McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis, Texas.
One of the radio telescopes of the VLA (Very Large Array) near Socorro, New Mexico.
I wanted a view from near the base of the antenna so I had to use a four shot panorama to get everything in. You may see dark streaks against the sky – it was snowing as I was shooting. Normally on a panorama I would do a bit more correcting of the geometry and cropping but I liked the effect of the curved sides of the image that were present after the first stitch-together of the shots. Shots were taken with my Nikon D800 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens, ISO 100, 24mm, f/6.3, 1/160 second exposure.
Radio telescope near Brewster, Washington. Part of the VLBA (Very Large Baseline Array).
I woke up around 2am today. Decided to wander outside and what did I see? The first clear night in weeks! Time to practice my night sky photography. Did a series of long exposure shots (30 seconds, ISO 800, f/3.5) but could not get the focus right. This is one of the hardest things for me about shooting the night sky. Auto-focus doesn’t work, you can’t see anything through the viewfinder, and your focus has to be perfectly on infinity. Anyway, after 40 minutes of trying in 32 degree weather I gave up. Looked at my blurry star shots and thought “Hey! What if I merge all of these exposures?” This is the result. I think I like it better than the properly focused night sky shot I was trying to get. I hope you like it – now I’m going back to bed.
Saturday is the night of the “supermoon” – a full moon when it is closest to earth. Has not happened for 18 years. (Thanks to Sean for the clarification!) I don’t know if we will have clear skies on Saturday so I decided to get a shot of the almost-supermoon tonight. This was done with my Nikon D7000 camera, a tripod, and an 18-200mm zoom lens. Settings were ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/125 second exposure.
We had a break in the clouds this evening and I was able to capture the crescent moon before it set. This shot is a fusion of two exposures processed with Photomatix Pro 4.0 HDR software. The camera is a Nikon D7000 and the settings were ISO 400, f/5.6, 200mm. The two exposures were 1/500 second and 1/200 second.
Latest shots from my experiments in photographing the night sky. No telescope, just my Digital SLR camera and a tripod. Click on the images to see larger versions.
The Orion Nebula (M42).
Nikon D7000, 18-200mm lens, ISO 6400, f/5.6, 2.5 second exposure.
Pleiades star cluster.
Nikon D7000, 35mm lens, ISO 3200, f/1.8, 5 second exposure.
May not look like much, but I’m very happy to get this much detail without a telescope. Used my Nikon D60, a tripod, and an 18-200mm zoom lens. A 0.5 second exposure at f/5.6.
Thanks to Avital Pinnick, who published a great post on how to photograph Jupiter. http://apinnick.wordpress.com/2010/11/03/how-to-photograph-jupiter/