Archives for Astronomy

Star Trails and Meteors!

My New Year’s Eve fun was taking star photos and putting them together into a time-lapse video (the first clip on this video). Then, I got up early to try and photo Comet Lovejoy before it gets too far away. I was able to see it in a couple of photos, but not really enough to show here. So, will need to wait for the next comet to take more of them. So, I just set up the camera to take 4 second photos for about 20 minutes before it got too light. In that group of images (second time lapse sequence in this video) I also photoed two meteors!

Categories: Photography.

More Photos of Comet Lovejoy!

This morning the sky conditions were right, and I woke early enough to get out and try and photo Comet Lovejoy again! Here’s my "moon shadow" in the lane, 3 second exposure, as I’m taking the astronomy shots.

I never can see the comet with my naked eye, so I just take lots of photos and hope one gets it! This shot at 110 mm, 4 seconds, 5:56 am, was my second shot of the morning! Yeh, it’s still there!

After taking several shots at 110 mm, I zoomed into 250 mm at 3 seconds exposure and tried to canvas the area I figured the comet should be. After I downloaded the pictures to my computer and lightening them up a bit, I carefully looked through the pictures trying to spot the comet. I was beginning to think I had failed at that zoom until, at shot #35, I saw this one!

This is a cropped image of a 250 mm shot. Not a lot of detail given the lower quality of my lens for astronomy shots, but it’s there!

Then, I just had to try some fancy shots. Here I zoomed in (or out, not sure which) during the 15 second exposure. I’m going to play some more with this technique!

Categories: Photography.

Comet Lovejoy!

Since my one attempt at photographing Comet ISON I’ve been anxious to get out and take more comet photos. Since ISON disintegrated in it’s trip around the sun, I was disappointed that I’d need to wait a while. But, then I read about Comet Lovejoy! However, we’ve had a spell of stormy weather, and this is the first clear morning I’ve been able to get out and see if I could find Lovejoy. Once again, while I was shooting I didn’t see anything, but when I came back in and looked at my photos, I did have the comet! Now, the quality is very poor, but it’s very clear that it is the comet! They are all 30 second exposures.

This is a cropped, enhanced image with the comet in the middle.

The is the same photo as above but not cropped as much with the comet in the lower left.

This photo is taken at 65 mm and no crop. The comet is a little closer to the middle, but still lower left.

This is another cropped image. The comet is directly in the center, just to the right and down of the bright star toward the middle.

Here’s another cropped image with the comet in the middle (see the green?).

Categories: Photography.

Attempt to photo Comet Ison

Since Richard was getting up early to hunt deer, I thought this was the perfect morning to attempt to photograph my first comet. I had studied the star maps and how to locate where Comet Ison would be. I determined what settings I’d use for each shot, and I picked the spot I thought would be best. Once I got to my spot, I did have a lot of light pollution in the area, and I couldn’t see anything I felt was the comet with my naked eye. But, I took a lot of photos in various settings and hoped I might have something.

This shot is zoomed out to include both Spica and Mercury. My star maps has said the comet would be close to Spica but heading south toward Mercury.

Here I zoomed into my max of 250 mm to the spot I felt the comet might be.

It wasn’t until I zoomed in and lightened up this photo and got to really looking that I saw that this one “star” was green. Now, I don’t know this was the comet, but maybe???

Categories: Photography.

Another Night of Astronomy Photos

In these night shots, I usually make a “test” photo to see how the shot is lined up before I go for the long exposure. I “paint” the trees and area with my flashlight so they show up and I can see how the picture is framed. In this case, I could see some possibilities of a cool photo, so took several and came up with this nice shot.

Then I took a 20 minute exposure shot of the setting “evening star” (thicker line).

And here’s a zoom in on the moon tonight!

Categories: Photography.