Beginning with astrophotography can be a bit frustrating. You bought all the equipment and now you want to see some results. Now you are out there in the field. It is already getting dark and cold and you still have to get all the cables right… You still have to do the mount alignment and then you face some IT problems… When you fixed all that and you focused the camera, it is probably already dark and it is time to move the telescope to the object of desire.
You catch the first frame and… nothing but a couple of dots. You increase the exposure time but all you get are a few more and brighter dots. Your fingers are getting already stiff and you begin to ask yourself what you are actually doing out here. Your wife is at home on the warm and cosy sofa drinking a delicious cup of tea…. welcome to the world of astrophotography!
In this little article I want to present a few sky objects which are relatively easy to locate because they are so bright. This will usually help to locate the object and center it in the telescope. Even with small exposure times you already get astonishing results.
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Recently Dark Sky Travels Magazine contacted me and asked if they could publish one of my blog articles in their magazine. The article describes how one can use DeepSkyStacker to stack conventional DSLR camera RGB frames. Of course I didn’t say no and in the end it just happened and I saw my article on page 42/43 in Issue 4 of the DarkSkyTravels magazine!
I am very happy about that opportunity and the chance to share my experience this way.
Thanks and clear skies!
It is interesting to see the difference here. For post-processing I used the free software DeepSkyStacker and GIMP. The full resolution images is available here.
Last updated: June 16, 2022 at 11:57 am
Tonight I was able to proof that the “Lagoon nebula” M8 was still there ~4100 years ago – wow! With a teapot, a sunlounger (probably better a starlounger) and the right music the night passed quickly 🙂
The total exposure time was ~1h36m. The seeing conditions were around 2.2″. It was a clear night without wind. I used my 8″ GSO newton telescope with an Atik383L+ camera (see here). And again I am amazed which image quality is possible with this equipment on this dark sky within this short exposure time. Below is just the luminance part of the image which shows some sharp details of the nebula.
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