Last night it was clear and there was no moon. I headed out with my telescope to see what I could see, and ended up photographing Messier 5, which is a globular cluster. This composite is made from about 100 images, each 3 seconds exposure with my Celestron NexStar 127 SLT and Canon EOS 600D, […]Read more "Messier 5"
I’ve photographed Jupiter before with my 5″ telescope. Its focal length is 1500mm which means Jupiter is quite small on my camera’s sensor when using the prime focus method. For Christmas, Hannah bought me a 5× Barlow lens which gives me an effective focal length of 7500mm. Now, Jupiter is 5× wider and 5× taller, […]Read more "Jupiter – more magnified than ever before"
Background I have a Celestron NexStar SLT 127 telescope. For those who don’t know, it’s a battery-powered telescope which has a small computer to navigate around the skies and steer the telescope. It’s quite hungry for power – the telescope takes 8 AA batteries. Depending on the type of batteries you use and the temperature, […]Read more "Making a battery box for my Celestron telescope"
Last night it was incredibly clear so with a few friends I ventured out to my favourite dark-sky spot in rural Somerset. The moon was below the horizon for most of the evening so it was sufficiently dark to see the Milky Way. We had a quick peek at Jupiter, as it’s easy to find, […]Read more "Orion Nebula"
It’s winter, it’s dark early, and the Arctic snap passing over the UK means it is nice and clear in the sky. Last night I went to my top-secret stargazing location in Somerset. It’s far enough to avoid the worst of Bristol’s light pollution, but there is still an orange tint in the sky. It’s […]Read more "Astrophotography"
A friend on Facebook pointed out that it was very clear outside tonight. I looked out of the window, and it was indeed – so I grabbed my telescope and decided to try harder at astrophotography (rather than plain old astronomy). In the past, stuff that has looked great through the eyepiece have been disappointing […]Read more "Solar System"
Recently I wrote about making a solar filter for my camera but it’s taken a while to get round to using it. I had a quick go today, using my Canon 450D and a Tokina 400mm f/5.6 lens. The results are a bit iffy – there were massive problems with internal reflections in the lens […]Read more "A new view of the Sun"
I wanted a solar filter for my camera, for safe observation and photography of the sun. Typically these filters have an optical density of OD 5.0, which for photographers is ND 100,000. This means that only 0.001% of light is allowed through the filter. You can buy pre-made solar filters, but they are expensive and […]Read more "Making a solar filter"
Whether or not they have an interest in astronomy, at some point most photographers are likely to take a picture of the Moon. There’s a lot more to astrophotography than you might think, so I’ll walk through this step-by-step guide on shooting the Moon. Capturing the best source image It’s important to capture the best […]Read more "Astrophotography tutorial: shoot the Moon"
I’ve taken star trail photos before, but this time I made a special effort to include Polaris, also known as the pole star or the North star. It is very close to the celestial North pole, meaning all the other stars appear to rotate around it. At first I was annoyed that two or three […]Read more "Polaris, the pole star"