Friday, December 31, 2010

Astropics With The Nikon D3000

Risking bone-numbing cold this morning, Carpenter hooked up his Nikon D3000 (their cheapest DSLR) to the back end of a Celestron 11" Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope(f/10) to bring you these shots of things in the night sky. Viewing conditions were bad--50% cloud cover and extremely turbulent atmosphere. Above, this first shot of the crescent moon is at ISO 200 and 1/60 second shutter speed.

1/20 second, ISO 200. This is the sharpest focus that the clouds and atmosphere would allow.

This shot is so blurry, it's hard to tell if that's Saturn or a UFO. Out of ten or so shots, this was the best I could get.

This is the great globular cluster in the constellation Hercules. I was shooting through thin clouds, so I'm surprised it turned out this well. 30 seconds and ISO 1600.

I took this shot a few nights ago. It's the Orion Nebula. 30 seconds and ISO 1600. Lots of noise (graininess) and tracking could be better.

This is the Andromeda Galaxy, I think, also taken a few nights ago. Mrs. UC refers to galaxies as "smudges". Galaxies, and particularly nebulas, are unimpressive until long-exposure photography brings out highlights and colors.

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  1. Those are very cool pictures. Almost makes me want to head out tonight with my DSLR. Almost. -30 can really dampen enthusiasm.

  2. Hi Muddome,

    Damn, and I thought 40 degrees this morning was cold!

    Thanks for your kind words.



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