Sky watching

OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
Video clip of the Orion Nebula. You can clearly see the four stars of the Trapezium, in the middle of the cloud. The Orion Nebula is what appears to be the middle star of Orion's Sword in the constellation. This is not to be confused with the three stars of the Belt. The sword hangs below the belt. What appears to the naked eye as a star, is actually a massive cloud where new stars are being born.

The second video clip is the Orion Nebula taken through the telescope, with a night vision scope. The night scope is an amazing sky watching tool as it detects very faint light that the naked eye cannot see. When scanning the sky with the night vision scope, you can see far far more stars thatn with the naked eye, even without any added magnification.


 
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
The first clip is the Andromeda Galaxy taken with the night vision scope through the telescope.

The second clip is a scan of the sky, including the Orion Nebula, without any added magnification.
This clip was taken from a location at the edge of town where there was less light pollution. It was still far from pristine. In a truly dark sky location, the night vision scope is absolutely amazing, the number of stars you can see by simply scanning the night sky will knock your socks off.


 
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
For something kind of new and different. These are photos of the International Space Station that I managed to capture with the telescope as it flew overhead.
 

Attachments

  • 02A622AF-F7A8-4F08-98E4-A4BBFCCB6090.jpeg
    02A622AF-F7A8-4F08-98E4-A4BBFCCB6090.jpeg
    5.2 KB · Views: 24
  • AB8618F3-D495-4C8C-AABE-86A0E1889B8D.jpeg
    AB8618F3-D495-4C8C-AABE-86A0E1889B8D.jpeg
    3.1 KB · Views: 24
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
These are images of the moon as it crept up and eclipsed Mars. This happened a couple weeks ago.
 

Attachments

  • 21FB05B8-46B2-4F9E-BD01-F7B0AA587ECC.jpeg
    21FB05B8-46B2-4F9E-BD01-F7B0AA587ECC.jpeg
    133.3 KB · Views: 23
  • BF657769-F8D9-4CDD-9020-0E5D73AE268F.jpeg
    BF657769-F8D9-4CDD-9020-0E5D73AE268F.jpeg
    140.5 KB · Views: 24
  • D8138C12-58E5-46E2-8A3D-EA28FEA958EA.jpeg
    D8138C12-58E5-46E2-8A3D-EA28FEA958EA.jpeg
    112.8 KB · Views: 24
  • 88EDFC2C-8DA8-4CC0-BE17-C394FB876E2C.jpeg
    88EDFC2C-8DA8-4CC0-BE17-C394FB876E2C.jpeg
    93 KB · Views: 23
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
Recent cleaned-up shots of Jupiter and Saturn. Not bad for an iPhone coupled to a Dobsonian with zero tracking ability.
 

Attachments

  • 3C0CE19A-66DB-4A6B-BF76-0B2CE1A79228.jpeg
    3C0CE19A-66DB-4A6B-BF76-0B2CE1A79228.jpeg
    1.9 KB · Views: 24
  • 7408CBB0-815F-448C-A674-9D56B09BA162.jpeg
    7408CBB0-815F-448C-A674-9D56B09BA162.jpeg
    5.3 KB · Views: 22
  • FFB237C7-CFF4-4156-A0B1-2D1A00296137.jpeg
    FFB237C7-CFF4-4156-A0B1-2D1A00296137.jpeg
    4.9 KB · Views: 23

Gyakuto

Master Black Belt
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
1,300
Reaction score
1,013
Location
UK
Good heavens刎antastic photo. Im sure I can see an astronaut peering out of the cupola!
 
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
I am experimenting with a new app that stacks images into a composite taken from a video clip. Here are a couple of shots of the Orion Nebula. The four central stars of the trapezium are distinct and are not smeared, which is what happens when I take a photo with an exposure of three or so seconds because my telescope does not track the movement of the sky. The first photo is a three or so second exposure, the second and third photos are from the new video stacking app.

The waxing crescent moon, while still small, was very close to Orion last night and made for a bright sky. That washed out a lot of the fainter stars from the background, that can be seen in the first photo.

The fourth photo is a single unedited frame taken from the original video clip.
 

