GUEST LUNAR ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY ARCHIVE 1996-97
Some ETX users have sent me examples of their astrophotography. If you have some examples you would like included here please send me a description of how you made the astrophotos and a copy of the images as GIF or JPEG files (due to internet email gateway issues, please send only one image file per message). Send to email@example.com. Alternatively, if you have created your own web page with your examples please let me know and I'll include a link to your site.
|Ray Wartinger (Ray_Wartinger@wb.xerox.com)|
|Image of Moon taken sometime in October, 97 from Rochester, NY. ETX direct projection using miniature CCD video camera and Snappy screen capture. There are a number of problems (challenges?) to using this setup. First, the CCD chip is pretty small, like 1/3" or so. This makes it difficult to put what you want to see on the chip and limits the minimum magnification to something on the order of 100x or more. Also, it has automatic exposure control. I have no control over the image brightness. I've been trying to figure out how to modify the camera to give me manual control over exposure but the circuit is very tiny and packed with surface-mounted components. Isolating the AGC and putting a pot on it would be pretty difficult if not impossible. Then there's the problem of it being a live video camera, not a still camera. I'd like to be able to integrate longer exposures but its set up to do video frame rate. Even with these limitations, its still alot of fun to use.|
|Mark Stratton (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|I took this image of the moon using the Connectix QuickCam 2 through my 26mm. I used a semi-automatic exposure, overriding the brightness, saturation and white levels. I have fashioned a bracket for it that connects to the tripod socket on the Quick Cam and connects to the sockets underneath the OTA on the ETX -- where you would connect the ETX to a tripod if you removed the fork mount.|
|Jame Foks (email@example.com)|
|Moon shot I took with my Meade ETX telescope 10/10/97 in Washington, D.C. using a Casio QV-11A digital camera.|
|Earl Purkess (PURKY@webtv.net)|
|Taken with the Canon REBEL G. Used the T-Ring and Camera Adapter. Film speed was FUJI 800 Super G at 1/90 of a second, on Sept.97 from my backyard in Riverside, CA.|
|Lawrence A. Ciscon (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|I played with enhancing these a bit in Paint Shop Pro 4, but I may have actually damaged them more than helped them. The full-moon is using the standard ETX lens, the more detailed one is using the lens and a barlow. [See the ETX Guest Contributions page for how Lawrence mounted the QuickCam to the ETX.]|
|Paul J. Boudreaux (email@example.com)|
|Prime focus lunar CCD images made with the Meade #64 T-adapter and the Connectix Color QuickCam camera. I used the Connectix QuickCam software package, Version 2.0, to control all aspects of exposure. I promise, that is it (for a while, anyway) for the photos. I have found it addictive to play with the ETX. It really is simple to use and convenient. I had no idea how easy it seems to be. Right now, all I am doing is the EASY stuff. I'm sure that when I have to do the more challenging, I may not feel the same way. But, boy its fun now! [See the ETX Guest Contributions page for how Paul mounted the QuickCam to the ETX.]|
|Han Kleijn (Han_Kleijn@compuserve.com)|
|Joao Porto (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Paul S. Walsh (email@example.com)|
|Well, this is not likely to grace the cover of Astronomics, but Val and I were pretty jazzed with our first attempt at bargain basement astrophotography. It was taken through our open bedroom window (yeah, we know, we know). You could almost hear the thermal Chinook whooshing past the ETX. This was a desperately rushed procedure as we had a very narrow window (sic) of opportunity before the fir trees ate the moon. Hand held, eyepiece projected, out of focus and oddly vignetted, the picture is a loser in all respects except one: We're proud of it!|
|Han Kleijn (Han_Kleijn@compuserve.com)|
|Ed Pershey (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Here is the best of my first batch of photos that I have tried with my ETX. This view of the nearly first quarter moon was taken on 5/12 using Fujicolor 800 film at 1/125th of a second, using a Minolta XG-M, the Meade Basic Camera adapter, no eyepiece, for a "prime focus" image at the usual eyepiece end. The magnification appears to be about the same as at prime focus, or about 48x. Not happy with the "soft focus" of my images. Could be my inexperience trying to focus on the camera's screen. Had trouble with camera/scope vibration this first time out. Scope was mounted on a Bogen tripod, and I had the clock drive going. Used the time-delay on the camera to trip the shutter. Higher mags and longer exposures showed noticeable movement. I'm going to try some faster film and no clock drive exposures next, and also retry some tracking using the clock.|
|Philip Hutcherson (PhilipH540@aol.com)|
|Partial Lunar Eclipse, March 23, 1997
Basic Camera Adapter (prime focus)
Nikon FE, 5sec, Kodak Royal Gold 1000
The trick in taking this long exposure is to let the aligned scope automatically track the moon, then, using the "B" setting on the camera, trip the shutter while holding a black piece of paper in front of the lens (not touching the scope), and to wait several seconds for the vibrations caused by the shutter to subside. Then remove the paper - again, without touching the scope - and expose manually. At the end of the exposure, replace the paper and close the shutter.
