy. Rather grainy image due to maxing out the ISO, but you can see the shape of the galaxy. If you look closely about 3/4 of an inch to the right and slightly lower than the centre of the galaxy, you can just about make out its companion elliptical galaxy, M32, as a faint, fuzzy patch! (Compare to this image: http://messier.seds.org/Jpg/m31.jpg) (200mm, f/5.6, 10″, ISO 6400)
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-FA0Hmg6QW1M/UPHU_yotG5I/AAAAAAAABoE/pIdrhioD5Ug/s800/IMG_0974sc.jpg

A wide shot of Orion. (18mm, f/5.6, 15″, ISO 6400)
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-QowmxcD5g3Q/UPHU_wZKQ4I/AAAAAAAABoI/jpXvvvwjn_U/s800/IMG_0977s.jpg

A wide shot of Cygnus. You can just about make out the Milky Way running down the centre of the image. Unfortunately, while this was taken in the darkest location I could think of nearby, it’s still too close to the local town so picks up a lot of light pollution. I’ll have to take a trip to Snowdonia to get a better shot. (18mm, f/5.6, 20″, ISO 6400).
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-1JWDOwfheaM/UPHVCCiRBdI/AAAAAAAABog/exaCZp7nQZ8/s800/IMG_0980s.jpg

Everyone’s favourite constellation – Ursa Major! Photo has been edited to make the sky darker. (18mm, f/5.6, 20″, ISO 6400).
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-cnL8dquFri0/UPHVCMMsPQI/AAAAAAAABok/IbaIGjlmZMM/s800/IMG_0982ps.jpg

I’d have stayed out and taken more photos with different settings, but it was bleedin’ freezing out there!!! :D

January 13, 2013
8:02 am
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Great pics!
You’re well on your way to becoming our resident “sky guy”. I have read so many issues of
Sky & Telescope and always love to watch programmes on astronomy so this is really a
welcome experience to bring to me and I’m sure many others in the group. And for a cheap
Tamron 55-200 you’re taking some pretty nice and clear pics. Andromeda, Jupiter and 4 moons,
Orion etc. Keep up the great work.
Dale

April 5, 2013
3:09 am
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It’s been cloudy for the last few weeks here (and very snowy!) but I finally managed to get out and take a photo of Comet PANSTARRS and the Andromeda Galaxy (M31).
(ISO 6400, 13 sec, 18mm, f/5.6. Colours edited slightly for effect)

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8240/8617054407_bb38317763_c.jpg

Here’s a closer shot of the comet and galaxy taken with a 200mm lens with 4 sec exposure.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8117/8618161664_421707ca54_c.jpg

And finally, an interesting patch of sky I took purely by accident! It has four open clusters and a dwarf planet. I didn’t know any of this when I took the shot – it was only comparing it with star map software afterwards that I realised what was in it! Not totally sure of the settings I used for this one – I’ll have to look it up.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8540/8617053601_0c3860da85_c.jpg

(BTW, not sure what’s going on with the BBcode tags! I must be doing something wrong!)

April 5, 2013
10:31 am
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I am very interested in Astronomy too…i read a lot of astrophysics and i just wanted to know from where were these photos taken (place). We dont have such good weather in southern hemisphere!!Smile

April 5, 2013
11:12 am
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Long Island, New York
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A quick question, bujin…
Is it necessary to always use the high ISO of 6400? It often results in grain.
You are obviously tripod mounted.
Why not bring the ISO down and slow the shutter speed to compensate?
Perhaps the extra time would result in star trails.
I have no idea how quickly that happens.

-- Mandrake --

April 5, 2013
3:47 pm
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Very impressed with your fine efforts on photographing
celestial objects so many light years away!
Just trying to get a decent picture of the moon can be a
pain in the ass so to get clear shots of comets and galaxies
with the setup you have is quite amazing!
Great shots and hope you keep posting for us to enjoy.
Dale.Smile

April 6, 2013
5:03 am
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Long Island, New York
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I know!
You could pan the camera, to compensate for the earth’s rotation,
for the 2 or 3 minutes it would take to get the shot at ISO-100.
Problem solved.

-- Mandrake --

April 14, 2013
6:05 am
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Kuching,Borneo,East Malaysia
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Ur gettin good at it…nice…keep it up…

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