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Note -- you have reached the original website. Thanks very much for visiting. Logo contact information has been updated (i.e. we moved to Taos, NM) as below:

Willis Greiner
12 Rabbit Valley Road / P.O. Box 1515
El Prado, NM 87529
303-903-8996 or 575-758-3670

You may also want to visit Willis' new astronomy site at:

Welcome to "Under the Night Sky",
the newsletter!

Willis Greiner's "Under the Night Sky"

Second edition


Welcome to the second edition of the newsletter! In last quarter's first edition, I discussed the pending Total Lunar Eclipse. I hope many of you had a chance to view this event and perhaps even take some photos. I was entrenched in a business meeting and as such could not view or photograph the entire event. Before I left for the meeting I assisted my wife and her daughter with the Celestron 8-inch telescope (now they know all my trade secrets!) so they might be able to obtain some images of the slow-moving event. In fact they took some great shots, some of which are now displayed on the web site. When I returned home I DID snap a few late-in-the-eclipse shots, also shown in the "2000 Total Lunar Eclipse" gallery. All of these images are part of an entirely new section of the web site, accessed by moving through the "Something New" section. A link to these new images and the set of new galleries is below, as will be the convention of this newsletter. You'll also notice the CCD (charge-coupled device) photographs obtained during an extraordinary visit to Kitt Peak late last year. The next newsletter (hopefully written within just a few weeks) will concentrate on this incredible experience and the discipline of CCD imaging, something I'm just beginning to learn. The wonderful thing about astronomy (and astrophotgraphy!) is the concept that it is a dynamic learning experience that can be shared by all. (I believe, in fact, that the human attachment to the stars is truly reflective of a piece of our collective soul.) Certainly I continue to learn and gain new experiences; the CCD session was absolutely an example of this. (I learned and "computed" so much all night my head ached.) More of this next time.

As to the lunar eclipse -- we used Fujichrome ASA 1600 color slide film, and shot through the Celestron C-8 with optical reduction to f/6.3. The shutter was opened with a cable and locked on "Bulb" immediately after a record album was placed in front of the telescope. After a couple of seconds to let the vibrations (minute but noticeable on the film as an unacceptable blurry image) calm down, the album was removed and a one-thousand-one one-thousand-two sort of countdown was used as the shutter "timer." This technique has proven quite good on such short (1 to perhaps 8 second) exposures because it eliminates "shutter bounce." After the suggested exposure is complete, re-cover the front of the tube with the album and then click the cable release to "off." CDs are too small; you'll be forced to find an old album. I have plenty! How about an old Jeff Beck "Truth" album? Keep a log and be sure to "bracket" your exposures. This technique would also work well with telephoto lenses. With the magnification of my telescope, the electric clock drive (to mimic the earth's rotation, rendering the subject stationary) is needed for any exposure over perhaps 2 seconds.

Enough of the details. If any of you had visual or photographic experiences you'd like to share, please let me know by e-mail and I'll include them in the next newsletter. Thanks!

Dark skies,

Willis is the link to the entirely redone "Something New" section of Please explore all the links and galleries (including the CCD images discussed above) by using the new galaxy navigation bar.



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