Experiments in Astrophotography

With the poor weather recently, I haven’t had many evenings recently where I’ve been able to take my telescope out. However, after days of rain, last night proved to be nice and clear – for a couple of hours anyway – which allowed me to experiment with a bit of astrophotography.

My equipment for this is fairly rudimentary, and my experience in taking images of anything other than the moon is practically non-existent; but I did still manage to get a capture of the Andromeda galaxy, of which I am well pleased:

Andromeda Galaxy

Not the greatest image of M31 ever taken, but it’s mine, and it does roughly correspond to what you will see through an 8″ reflector in an urban environment. Anything longer than the 1 minute exposure to get that image, and I get star-trails from a poorly-aligned ‘scope. Spoilt for choice for targets, but lacking in experience in capturing them, I also turned my attention to the moon, which was at first-quater:

Mare Serenitatis

I love taking photographs of the moon. Being so bright, it’s a relatively simple object to capture detail on, requiring exposures of around a second, and through even the most modest of ‘scopes, it’s stunningly beautiful.

Images taken through a Celestron C8 (8″ reflector, 1,000mm focal length) mounted on a C5 GoTo mount, using a Nikon D80, prime-focus with a 2xbarlow lens. Exposure for Andromeda was 64 seconds, for the moon 1.6 seconds

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