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The Night Sky


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20 minutes ago, meghann said:

And the eclipse in 2017, featuring Mercury just to the right of the sun, and a plane on the right.

 

. . . .should have said Mercury just to the left. I'm logging off now. It's past my bedtime.

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  • 1 month later...
26 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

It’s pretty easy. What Camera do you have? Also what’s the shortest focal length lens you’ve got?

Good to know. I have the Nikon D7500, and the 18-55mm lens. Just gotta get out of this light polluted city which I may be able to accomplish next week.

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4 minutes ago, Birding Boy said:

Good to know. I have the Nikon D7500, and the 18-55mm lens. Just gotta get out of this light polluted city which I may be able to accomplish next week.

Right. So the general idea is this:

Put your camera on a tripod and point towards (and try to focus on) the North Star (Polaris). Make sure it’s on full Manual mode, then put the shooting mode on 10-second timer/remote shutter. Take your shutter speed to BULB, then click the shutter, leave the shutter open for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Hit the shutter again to stop. Adjust ISO and aperture as needed.

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36 minutes ago, Seanbirds said:

Right. So the general idea is this:

Put your camera on a tripod and point towards (and try to focus on) the North Star (Polaris). Make sure it’s on full Manual mode, then put the shooting mode on 10-second timer/remote shutter. Take your shutter speed to BULB, then click the shutter, leave the shutter open for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Hit the shutter again to stop. Adjust ISO and aperture as needed.

Thanks, this helps a lot. Recently I was looking into what general settings I’d need to photograph the Aurora Borealis, and I believe I did it all wrong the last time I attempted astrophotography 😅 Hopefully I can get some better results soon. 

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Leaving the exposure too long will wash out the images, though. What I've done before is taken multiple 5 minute or less exposures and stacked them using a free software called StarStax.

You can also automate your sequence using a device called an intervalometer, setting how many photos you want to take and at what exposure.

If you want to get even more technical, you can sensor map! You'd take at least 20 dark frames by placing the lens cap on and covering it with a sweater or something so no light can get in and taking 20+ photos with the same settings as your star trails. By doing this, you're essentially just photographing the noise produced by your sensor. You can use these together with your star trail photos using software like DeepSkyStacker (also free). The software "maps" the noise of your sensor based on the dark frames and removes that noise from your star trail photos. If you want to do this, it's essential to do it when you take your star photos, because the temperature and settings of the camera must be consistent with the star photos.

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