Photographing the Canopy of Heaven

Discussion in 'Your Masonic Story' started by jimbo, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    I've always been interested in astronomy from a young age for both it's science and beauty. The canopy that has been built by the GAOTU is nothing short of breathtaking. I thought I would share some of the photographs I have taken over the last few years. Thanks for looking!
    http://www.astrobin.com/users/JimmyEubanks/


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  2. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

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    Most excellent, brother! I too love astrophotography (appreciate rather than practice, that is). Particularly long exposure shots showing star movement.


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  3. chancefwalls

    chancefwalls Registered User

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    U.G Totty lodge #176
     
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    Thank you!! I enjoy seeing star trail images myself. I would love to find a nice area with an interesting foreground to make a shot.




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  5. The Blud Doc

    The Blud Doc Registered User

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    Brother, what kind of scope did you use for that fantastic Horsehead Nebula shot? Wonderful work all around, but that one is the cake topper for me!

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  6. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    Thank you so much for the kind words! That was taken with a small 70mm refractor. I use a focal reducer/field flattener which gives it an effective focal length of 336mm.

    Jimmy


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  7. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    i personally like the space station shot. so much to marvel at...
     
  8. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    The space station is a very interesting object to photograph. It's pretty much a fly by the seat of your pants kind of deal. I use a high speed industrial camera and track it by hand with the finder scope. I might shoot 15,000 frames and end up with only a few usable images. It takes about an hour to set up and just a few minutes for it to pass from horizon to horizon. It's exciting to look back through the frames and actually find some images that have come out decent.

    Jimmy


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  9. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    you tracked the space station by hand?? you must have sorted through 15k frames for the 2-3 that you caught of the station.

    you get the same texts i get, i assume. i use an old celestron 8" reflective to enjoy a few seconds of the station a couple times a year.
     
  10. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    Yeah, all by hand, but the computer takes care of finding the frames. I run the video stream output of the camera through special software that detects any frames with something more than a blank frame. It keeps those with the ISS and discards the rest. Then from those I can weed out the blurry and those that are cut off at the edge of the frame.

    I still remember the first night viewed the ISS through my telescope, it was a pretty amazing site being able to see the panels and watching it change perspective and grow and shrink as it crossed the sky. My wife was laughing at how giddy I was after the experience :). Good stuff!


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  11. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    How are you taking pictures of those galaxies? (very cool pictures by the way)
     
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    Thank you!! The galaxies and nebulae are taken with a Canon DSLR using multiple long exposures over the course of a night, sometimes two. The mount tracks the motion of the sky and a separate camera acts as a guided to keep the scope precisely on target. The DSLR has been modified by removing the internal infrared sensor so that the deep reds that are emitted by hydrogen gas can be captured.

    Jimmy


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  13. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    ^^wicked.
     
  14. JTM

    JTM "Just in case" Premium Member

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    no joke. makes my old celestron look like a chump.
     
  15. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    The galaxies and some of the nebulae were photographed with a 120mm refractor. The ISS was taken with a 5 inch (127 mm) Maksutov cassegrain telescope. Most of my planetary images are taken with an 8 inch Schmidt cassegrain. I've bought way too much equipment over the years, but is challenging and fulfilling for me. I am sure your 8 inch celestron would produce some remarkable images. It's the perfect sized scope in my opinion for taking in everything there is to see.



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  16. jgil1970

    jgil1970 Registered User

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    I love your pics! I wish I had your talent.

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  17. brother josh

    brother josh Registered User

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    Absolutely stunning


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  18. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    These pics remind me of the Hubble Deep Field Images. There were something close to 3000 galaxies in the small area it zoomed in on. There are small red points of light that are galaxies 600 million light years away, and the light they we see is how they were that long ago. Truly amazing.
     
  19. jimbo

    jimbo Registered User

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    Thanks guys!!!! I really appreciate the compliments. Astrophotography is always a work in process. There are some guys out there that take some images that rival NASA. It's just amazing what advancements in technology have brought to this hobby. Most of the features on today's telescopes would have only been found in multi million dollar observatories a decade ago.

    Widows Son... I love that Hubble Deep image. I belie love I read that out of all the objects that appear in that image, only one is a star.

    Jimmy


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  20. Chandanlohia

    Chandanlohia Registered User

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    Fantastic pics bro. I am a voyeur of the grand canopy myself, but have never taken pictures. Loved your share, tks for sharing.


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