Setting Up Field Astrophotography

Telescope Setup at Twilight

Telescope Setup at Twilight

The clear summer skies are upon us it seems, so my nephew and I setup for some viewing and photography last night. For more of a how-to-tutorial I should at some point talk equipment and setup but I'll save that for another day. The skies were clear last night but the atmospheric conditions were not the best for planetary astrophotography, so we stuck with "night shots" and the Milky Way.

Unfortunately the Milky Way faded quickly and I was only able to fire off one usable frame (below), so we will have to try again later in the summer. The one frame I did manage to take was a 30 second exposure at f/3.5 with a 20mm lens (30mm equivalent on this APS-C sensor), at ISO 1600, secured on a telescope tracking mount. We were hoping to stack about 30-40 images at 30 seconds a piece but we needed to start around 2:30-3:00am instead of 4:00am CDT.

Moon Rising Over the Telescope

Moon Rising Over the Telescope

Moon Rising Over the Southern Sky

Moon Rising Over the Southern Sky

Milky Way Before Dawn

Milky Way Before Dawn