One of the teachers at the local high school is a mad keen astrologist, after a lot of talk and promises to show me the stars it finally happened. When I thought about taking photos of the stars, I imagined that we would go somewhere out bush with plenty of dark, so when we started making firm plans to catch up I was very surprised to find he decided my backyard was the perfect spot.
Let me tell you is is much easier to set up a lens than it is to set up the telescope, there was weights and counter balance, motorised swivel heads, web cams and lots of other gadgets I had no idea what they could be and lots and lots of cables.
I am a see it and shoot sort of photographer so it was fascinating to watch the set up procedure of the telescope using the webcam the telescope focused on 3 bright stars in the sky, these were used to set the tracking then using a 'star gazing' program coordinates were programed and the telescope moved and zoomed in to the stars/solar systems.
I felt like a bit of a fraud claiming I took these photos, as all I did was connect the camera and set the ISO and time (they were all taken in bulb mode requiring the need to set a time) my camera did not recognise the telescope as a lens so the fstop was 00, however it was pointed out to me as a photographer this is what we do, I did get the telescope moved a few times to get a better composition. So I am owning this photos and the whole experience.
The lens getting set up in the backyard
The bright star in the middle of the bright area is Eta Carinae a binary star in the constellation Carina approximately 7500 light years away from the sun
M8 and M20 - the Lagoon and Trifid Nebulea, 2 famous nebulae in Sagittarius (I was actually able to see the scorpion in the sky)
M 83 is a barred spiral galaxy approximately 15 million light years away in the constellation Hydra, it is one of the closest and brightest barred spiral galaxies in the sky
I am really looking forward to doing this again, it is not something I will be spending money on (phew says HWMBO) the best nights for star photography is clear dark nights and the best time for clear skies is winter....I am not a fan of the cold. This year is very cold at night.