clear sky chart

Job 9:9

Job 9:9-10
9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
10 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Well, I bought a new digital camera yesterday, and thought I would take advantage of some clear skies tonight.  I rested the GE X15 on the roof of the car and pointed it straight up and took a 10 second iso 1600 shot and managed to capture the Pleiades quite by accident.

There was a goodly amount of noise in the image, and I havent yet figured out how to filter that out using dark frames, etc., so the only processing I did was some brightness/contrast in Gimp.  I'm sure the image would be far better once I figure out how to filter out the noise.

Click on the image, and you'll see the nebulosity quite a bit better.

This is my first attempt at a "deep sky" photo.  I have taken some random star field shots that came out quite good, such as this one:
I dont believe I captured anything really interesting in this one, but the stars, some of them you cannot see visually, so I think this camera will be a useful tool in astrophotography.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

My First Astro Photos

I feel its fitting to open this blog with some astro photos I took recently.  They are not very good, because I dont believe I have polished my technique as yet.  I have some ideas I want to try, especially on Jupiter, but also the moon.

The first image is one that I took thru the eyepiece of the moon.  I was holding the camera manually, so it could be sharper if I had a camera mount.  I do plan on taking some photos with the webcam on the eyepiece, but for this picture, I used a Kodak Easyshare 330 4 MP camera.

The next photo was a picture of Jupiter.  This photo was taken using a Logitech C-310.  It leaves a lot to be desired.  I have some ideas that may improve on the quality.  Some of this could be caused by horrible seeing during this time of the year here in Ohio.

Although there is not much detail, you can see the northern belt.    I took this as an .avi file.  I'm thinking the resolution could be better if I took a series of snapshots instead.  The next clear night, thats what I'm going to try.

This next photo is one of Jupiter and the 4 Galilean moons.
As you can see, the 4 moons are there, but look at the size of them.  This tells me the camera resolution was not too good, as they were pinpoints on the PC screen when I took these pictures, so a different setting is definitely required.

I was just playing with one of my avi's, and came up with this image of Jupiter.  Still not good, but it shows the dark band and a lighter equitorial band.

Stay tuned to this blog.  While I'm working through these issues, perhaps you can learn from my errors and if youre a seasoned astrophotographer, perhaps you can post a few hints that might help my technique.