All posts tagged astrophotography

Got home and cooked up some pasta with red clam sauce, took a little creative liberty with this and added more capers (finished off the small jar) and then added heavy cream instead of the wine (needed to use up the heavy cream). Tasted really good.

Watched some of the Caprica pilot and then began setting up the CG-5 Equatorial Mount for viewing/ imaging tonight.

The neighbors received a new (old) Jag via very large car carrier. Talked with Patty and her oldest daughter, not Clair but … damn forget her name now. She will be getting the old car now they have a new one. The Jag will be needing some work before it’s drivable from what I saw (may be a totaled car but looked in good condition)

Finally it got dark enough to see Polaris and I tried with a lot of trouble to finally get the mount somewhat polar aligned. Didn’t bother doing a precise alignment since I wasn’t all that worried about it. I was trying to get some shots of the comet Hartley (103P) but didn’t end up getting anything that I thought was it. Instead I imaged quickly a few of the Messier objects in the sky I could see.

namely: M39, M33, M34, M15, M76, M31, M30, M2, M73, M72, M75, M11 and M103

OK, more in the morning.

Horny GoatI stopped in at the Suwanee Taco Mac, had my normal BOTM, Beer of the Month, got my pint glass, had a salad (better than wings for me) and also had another wheat beer. A Horny Goat, in a can, it actually was very good.

After I stopped in at Hooters since I had some time to kill and also since LaurenShep was working (she told me last night she was working a double) and I wanted to get to see her a bunch before she graduates this semester and becomes entrenched in nursing. There was a small but violent skirmish between a couple of dudes right behind me at some tables, the one guy was very odd with the top of his hair bleached and earrings and shit. There certainly are some odd folks out there.

I got home just before sunset and my brother and I lugged out the scopes and had some quality time looking at the sky. I got a few shots of the moon and Mizar (a double star in the Big Dipper) as well as a few other things, M95, and M92. I’m just not sure I have anything there.

Got home and got a call from Nicki, she got her check so things are OK as far as bills but she isn’t making enough money to really afford her lifestyle. She wants to become a “Closer” which I think will but her right back into the quota deal again. I just wish she would change her lifestyle, get a roommate or three, she doesn’t “trust” her friends enough to room with them, what kind of “friends” are they?

M42 Orion Nebula, Vixen ED100Sf D200 2xBrian and I got our telescopes set up around 7pm and by about 8pm we started our alignments. I tried to use Brian’s controller and it only gave me stars I couldn’t find for alignment. I did notice right after I aligned with my controller that the stars were streaking and found that the polar alignment was off a bit (after 30 minutes) and that the Tracking was for the Southern Hem. ??? Not sure how it got changed.

I then took 50 shots of M42, the Orion Nebula, at 30sec through the Vixen with the D200 and 2x converter. The focus was not as good as I had liked and I ended up just eye balling it after I tried twice to focus on Sirius. The focus was not as good as I had hoped, I need to figure out why I’m not focusing well. It may be the screen I’m using on the focuser.

I’ve just finished getting everything back in the house.

Orion Nebula – M42, Saturn, Horsehead Nebula, Mars, M41

Temp 54 degrees, cloud cover 10-clear, transparency 3, seeing 3-4, humidity 50-60

 comet Holmes 17PAfter getting home from trivia I decided to “quickly” take a few shots of the comet since the sky was clear and I wanted to get a couple of more shots of the comet before it disappears…

Only problem is I tried to get a few other things as well as messing with the Starry Night software my brother has in order to figure out if I really do want to try and get a telescope after the new year. I stayed up late, only got to bed very close to midnight. The picture to the left was taken with my D200 and my Sigma 120-300mm lens with a 2X converter This is full frame at 600mm I think (makes it 900mm with 1.5x of D200 sensor). ISO 1600, 10 sec at f/5.6

Talked to my parents for about an hour or so, maybe less but it felt really good to just chat with them.  With all the things happening with my daughter or should I say the things NOT happening with my daughter I’ve became more aware of my connection with my parents. 

After going out to Brickhouse for a salad and a beer I came home to take some pictures of the stars.  I experimented with some shutter speeds, 1 5 and 10 seconds and at different ISO and focal lengths.  I tried to use the stack program and didn’t feel I got anything better.  Maybe I need to look up more info since I’m not sure I’m even using the program correctly.

I got shots of mainly Hyades/Pleiads and Orion’s Nebula again.


I got up just before my alarm rang this morning.  I got up and looked around the eastern sky and tried to see the comet with the binoculars.  I couldn’t see much of anything where I was looking.  Later after a shower, I hooked up the camera and tried to get a few shots of the sky in order to look at later.  It seems that the files were exposed to much and since I was using the 600mm lens the star trails were getting long with the 15-20 sec exposure durations.  I never got a picture of the comet partially due to the fact I think I was looking a little too far to the south of the north side of the constellation of Aquila.  I’m going to try again tomorrow, but this time I’ll use only the 240 mm and try to get shots with less star trails.  Problem is that I really need to get up at about 5:00am and be ready to check things out about 5:30 or so.

details of star shots

Watched a bunch of Travel Channel stuff. Mostly Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown and Any Given Latitude. I also saw an episode of Stranded with Cash Peters where this guy, Cash Peters, is left in some country and has to except the hospitality of any people he can talk into it.

Big DipperI fixed the camera up with the wide angle lens and took a few pictures of the stars, one of the stars around Orion and the other of the Big Dipper. I was looking in my Night Sky Mag. and found out that the star, Mizar, in the handle of the dipper is a binary star (with Alcor) and my picture even showed it. In reality it is a multiple star since if you magnified it enough you could see that it is a binary as well. Even funnier is that astronomers have discovered that each of these stars are binary as well but you cannot distinguish this in any telescope.

What an exciting evening I had.