Astrophotography in Central Mass 

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Stellafane 2016 – 2nd Place Small Newtonian Optical

Published on 2016-08-07, by

We had a fantastic time at Stellafane 2016. My first telescope mirror took second place in the small Newtonian optical competition!

 
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Hunter’s Moon

Published on 2015-10-27, by

Last night the full moon dominated the sky from dusk until dawn. The temperature dropped below freezing and the grass and leaves were covered in frost. I used the night to fine tune the alignment of my optics.  I’m not entirely convinced the secondary mirror is at the ideal/correct placement and orientation.  The laser collimator was used to ensure the secondary is in correct relation to the primary, which I center-spotted.

For the previous many nights, I had noticed that stars on the left side of the camera frame had more coma or perhaps astigmatism (elongation).  I rotated the secondary mirror ever so slightly, readjusted the collimation of everything using the laser and stars, and now I perceive that the stars stretch towards the edges of the frame evenly on both sides now.  I’m still very new to all of this and so lots of experimentation is required.

After allowing the primary mirror to cool to equilibrium, which seemed to take a long time, I decided to snap a few shots of the moon.  Lunar astrophotography (can we call it that?) has the opposite challenge of deep space astrophotography.  The moon is incredibly bright and instead of long exposures, tracking the object as accurately as possible, I reverted to the shortest exposure my camera would allow without any tracking.  Any other targets were a loss with all of the light from the moon and the poor atmospheric conditions.  I found an interesting article this morning which describes last night’s moon as the last supermoon of the year and also a bit of history around this full moon’s moniker, The Hunter’s Moon.  You learn something new every day! ;-)

I sharpened this image every so slightly.  It’s possible to sharpen it up and increase the contrast so that all of the subtle craters pop out and yet I felt that the moon looked rather artificial when enhanced to that degree.

Hunter’s Moon 2015

 
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Full Moon Negative

Published on 2015-10-25, by

The color negative of the full moon looks very similar to the moon during a total lunar eclipse.  This exposure (below) was taken with my 10″ f/4.5 Newtonian with a primary mirror figured and coated by Optic Wave Labs (OWL). I did very little in the way of processing the RAW file.  I ran the Noise Ninja plugin to cut down on the color noise inherent in DSLRs and to sharpen things up slightly.  Then I used Photoshop’s builtin color negative effect to invert everything.

LIGHT_Tv14000s_800iso_+79f_20151025-21h26m02s264ms_Negative

LIGHT_Tv14000s_800iso_+79f_20151025-21h26m02s264ms_Negative

 
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Making Your Own Telescope

Published on 2015-10-21, by

Making your own telescope.Allyn J. Thompson; Sky Pub. Corp. 1947WorldCatRead OnlineLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

 
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All About Telescopes

Published on 2015-10-21, by

All about telescopes All about telescopesBrown, Sam; Edmund Scientific Co. 1976WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

 
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Large Telescopes: Inside and Out

Published on 2015-10-21, by

Large Telescopes Large Telescopes: Inside and Out (Technology–Blueprints of the Future); PowerKids Press 2002WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

 
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The Best of Amateur Telescope Making Journal Volume 1

Published on 2015-10-21, by

Best of Amateur Telescope Making Journal Volume 1 Best of Amateur Telescope Making Journal Volume 1William J. Cook; Willmann-Bell 2003WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

 
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A Manual for Amateur Telescope Makers

Published on 2015-10-21, by

A manual for amateur telescope makers A manual for amateur telescope makers: with detailed plans to construct three different telescopesKarine Lecleire; Willmann-Bell 2003WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

 
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Understanding Foucault

Published on 2015-10-21, by

Understanding Foucault Understanding FoucaultDavid A. Harbour; Sapphire Publications 2013WorldCatLibraryThingGoogle BooksBookFinder 

 

Meade Starfinder Supercharge

Published on 2015-09-22, by
© 2015 Charles Kelley Stevenson