Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Astrophotography With Orion's 80mm Refractor

Last night I woke up about 1 a.m. (Not uncommon for me.) The stars were poppin', the temperature was just right, and winds were calm.

Orion's 80mm f/7.5 ED refractor is a nice scope. Great optics and a smooth Crayford focuser. Put it on an Orion Sirius EQ-G equatorial mount for rock-solid tracking, add Nikon's D5100 DSLR, and you can talk star clusters and nebulas and galaxies all night long.
This is the spectacular Orion Nebula. ISO 6400 with some noise reduction in Capture NX2. Of course it's being photo-bombed by a satellite.
M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. The brightest galaxy in our skies. ISO 3200 with noise reduction.
M76 in Perseus, the "Little Dumbbell", "Barbell", or "Cork" planetary nebula. It's a bit right and low of center. ISO 6400
M35 in Gemini, an open cluster. Considered to be the most beautiful open cluster. ISO 6400
M1, the Crab Nebula, in Taurus. I couldn't find it in my scope; only after I loaded these pics onto my computer could I see it, low and right of center. Small and dim, it is. ISO 6400

Posted by Dave


  1. Damn satellites! Great pics though. Wish we could see stars like that down here...

    1. Hi Craig,

      I only moved to Arizona about 6 years ago. Before that, I lived almost my entire life in the brightest city in the world, Las Vegas, where I could sometimes see the moon. When we first moved to Arizona, I looked up at the night sky and said, "What the fuck are those shiny-looking dots? There must be hunnerts of 'em!" Only a couple of years ago I bought my first telescope and a cheap DSLR camera. And now we're thinking of moving to someplace darker and higher. I never thought the night sky would be so important to me.

      But the biggest new thing around here is the blog title. Laura showed me how to make cool 3D letters over a photo. Talk about a rabbit hole!

      Craig, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of your latest endeavor.



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