Note -- you have reached the original astrophotographs.com website. Thanks very much for visiting. Logo contact information has been updated (i.e. we moved to Taos, NM) as below:
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: taosastronomer.com/
Welcome to "Under
the Night Sky",
the astrophotographs.com newsletter!
astrophotographs.com "Under the Night Sky"
the second edition of the astrophotographs.com 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
astrophotographs.com 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!
is the link to the entirely redone "Something New" section of astrophotographs.com.
Please explore all the links and galleries (including the CCD images
discussed above) by using the new galaxy navigation bar.
Contact us at 303.903.9886
All images and
narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.
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