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Old 19-11-2009, 06:37 AM
melb.robmac (Rob)
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Projects for a "newbie" to astrophotograhy

We live in the outer western suburbs of Melbourne (not far from Bacchus Marsh). I am new to astro photography and I (unfortunately) do not have funds available to purchase a CCD styled camera for my telescope (not that this has been out of its box lately for a variety of reasons). Nor do I have funds for an equitorial mount. However, I do have a Nikon D60 camera and I have been playing around with it on a good quality tripod (with a remote to keep the shutter open).
Presumably I need to really learn how to use the camera more in order to keep the shutter open but also to limit the "noise" (light pollution) that is around.
Can someone please make some suggestions on possible "projects" (for want of a better term) to test out the cameras capabilities?
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:48 AM
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jjjnettie (Jeanette)
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First off I'd be choosing a nice bright object that's easy to see through the finder. It's easier to frame your shot.
The LMC or the constellation of Orion are good choices.
With such a wide field of view you should be able to get at least 30 seconds of exposure before there's any visible sign of star trailing.
Set your ISO fairly high.
Take as many shots as you can.
Then put your lens cap on and take the same amount of darks.
Have you downloaded Deep Sky Stacker yet?
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Old 19-11-2009, 09:27 AM
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What kind of telescope to you have? More to the point, what kind of mount is it on?

For the D60 you should be able to get an adaptor that will allow you to attach it to the scope. If the mount you have is an Alt az you could piggy back it on the telescope you may be able to get 20sec exposures if it can track. I'd recomend the Orion Nebula it rise mid evening in east at the moment and is quite bright, you wont need much exposure time to something to look at.
Heres a link to a star trail picture so you knwo what I'm talking about.

http://www.iceinspace.com.au/forum/a...se.php?a=61040

This was taken under dark skies so i could open the shutter for longer but play around with exposure lenths and find the best time for your image.

Have fun.

Sandy

If you have the camera on a statice tripod, try doing some star trails at the south celestial pole. Just point your camera at about 30/40 degrees up and facing south and open the shutter for a min and see what you get.
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Old 21-11-2009, 03:07 PM
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el_draco (Rom)
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You can also make a small equatorial platform for a few bucks, mount it on your tripod and then mount your camera on that.

It'll give you short tracking runs with a little practice and teach you a lot about equatorial mounts.

You can also buy light pollution reduction filters for your camera but a better option is to go for a drive out to a dark site., try Seymour area.

Best of all, have fun!!!
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