30 April 2005
As part of our special visit to Kitt Peak National Observatory, I went to Oracle Observatory with my new ETX-105PE w/UHTC. The sky did not look promising but it did yield this pretty sunset:
As twilight ended, the clouds were still evident over most of the sky. I never opened up the telescope. But I was able to see the Big Dipper and so was able to accomplish some sky imaging tests with my new Nikon D70 DSLR. This photo is one of a series; the exposure was with the D70 lens set for 18mm and the exposure was 65 seconds at ISO 1600 with Noise Reduction enabled.
If you look closely at Mizar (at the bend of the "handle"; hint: the dipper is upside-down), you can see that Mizar is actually "split". Not bad! Nearly all of the "dots" you see are stars (evident in the fullsize version of the image since the stars are trailed as the exposure was unguided). I will be reporting on more D70 DSLR astrophotography on a future Site update.
The next trip is tentatively planned for the end of May. Stay tuned...
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