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Newbie has many questions to ask.

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#1 cphk96


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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

Hello All

I purchased a Canon t3 about a year ago, and I took a couple of general photography classes.

Now I would like to use my camera for astronomy, but don't have a clue.

I would like to do star trails, also planets and bright stars without a telescope. I want to photograph the moon.

Later, I would like to start using a telescope.

What would be some good books that would address shooting the night sky without a telescope, then progress to utilizing a telescope?

Also, what adapter would I use for a Meade LXD55 6" refractor and a Celestron Nexstar 4"?


#2 Mike Wiles

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 02:29 PM


#3 gavinm


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Posted 19 November 2012 - 08:15 PM

Star Trails are easy and only need a tripod, some way of triggering the shutter and some software, eg


#4 Phil Sherman

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:12 AM

Planets will not be possible with just a camera. They're small objects and usually require something longer than 3000mm for a decent sized image. A 400mm lens should give you a full moon image that's a bit less than half the size of the short dimension of the frame.

The simplest way to get star images is to use a short focal length lens and a "barn door" mount. You can build the mount with simple hand tools for a bit less than $10. It should easily allow you to take 30-60 second exposures.

You'll want to get a copy of Registax to allow you to stack images. Do some research on the web and learn about lights, darks, flats, flat darks and bias frames. Photoshop is a great program for applying finishing touches to astro images but isn't the best tool to use for initial processing. Registax is an astro tailored program which easily does all of the things that Photoshop was never designed to do. Other software, much cheaper than Photoshop is available that will do just about everything. Pixinsight is one, ImagesPlus another. IRIS, a freebee from government research is also available but it has a user interface that's alien to anyone who hasn't spent lots of time doing scientific image analysis.


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