Moon with Labels

Here is two shots of the moon, from the morning of July 24, 2008, where I have added labels to some of the craters, etc. I hope to have more done soon, especially using the ones that are more “close up” then these.

The Moon – 7/25/08

Here is the rest of my Moon pictures from this morning. Again, these are not the greatest due to the location in the sky of the Moon, as well as the atmospheric conditions.

Equipment and Procedures – Astrophotography

Okay, because people have been asking me lately how I take my pictures, especially those of the Moon, I have decided to create a post detailing my equipment and procedures, etc.

First, my telescope:

Orion Skyquest Classic 6" Dobsonian Reflector
Orion Skyquest Classic 6" Dobsonian Reflector
This is my telescope. It has a Focal Length of 1200mm, of course the mirror is 150mm (6 inches). It’s Focal Ratio is 8.0. The telescope does not track, and because of this, plus its focal ratio, it is not the best telescope to take pictures with! I CANNOT do prime focus on this scope… I wish I could! The focus is too long. I called Orion Telescopes (www.telescope.com) to see if the had a lower profile focuser, but the only ones they had were 2″ focusers, and mine is 1.25″. I could have gotten the 2″ focuser, but I would have had to do some major modifications to my current scope, and since I am new to all of this (been doing this stuff for bout 8 months now) and plus the fact I don’t have a lot of money – to replace my scope when I screw it up! – I decided to play the hand I have been dealt… i.e. just go with what I got!
Next, my Camera:
Canon EOS 350D
Canon EOS 350D
Eyepiece:
Celestron 32mm Eyepiece
Celestron 32mm Eyepiece
Adapter:
Scopetronix DSLR Adapter
Scopetronix DSLR Adapter
Scopetronix Adapter - Open
Scopetronix Adapter - Open
Scopetronix Adapter - 32mm eyepiece inserted into lower half
Scopetronix Adapter - 32mm eyepiece inserted into lower half
Above, the three pictures show the adapter that I use. The adapter separates in the middle, and allows me to insert an eyepiece if I want. I have found, with my scope, the only plausible eyepieces to use are my 32mm and 25mm eyepiece. These are the only ones I can successfully focus – however, the 32mm eyepiece works best. Also not, on the very bottom of the adapter is a lens, similar to one found on a barlow lens. When I use the adapter with my 32mm or 25mm, I remove this lens, and it allows for a better focus. When I use an eyepiece any smaller then 25mm, the lens is necessary to provide focus.
Next, the adapter connected to the DSLR
Scopetronix Adapter connected to Canon EOS 350D
Scopetronix Adapter connected to Canon EOS 350D
The adaper connects by rings etc, and then connects to the camera just like a lens does.
Lastly, the whole thing together!
Adapter in - for wider shots
Adapter in - for wider shots
Adapter Extended - for tighter (closer) shots
Adapter Extended - for tighter (closer) shots

Again, I remove the lens on the bottom of the adapter before I connect it to my scope. Generally, most of my pictures are taken with the adapter fully extended. However, the Moon Background shots and those like it where taken with it in, to produce the wider view and enabling me to get the full half moon in the shot. Saying that, it is harder to focus the “full” moon then it is the closer in shots when the adapter is fully extended – plus, I like the close ups! I believe it is harder to focus because I do not have a flat field eyepiece… but, again, I am new to all of this, so I really don’t know!

I didn’t come up with this set up by myself, both Dr. Michael Covington from the University of Georgia (my school!) – http://www.covingtoninnovations.com and Andrew (my yankee friend from N.H.) at Above the Clouds (on my friends to the right) helped me get this all right. If you have any more questions, or advice, please let me know!!!

The Moon #2 – 7/25/08

Here is some more of the Moon this morning. I wanted to clarify my method, as well as my equipment that I am using to take these pictures.

Telescope: Orion Skyquest (Classic) 6″, with a focal length of 1200mm, focal ratio of 8.0
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Eyepiece: 32mm plossl
Adapter: Scopetronix Eyepiece Projection adapter for the Canon 350D

The Moon – 7/25/08

Here is the first batch of my Moon shots from this morning. They are not great – the Moon was still very low in the sky, and due to atmospheric conditions, I had to use a longer exposure for the shots… these are at 0.5s, so, there can be a slight blur effect in the pictures. There will be more to come however. Again, the first ones are the maller size, then the larger size will come after, just like in the ones from yesterday.

Jupiter – 7/25/08

Well, while¬† was waiting on the Moon, I decided to cure my boredom by taking some shots at Jupiter. Normally, Jupiter frustrates me, but not tonight! Please keep in mind, all of my pictures through a telescope are taken through a 6″ reflector, with a focal length of 1200mm, with no tracking – thus, it is not the best scope in the world – to put it lightly – to take astro-pictures with! So, beyond the Moon and the Sun, anything closely resembling anything… seriously, makes me happy!

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