Posted on Friday, May 29, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |
As the nights get almost non-existent in the northern latitudes, the Moon culminates lower and lower in the sky. Although the city lights are bad for astrophotography, imaging the Moon is easy enough. This photograph however was taken in Puka parish, Estonia with hundreds of hungry mosquitoes flying around everywhere - something you wouldn't see much of in a city.

 Skywatcher Evostar ED100 900mm refractor and Canon EOS 500D camera in main focus.

Moon on May 29th, 2015. Credit: Kadri Tinn

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Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |
Budget Astrophotography by Timothy J. Jensen

This book lures the reader in with the promise of getting away with not too expensive observation and imaging equipment and then leads them on to things that would be quite difficult to acquire on a tight budget.

The book itself is very informative - you don't just learn about how a telescope works and how to set it up, you also find out how your DSLR works, how to find the objects you're looking for and how to go about photographing them.

I was quite surprised by the later chapters however, as they were definitely not what I expected to find, as the reader will meet up with some rather advanced imaging and image processing. It is of-course good, as when starting out, you'd try out the easier objects and try to photograph the Moon and some other objects in main focus or use the ocular projection and only then move on to objects you'd need to track, that is of-course where you'd need more challenging objects and also different techniques  - so unlike some books on astrophotography, it won't give you just the basics and an idea of where and how to start with this exciting hobby, but rather it shows you where you might want to get to next.

You can follow the book step-by-step and with a clear dark sky and the necessary equipment, you'll certainly get some nice photos of the night sky.

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Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |
The science instruments for NASA's Euroap mission have been selected, watch, what else is new about the upcoming mission plans:

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Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

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Posted on Thursday, May 07, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

Astrophotography on the Go by Joseph Ashley

Astrophotography is a nice albeit sometimes lonely and quite expensive hobby that requires quite a lot of equipment. This book narrows it's topic a little and looks at equipment that is light and small enough to be transportable to a possibly better location be it because of light pollution or because of tall trees hiding the horizon.

The book gives a good idea of what kind of instruments you might look into acquiring and what you need to know about their usefulness - do you really want to get an ALT-AS mount or a Newtonian telescope if you're planning on taking pictures of the night sky with it? Or should you invest in a CCD camera when you're planning on taking your telescope out in the field where you might need to do a lot of preparations to get the necessary electricity for your mount and computer.

Astrophotography on the Go is a well compiled handbook, as you get all the necessary information from beginning to end - equipment, how to set it up, what to look out for, what to take pictures of and how to work with the images you get later on in a photo editing program. The preferred method in this book is using rather short exposures and later stacking them, and it tackles it thoroughly, not just giving you the basics, but also some useful mathematics if you want to figure some things out before you go out into the dark to start with your photography.

It's helpful and clear in case you want to take pictures of planets and nebulae and star clusters.
Posted on Monday, April 27, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

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Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |
Yesterday my colleague had a chance to use our Coronado SolarMax II telescope for the first time on her own. It had been thought that maybe I should introduce the telescope to her beforehand so she'd have a better idea of how and why it works. However I was in a hurry to leave work early and hoped that as an astronomy student she'll be fine.

However yesterday, on my day off I get several calls, where she's inquiring about the telescope and to top it off a very excited colleague calls me saying "this is so cool - there are two rings, I've never seen an image like this before with this telescope. I wish I could take a picture. Can you come here? Please, please, PLEASE hurry here!"

So I, having checked the latest image of the photosphere and whether there are any sunspots, I think - okay, maybe there's something interesting going on, and she's just not explaining it right. If it's rings, it's likely to have something to do with the telescope - right?

So I leave home, racing to work not having had time to even have breakfast yet. The telescope is all set up outside, as I'd asked her to leave it the way it was, and another colleague is keeping an eye on it. And then he shows me a picture of what they were so excited about - they had been observing without the eyepiece and were able to see a little bit of the inside structure of the telescope together with a tiny sun. Nothing extraordinary. But I wouldn't have thought they'd forget to use an eyepiece :)
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