A little bit of astrophotography

On Saturday evening I finally caved in and, while I had a space moment, I decided to give my Canon EOS 400D a quick go under the stars.

Conditions weren't ideal, mist was starting to form, but I dragged the tripod and camera out anyway. I played around with different exposure settings and generally got to know some of the features of the camera that I might want to use if/when I do some astrophotography (I'm more interested in using the camera for "straight" photography than I am astrophotography — I think I'm still more into observing than I am photographing).

Probably the best of the bunch was this one of Orion. It's trailed a little (no surprise) and I think the focus is a little off too, but M42 is clearly visible and, I think, I even managed to catch a faint meteor (look in the top half of Orion's "body").


Ian Musgrave said...

Very nice, got the luminosity in Orions Nebula as well. 10 seconds is the longest you can expose for without trailing, but 15 isn't too bad. One day I will build a Barn Door mountto take longer exposures.

Dave Pearson said...

Well, you can get a little more than 10 seconds depending on focal length. When I used to do stuff on slide film on my old Zenith SLR I could generally get away with around 30 seconds with a 28mm lens.

I keep thinking about building a barn door mount too, although I'm totally hopeless at anything to do with DIY.

That said, I've got a motor drive for the 130M and one of the mounting rings has a screw for a camera so I might give that a go at some point.

Will Gater said...

Dave lovely picture, the amount of time you can expose for without trailing is also dependant on altitude as well, i.e. objects closer to your Zenith.

Dave Pearson said...

Surely that's only true if you live at the poles?

Elsewhere, wouldn't it be the case that the closer you're pointing to the NCP/SCP (rather than the zenith) the longer you can expose without trailing?

Will Gater said...

Sorry I meant NCP/SCP not zenith, stupid me! :-)