Attachments

  • 06EC878C-8AE9-49F9-9611-110E4CD2DC1F.jpeg
    06EC878C-8AE9-49F9-9611-110E4CD2DC1F.jpeg
    1.7 MB · Views: 17
  • A6CF0E6C-214E-49E6-A62C-013BFCA5F3FC.jpeg
    A6CF0E6C-214E-49E6-A62C-013BFCA5F3FC.jpeg
    16 KB · Views: 17
  • CA3C4AC5-9E53-4363-A0DB-081DF004BF84.jpeg
    CA3C4AC5-9E53-4363-A0DB-081DF004BF84.jpeg
    18.9 KB · Views: 17
  • C50A3F63-C3F0-4F91-BF15-AF8D27E7A6A9.jpeg
    C50A3F63-C3F0-4F91-BF15-AF8D27E7A6A9.jpeg
    72.5 KB · Views: 16
Last edited:

Gyakuto

Master Black Belt
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
1,300
Reaction score
1,013
Location
UK
The waxing crescent moon, while still small, was very close to Orion last night and made for a bright sky. That washed out a lot of the fainter stars from the background, that can be seen in the first photo.
When I was doing my PhD I performed a lot of fluorescent microscopy with a three laser (channel) confocal microscope. This produces really clear images by peering through a tiny aperture to cut out the fluorescence from the surrounding tissues. I wonder if you could fashion a similar aperture to cut out the moons reflected light etc?

Beautiful photos by the way. It must give you chills to resolve objects that are so far away in the Universe. Those photons left that glowing gas and was captured by you.
 
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
When I was doing my PhD I performed a lot of fluorescent microscopy with a three laser (channel) confocal microscope. This produces really clear images by peering through a tiny aperture to cut out the fluorescence from the surrounding tissues. I wonder if you could fashion a similar aperture to cut out the moons reflected light etc?

Beautiful photos by the way. It must give you chills to resolve objects that are so far away in the Universe. Those photons left that glowing gas and was captured by you.
The thing is, we need to collect as much light as possible when looking at these very faint objects (although the Orion Nebula is very bright by deep-sky standards, to the naked eye it appears to be a star in Orions sword below the belt; a decent set of binoculars is enough to reveal the cloudy Nebula). So we use the largest aperture we can handle (meaning how much can we afford, have room to store it away, and manage into position, etc.). For clarity, resolution, brightness of image, ability to handle higher magnification, larger aperture matters. Cutting down the aperture will give a dim, less defined image. That isnt to say that a small telescope isnt any good. To the contrary, you can see all kinds of excellent stuff with a modest instrument. But the above characteristics become limited.

Various filters are available that help remove some of the problems, like cutting out wavelengths that are typical of light pollution. Depending on the object you are looking at, this can help. But it can also give the object an odd coloration, often a strong greenish tint, and I just find that odd so I seldom use them.

The other thing is that I am doing this with very very simple photographic methods, as far as Astro-photography is concerned. I am simply holding the lens of my iPhone up to the Telescope eyepiece. It is amazing what results are possible in this way, but it is crude photography. A dedicated set of Astro-appropriate photography gear and a different telescope configuration that tracks the movement of the sky and allows for long exposure will reveal that deeper detail that can be washed out by something like the moon. While a dark, moonless sky far from light pollution is ideal, Ive heard it is possible to get excellent photos of faint objects from the middle of a bright city, with the right combination of photography gear and filters. But processing the images becomes a lot of work as well, and that equipment is not cheap by a long shot.
 

Gyakuto

Master Black Belt
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2020
Messages
1,300
Reaction score
1,013
Location
UK
Do you literally hold your phone to the eyepiece or is it tripodded?
 
OP
Flying Crane

Flying Crane

Sr. Grandmaster
Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
15,109
Reaction score
4,688
Location
San Francisco
Do you literally hold your phone to the eyepiece or is it tripodded?
I literally hold the phone up to the eyepiece. I did it freehand for a long time and became rather good at it before I finally bought a mounting that holds it steadily against the eyepiece. Different eyepieces have different lengths of eye relief and different size opening and those things have a strong effect on how easily the phone can be properly lined up. The mounting is very helpful.
 

Latest Discussions

Top