Flutterby™! : looking into the galactic core

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looking into the galactic core

2009-05-19 20:59:18.632402+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Who says you need long lenses to do spectacular astrophotography: Time lapse of the glactic center of the Milky Way rising over Texas Star Party (Via)

[ related topics: Space & Astronomy ]

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#Comment Re: Wide-field astrophotography made: 2009-05-20 11:45:21.362765+00 by: jeff [edit history]

That is just plain sweet.

I've always been an advocate of wide-field astrophotography. (Note: wide-field astrophotography has a different definition from wide-field traditional photography). If I lived where the weather conditions were better, I'd invest in a good motor-driven Losmandy mount and do it with my exisiting photo equipment. The Ohio weather is just too unstable, for the most part, though.

Here is the best that I have done with a single exposure:

Canon 20D, 17mm (EFL=27mm), ISO 3200, 20 second exposure, Mount Mawenzi, Tanzania. (Used rock for tripod)

You also don't need massive pixel numbers to have some fun. Here is a composite image that I made about six years ago using my old Canon D60 (6mp) DSLR, 400mm lens, 2x telextender (EFL=1280mm). I'd have to look at the original images to get the EXIF metadata, but I believe both Saturn and Jupiter had 0.5 second exposures (on a simple tripod). Since all (3) images were taken at the same focal length, one can get a sense of viewing scale from Earth:

You can also do very good wide-field astrophotography with lenses as small as 400mm (wide-field usually implies prime or piggy-back mounting and focusing, as oppposed to magnified afocal astrophotography). For example, here is what you can do with just 400mm of focal length (EFL=640mm), with a good mount and favorable atmospheric conditions:

It's ironic that the image above was taken with the identical standard photo equipment that I already own.

I just don't have a good motorized mount or good weather!

My favorite "amateur" astrophotographer is Russell Croman. His Earth-based work is truly outstanding:

I wish I were retired, and also lived where the atmosphere cooperated better!

(Dan: some of the images above are copyrighted. What are the rules regarding displaying them via URL references?)