Messier 5

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"

Orion Nebula

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"

Astrophotography

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"

Solar System

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"

A new view of the Sun

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"

Making a solar filter

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"

Polaris, the pole star

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"