The pink-orange color on the darkened face of the moon is due to sunlight refracting through the Earth's atmosphere. The bright area near the top of the moon is in partial sunlight.
|Ronald Gorter (email@example.com)|
|I've made the images with a QuickCam camera (64 greyscales), without the lens and the filters. The weather conditions were bad (the view was "wavy"), but the images worked out well. No eyepieces were used; don't know what the magnification is (the CCD-chip is really small). I'm developing software right now to do long exposures with the ETX. I've made the tracking of the ETX much more precise, with help of an adapter and some electronics.|
|Mosaic of three images of the moon made with ETX and an HiSys 11 (not cooled) CCD CAMERA. No other optics between the ETX and the CCD (no eyepiece); with 42mm adapter the camera was at about 20cm from the ETX.|
|Phil Hutcherson (PhilipH540@aol.com)|
|Full Moon. Christmas Eve, 1996. Meade ETX, prime focus adapter, Nikon FE, 1/1000 sec, Fuji Color 1600. The orangish color is due to atmospheric pollution near the horizon.|
|Cliff Newman (firstname.lastname@example.org)|
|Prime Focus shot taken with a Pentax K1000 using both tubes of the T64 camera attachment. I took it at 1/125 using Kodak 1600 ASA colour print film. The scope was mounted on a Bogan (actually Manfrotto 144) tripod. It was taken in the suburbs of Toronto from my balcony so there was plenty of light pollution around. I had it scanned at work and the contrast improved a little, and sharpened, using Photoshop. I likely wouldn't have had to do that if I'd shot at 1/250. It was a tad overexposed. That Kodak 1600 print film is really fast. --Cliff|
|Adrian Ashford (100256.1142@compuServe.com)|
|Montage of four of my first attempts at using the 4-bit greyscale QuickCam CCD on the Moon and Saturn. The four images were acquired on the evening of November 21st between 20:45 and 20:55 UT. I removed the compound lens from the QuickCam and the pale green filter that tries to correct for the CCDs red sensitivity for daylight subjects. Then the 'golf ball' was attached to a Celestron low-profile 2X Barlow yielding a focal length in the region of 2500mm. The QuickCam's CCD is only 3mm x 2.3mm (resolution: 320 x 240 pixels), so the true field of view at 2500mm is in the region of 4 x 3 arcminutes -- small! I used the Connectix QuickPICT v2.1 software to capture the images on my PowerBook 160, manually adjusting the on-screen brightness. The seeing was fair and a freezing keen wind tried its best to ruin the results (and the observer's patience!), but I think the results are not bad for a first attempt -- now I can start perfecting the technique and try and get some decent image processing done!
Key (clockwise from top left): Saturn [obviously :-)]; Hainzel is the prominent crater just left of centre and Schiller is the elongated crater cut by the frame at lower right; 70-mile wide Gassendi is the walled plain that dominates this image; The crater at the right edge of the image is Hainzel [41 S, 34 W] and Ramsden on the Palus Epidemiarum lies to the top middle of the frame.
Yes, I had to overexpose the globe to get a satisfactory image of the rings. The trouble with a 4-bit camera is that 16 shades of grey doesn't give you much latitude! --Adrian
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