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I have an entertaining video to share with you which is perfect for those just starting out and wanting to taste a bit of astrophotography without spending a lot of money. I image from London and managed to get a pretty good shot of Orion for just £150. This video runs through where I bought the equipment, why I bought it and how I used it to capture a Orion and some of the trials and tribulations I had to deal with on the way. Any questions please ask! Enjoy!
FYI I shot this last year but with Orion now beginning to rise over the rooftops of London I thought this would be a good time to share it.
I bought my first telescope last year (Celestron Nextar Evo 8), I've used it several times already and never had any problem with moving it/putting it together.
Last night I was out doing some photography with my scope and at one point my glove came in contact with the corrector plate. I noticed a small smudge when I came back in.
As it's my first scope I've tried to be very careful and got a little scared that it would affect the performance of it. Looking for a professional opinion on this. Does this need to be cleaned? Will it make a difference in my photography/visual?
Added two pictures.
By Paolo Silvestri
Few months ago I wrote a post about a small refractor to mount on a Star Adventurer, but I'm now considering fast tele lens like the Nikon 80-200 f2.8. My question is: what is the best tele lens to get pictures of Andromeda galaxy, Orion, Soul, Hearth nebula and stuff like these? If I'd pick a 70-200 f2.8 lens, can I plug a teleconverter 2x to get better crop without losing details?
I've attached a picture taken with my Nikon D3300 and 18-105 kit lens, as you can see it's quite small (forget about the quality, it was also quite foggy back then).
Thanks in advance.
Went out on Sunday night to try and get some OIII for the Veil Nebula Bi-Colour Mosaic I’m currently working on. It ended up being a largely frustrating night though as I was fighting a big, bright full moon (in hindsight not the smartest decision I’ve ever made in fairness, lol). Factor in just enough intermittent clouds to exacerbate the issue even more, and when it finally set behind the neighbour’s house at 03:30am I was feeling pretty glum and was about to pack up for the night when I suddenly thought, what the heck, let’s try for a quick capture of 21P!
As it was fairly low to the East, I had to disconnect all the cables and carry the whole rig to the other side of the house and re-do Polar Alignment, PHD calibration and focus. I did think about not guiding, as I knew the exposures were going to be short, but it just feels wrong not to guide these days so I decided to do it anyway just for peace of mind if nothing else. So I started capturing around 04:15ish and as astro-dark was due to finish shortly after 5am I decided to just do 40 subs of 90s each using the IDAS-D1 filter (we have streetlights nearby).
Went in to grab a quick 60 mins of shuteye, except I overslept and didn’t wake until 06:30, so was then in a mad rush to pack up and get ready for work! Which meant I forgot to get Flats, but thankfully I was able to re-use the master Flat from my M13 image from a few months back and it seemed to work just fine 😀
Processing this one was interesting to say the least. This is my first comet, so I had to do some research beforehand. These days I always do my stacking in APP, but I had to go old-school and use DSS for this one due it’s special Comet-only stacking mode. So I did 2 stacks, a regular Median one just for the stars, and a 2nd Kappa-Sigma one aligned on the Comet (and using the same reference frame as the Median stack). Some subs were badly affected by intermittent clouds, so I could only stack 33 out of the 40 subs (and tbh 33 was really pushing it, quality-wise). I processed each one separately in PS and then layered in just the comet on top using the ‘Screen’ blending mode. I actually wasn’t aware there was red nebulosity in the background until I started stretching, and it certainly would have been easier to process had it not been there, lol. As expected, I have had to use quite a bit of NR compared to my normal amount, due to the pitiful amount of exposure to work with. Hopefully it doesn’t look too bad but let me know if you think it needs more or less of anything in particular. Of course, there’s only so far you can ever go with just 49 mins of data at hand.
As the capture was done in such a rush, I didn’t bother worrying about the framing. I just input the co-ordinates into SGP and let it centre on the object for me. But having now worked out where in the sky this is, and looking at the FoV, I can see that had I rotated the camera 90 degrees then the Cone Nebula would have been in the frame. I actually haven’t imaged the Cone before, so I think this winter I will make a point of imaging it in it’s own right, and then I can re-use it to make a much more interesting version of this image with a much better background. Fun times!
C&C welcome as always. And thanks for looking! 😀
Edit: Decided to make a few changes, so here's v2: