Photographing constellations

Photographing deep gorges, valleys and high mountains and ranges across are always thrilling experiences for a photographer.

Similarly, astrophotography can be full of thrills, especially if you are new to long exposures and stargazing.

However, I must emphasis, even if you are an old hoc and share a long years of passion with astronomy, astrophotography may offer you a new zeal to your hobby.

Astronomy, as I say it, is like an old English adage for wines – ‘the older it gets the better it tastes’

Yesterday night I spent some time photographing constellations to begin with. I was blessed with a clear sky, and yes with light pollution, but no cloud covers.

I was able to photograph an aeroplane trail passing Jupiter, which was fun doing so.

I accidently captured two moons of Jupiter, like faint dots, and later checked it in a java applet to find the position of Jovian moons around Jupiter to compare against the time I had taken them to find that they were Ganymede and Callisto.

Next, I randomly clicked some variable shoots putting exposures 1, 4, 5, 10 and 13 secs, only for one picture I took in 20 secs. From my previous experience at astrophotography I had discovered that 20sec or larger exposures caused ghosting of images, as stars pan across the sky and when they move, you ought to catch their trails as well.

This problem can be solved using traditional methods such as – equatorial tracker or a barn door tracker

I intend to build a motorized barn door tracker here is the video on YouTube

The only problem that I think may come across to me is the motorized wedging, cutting the planks and getting the marks right, as I do not have the tools or access to garage near to where I live. So guess, I will have to start by stocking the tools and buying the accessories, strolling into the markets to find possible local alternatives for building one.

On the other hand, the prospect of building a manual barn door tracker too seems easier to go with at first. Then after mastering a manual tracker model, I think I would move on to a motorized one.

Well, that’s my plan ahead for a year.

I wish you all a clear sky.

Keep riding!







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