I'm going there in around 4 weeks and will be taking a few items to make the most of the non-existent light pollution, and the chance to see things that are not observable from London. I'm restricted by baggage allowances but I am confident I can take a small scope (helios d76/f600 alt/az mount), camera tripod and camera(s), and maybe my laptop - though that would be for the convenience of Stellarium mostly (and charging my wifes iPod). I'm hoping you knowledgable folk can advise me on a couple of issues:
Which filter would be best for an un-modified Canon 400d with 200 mm zoom pointing straight up wth the intention of catching a snapshot of the night sky?
I am also wondering if I can attach a Canon Ixus 40 to the scope itself to try and get some pictures of Jupiter - is it possible to achieve without motorised tracking on an alt/az mount?
Apologies if these are obvious questions, but I don't want to get there and realise I'd forgotton something really important.
Loc: Zurich, Switzerland
Travelling to the dark-sky places of this planet certainly is nice! My best advice to you is take as much equipment with you a s you possibly can. Sure it is a hassle (I often travel with a backpack) but you'll hate yourself if you're under a beautiful sky and don't have the right tools! Your question on the planetary work will have to be answered by somebody else, since I'm more a deep sky guy - but consider this: Planetary shots will be just as good (perhaps you'll have better seeing outside of London) as from the city, so I don't know if I'd care for any planetary work while abroad.
I suggest you don't use any filter at all. If the sky is really dark what good would a filter be? And since you're not doing very long exposures any Ha, OIII, etc. work is out of the question anyway. However, I'd use the money you save to get a short focal length photo lens. The 200 mm you suggested will not really show the fascinating dark sky but only a fraction of it. I'd rather go with the 50mm f/1.8 (very cheap and good) or a wide-angle lens (fisheye could also be an option). With short focal length you can get exposures of up to 25s without trailing like this one http://www.astroslacker.ch/gallery/Misc/slides/Radio_Tower.html
I don't know that scope of yours, but most likely you'll want some rich-field telescope that allows you to surf the milkyway. Alternatively a nice pair of 7x50mm binoculars might be another nice choice. When going with your scope, be sure to take a long focal length eyepiece along.
I always take a notebook computer with me. As you said stellarium software, focusing (very tough to do visually) and lots of MP3s A good photo backpack like the ones from Lowepro will provide space for a small refractor, your cam, some lenses and a laptop. You can take it along as carry-on bagage. I took that along with a big 60l backpack to some pretty off the map spots, see here for instance http://www.astroslacker.ch/5892/
Have a great trip
GM2000 QCI Ultraport
William Optics FLT-132
William Optics Megrez II Triplet ED
William Optics Megrez 72FD
Canon EOS 40DH
Alpine skies with lots o'clouds...
Visit me at http://www.astroslacker.ch/
You might want to look up Arthur C. Clarke while in town. A very intriguing man.....
Nikon D40/D50/D70 DSLR
WO 105mm Triplet APO
WO Zenithstar 66SD APO (Black 'n Blue)
WO 8 x 45mm APO Bino
UO 20 x 80mm Bino
Vixen 80SS Refractor
Orion 127mm Apex Maksutov
Vixen GP-DX with Skysensor 2000
SBIG STV and e-finder