Astronomy

I’ve spent time on and off observing and photographing the night sky. My primary tool is my Meade LX50 10" Telescope with Meade DSI-Pro CCD camera. Here is a picture of the scope set up in my back yard:

This scope looks impressive set up, but it is far from ideal for photography. The mount and clock drive are best used for visual observing and has fairly large periodic error while the scope tracks the sky. I take multiple exposures per photograph (sometimes hundreds) and choose the ones that have the least amount of movement. Therefore, a single shot of an object can take many hours to acquire and the post process to a usable image. Also, since I don’t have a computer goto mount, it takes a fair amount of effort to point the scope at a target. The problem is that you can’t look through the scope while the camera is attached. If you use a regular eyepiece to find an object you get issues when you switch to the camera – such as a focus problem. Anyway I have managed to successfully take some pictures (including a photo of Pluto) and I include some of them here.

Pluto:

As a kid, I was always interested in the (once a) planet Pluto. With my scope and a computer star atlas, I was able to point the scope at the planet and image it. Here are the details:

Leave a Reply