24-25 September 2005
The weather forecast for 24 September was for CLEAR SKIES! So off I went to Oracle Observatory.
When I arrived I set up the tent and observing site. Note that BLUE sky!
One of my purposes for this trip was to try out using my ETX-90 OTA (optical tube assembly) as a guidescope on the LXD55-8"SC:
Oh dear, does that turkey vulture think I'm dinner???? (One of three that were flying over my site!)
Ah, sunset! And NO clouds!
I took this photo of Venus shortly after sunset. It was a 1/250th second exposure, ISO 800, with my Nikon D70 DSLR at prime focus of the 8"SC using the Scopetronix MaxView II with the telenegative lens.
This is M57, the Ring Nebula in Lyra at the 8"SC prime focus using the Scopetronix Prime Focus T-Adapter. It is a stack of nine 30 second exposures (no manual tracking corrections) using Lynkeos (Mac OS X). Some editing was done in GraphicConverter. Note that the central star can be seen!
I also did some piggyback astrophotography. The Nikon D70 with the new Nikon AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor 55-200mm f/4-5.6G ED lens was piggybacked on the LXD55-8"SC and these guided but uncorrected photos were taken. Both images were taken with the zoom lens set for 200mm. The first is M31, the Great Galaxy in Andromeda. It was a single 5 minute exposure at ISO 800. Note that you can see dust lanes in the spiral arms as well M32 and M110, its satellite galaxies.
The second is M45, the Pleiades. Some faint bluish nebulosity is just visible around one of its stars. This was also a single 5 minute exposure at ISO 800.
Altogether I took 66 photographs during this trip. Some were experiments (from which I learned more about using the D70 for astrophotography) and some worked out really nice as seen above.
Until next time...
Return to the top of this page.
Return to the Oracle Observatory Main Page.
Go to the ETX Home Page.
Go to the LXD55 Home Page.