Posts Tagged astro

Astrotron

atAw, man, I got this… this… coding problem. I keep finding myself writing things that only I would have a use for. So on my iPad, I found this App called “Emerald Observatory”, and I was so, so impressed. First, it’s pretty. Really pretty. Second, it’s full of astronomical data, useful stuff. And I thought to myself, wow… I really like some of this.

Then (oh, no…) I began to think about what parts of it I would like to use, that is, have directly available to me. So I wrote those nice folks, complementing them sincerely on what a nice App they had come up with (check it out, you won’t regret it), and suggesting they write what I had in mind, because actually, they sort of had the data in the app already, it was just a matter of organizing it differently. I got a nice reply, thanking me for the suggestion, but allowing as to how they had a lot to do, and so it would be “on their list.”

Well…
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So I sent my camera off to be modified…

…for hydrogen-alpha infrared. This mod will give it about 3.5 times the sensitivity to the glow of emission nebulas, and so enhance my ability to shoot astro photos.

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Astrotrac — Adding tracking to Astrophotography

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So, after a couple of years of working with untracked astro photo techniques, and a fair amount of success, I finally gave in and got a tracking system. I went with the Astrotrac because of the advertised light weight, easy setup, and long, accurate tracking capability (2 hours, advertised.)

I’d seen some pretty spectacular astro photos, considerably better than mine. So I bit.
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Pixels Per Planet

In a fit of doing something that will be useful to almost no one, anywhere, I have created a calculator page that will tell you how many pixels a solar system planet, or an object of your own choosing, will consume in your final DSLR image.

In order to figure this out, you tell the calculator just a little bit about your camera, your lens system, and optionally, an object of particular interest to you.

If you actually use this thing, let me know in the comments. I suspect that I may, just possibly, get one comment. From me.

Here’s the calculator page.

…and of course, if you find any bugs, let me know.

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Untangling FOV and "reach" for Canon Camera Bodies

A lot of people seem to be quite confused about the idea of camera “reach.” This idea relates to how much variance in magnification you actually get between different camera bodies. I thought I’d take a few minutes to clear this up once and for all. I assure you the following information explains the issue correctly. Once you’ve read and understood this post, you’ll have a perfect understanding of reach.

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A wish list based on Canon's 40D camera

Canon EOS 40D w/Canon EF 100 f2.8 Macro USM
I shoot a lot of photographs. My preferred tool is the Canon EOS 40D, for quite a few reasons. It’s the most sophisticated camera Canon has released with an APS-C size sensor, for one thing; for another, it is just loaded with features I have found to be useful. And of course it can take terrific pictures. But, like anything, I think it could use some work. So follow the jump for my thoughts on where the camera line could go for a putative “50D” or later model.

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Are you looking up enough?

This is a collage of some of my photos of the skies. Nothing used but a camera; no telescope or tracking mount, though I do use a standard photographic tripod. Look up. It’s pretty up there!

Beautiful skies montage

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