| In 1997 Comet Hale-Bopp prompted me to
turn an eye skyward once again. Photography has alway been a nurturning and
soothing thing, even when I was earning a living at it. |
On Sunday, January 19, 1997 I bought a C90 at the Santa Barbara Swap Meet. My first telescope in 20+ years! I quickly bought a T-adapter and began shooting the Moon. I thought the planets and deep sky stuff would be a piece of cake - WRONG!
Join me as I crawl, stumble, and walk among the stars, tripping on my cable release, putting up with bad weather, dead batteries and the heart-break of dew.
Follows these links to images, how to's and astronomy related tips and travels around the globe that have to do with the stars and beyond.
Astrophotographic images ranging from simple moon, solar, lunar and planetary shots to deep sky targets. I've used a simple barndoor made of two pieces of wood and a door hinge to a Celestron C8 on a Losmandy GM11 German Equatorial Mount (GEM) with an ST-4 autoguider to photograph and image comets, conjunctions, eclipses and other strange astronomical events and highlights.
My equipment and techniques run from a time exposure on a tripod to 60 minutes tracking the target and hoping nothing gets in the way except the right photons. With the digital age I've found ways to side-step the German Equatorial Mount when the right digital camera and lens combination is put together.
If you're getting started in astrophotography, then this is where you need to start.
Rocket Launches from
Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA
The other rocket place in the U.S. Located on the Central Coast in California, Vandenberg AFB has been the site of may spectacular and controversial launches. Enjoy these beautiful launch images folks in California and sometimes as far away as Las Vegas get to see.
June 27, 2006 Delta IV launch carrying a National Reconnaissance Office satellite. A waxing crescent moon makes for a nice photo op.
Barn Door Astrophotography
Plans and tips for constructing a simple barn door mount.
Sometimes the simplest pieces of equipment provide you with the best results.
A couple of pieces of wood, a door hinge, some screws, nuts and bolts, and presto,
celestial tracking device. Who needs a German Equatorial Mount when you can make
This is what brought me back to astromony. Since Comet Hale-Bopp I've
photographed and images several others including Comet Linea, Comet Ikeya-Zang
and Comet C/2004 Q2 Machholz.
Yes, a $39.95 camera attached to a parallel port on a PC computer can yield images of the moon, planets, and the sun. These days there are dedicated cameras made by Celestron and Meade that fit the bill. But, it's more fun to make and adapt your own.
- Here are some links to friends and resources who've helped along the way. Don't be afraid to ask. One night at Mt. Pinos I was having problems with my setup. I asked the person next to me if they could. He did.
His name? Marty Germano!
So, don't be shy! Ask!
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