Photographing the Night Sky

Not Hubble



Camera or phone?

A couple of easy targets

The Moon

Jupiter's moons

Camera on a fixed tripod

STAGE 1 - What can be done on a fixed tripod

How can we photograph faint objects?

A. Long exposures

Star trails

Longer star trails

Rotating Earth

Single frame, Orion


Focussing - 1

Focussing - 2

A. Adding many short exposures

Trails from multiple exposures

Stacking with pattern matching

The Plough, stacked properly

Digital vs. film

How can we photograph faint objects?

B. Maximum sensitivity (ISO)

Shooting the Andromeda Galaxy

Andromeda Galaxy - single frame

Andromeda Galaxy - 148 frames

Andromeda Galaxy - properly stacked

How to find the Andromeda Galaxy

Stacking software

C. Maximise lens aperture

Wide angle lenses

50mm lens



Milky Way in Cygnus

Milky Way in Cygnus - annotated

Rievaulx Abbey and the Milky Way

Milky Way in Scutum

Brougham Castle and the Milky Way

Camera requirements summary

CCD cameras

Filters in colour cameras (CMOS or CCD)

Triggering exposures

Triggering multiple exposures

AstroPhotography Tool (APT)

Light pollution

15mm fish-eye lens

Milky Way from horizon to horizon

Book cover

Summary of basic method

The dark-adapted eye

Camera following the stars

Telephoto lenses

STAGE 2 - Motorised tripods can follow the stars

Camera on an equatorial mount

Finding the Pole Star

In the HEQ5 alignment telescope

M31 - the Andromeda Galaxy

A long exposure of Orion

Hydrogen in Orion

H-alpha filter on lens

Solar spectrum & Canon 5D MkII response

Why narrowband filtering works

The Milky Way in Cygnus

The North America Nebula

Combined normal and H-alpha exposure

Hydrogen in Cygnus

The Veil Nebula

No telescope so far

Zoom in further

Camera on a telescope

The Great Wall through a telescope

STAGE 3 - Putting the camera on a telescope

Newtonian telescope (reflector)

10 inch Newtonian on HEQ5 mount

Telescope specifications

Camera on scope

Focussing with a Bahtinov mask

M33 galaxy in Triangulum

Non-SLR camera + telescope

Orion's belt & sword

M42 - The Great Orion Nebula

The Flame Nebula and the Horsehead Nebula (Barnard 33)

Diffraction spikes

Keeping comets & asteroids still

The Rosette Nebula



Understand the histogram

Neutralise the background

Use tone curves to enhance

Rosette enhanced, so far

Further steps

The Rosette Nebula


Supernova, March 2012