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Dalriada n:
Kingdom of the Scots,
home of the residents

Astrophotography the easy way

p1020293Who needs a telescope with an equatorial mount on a huge tripod, outside in the cold?

p1020932p1020928
Why not try a regular camera on a wee tripod at the bedroom table?

The results are not quite the same of course but at least you can get a whole constellation in one frame. Last night the sky seemed unusually clear (if not exactly dark) by Glasgow standards and Orion was due to make an appearance near a waning gibbous moon. It wouldn’t be well placed for Stuart’s bedroom window until 05:00, so I set up the wee tripod and went to bed. I managed to get up for half an hour to take the shots below, but I didn’t bother with combined tactics to replace the over-exposed moon with a special correctly exposed insert.
But afterwards I followed Sky at Night’s Image Processing advice by Ian Evenden and used a wavelet sharpening plug-in and GIMP – also Floyd L Davidson’s very useful signature plug-in to provide the red annotation.

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Clouds nearly stopped play at 05:20 but they soon passed away.
orion3orionexif2
Incidentally, the star close to the Moon’s left side is Aldebaran, as shown in this Stellarium screenshot:

capture

and as noted in Sky at Night magazine:

This morning’s waning gibbous moon… will have an interesting interaction with the bright star Aldebaran…