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Any would be astronomers out there? Im very much a novice, however I thought perhaps we can share our observations and upcoming alerts of cool stellar events?  I also thought it might be interesting to discuss traditional indigenous knowledge, and folklore about the heavens.

 

Jupiter and Saturn are close at the moment and are well visible in the early night sky.   Jupiter is probably the brightest star in the east atm, just to the right of it is Saturn.  

Last night through my tiny 70mm scope i could clearly see Jupiters storm bands and 3 of its moons.  Saturns rings also are clearly visible.   

Good times and happy stargazing H.

 

https://www.theplanetstoday.com/

Edited by Humboldt
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Scorpio is pretty prominent in the east-south-east sky up here atm around sunset. Look for Antares, it's red heart bruz :wink:

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yep, hobby astronomer since 52 years.

 

my tips for today, google international meteors org, and check when shooting star showers are on.

learn how to find omega centauri (this naked to the eye star cluster is located close to the southern cross, easy)

 

best astro evens i wittnessed, leonid maximum (10 000 bright shooting stars per hour!!) comet hayutake, transit of venus....

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I'm going to start doing a spot of night sky photography again in about a months' time when I'll have a largely unpolluted landscape to survey. I'll post some piccy pics and perhaps some timelapses when I get the chance. Think of this what you may, but I'm considering the purchase of a cheap old DSLR (another one, hahah) to press into duty doing semi-regular timelapses in the hopes of catching some... anomalies. I'll be about 40-50km away from an RAAF base so y'know...

 

 

aliens.jpeg

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23 hours ago, Tøn said:

I'm going to start doing a spot of night sky photography again in about a months' time when I'll have a largely unpolluted landscape to survey. I'll post some piccy pics and perhaps some timelapses when I get the chance. Think of this what you may, but I'm considering the purchase of a cheap old DSLR (another one, hahah) to press into duty doing semi-regular timelapses in the hopes of catching some... anomalies. I'll be about 40-50km away from an RAAF base so y'know...

 

 

aliens.jpeg

this days many nature films one sees on tv, show some time laps night sky (the one were stars turn into semi circles).

i wonder if not most digi cams can do this, nowadays...

if any of you know how, pls post some hints.

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Absolutely! Most cameras allow you to set manual shutter times, which is how you get those 'star trail' shots.

What kind of camera do you have? I'm happy to look up how to manually set the shutter speed/ISO/aperture (f-stop) and let you know how to do it with your particular camera! It's a lot of fun and also allows you to do 'light painting,' where you run around with a torch and draw patterns which show up as these really beautiful trails on the final image.

 

All you need is a tripod and a camera, but you can also get a little remote control kinda thing that allows you to hold the shutter open for as long as you like. It takes some practice but it's really fun and rewarding.

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Posted (edited)
On 26/07/2020 at 3:37 PM, Tøn said:

Absolutely! Most cameras allow you to set manual shutter times, which is how you get those 'star trail' shots.

What kind of camera do you have? I'm happy to look up how to manually set the shutter speed/ISO/aperture (f-stop) and let you know how to do it with your particular camera! It's a lot of fun and also allows you to do 'light painting,' where you run around with a torch and draw patterns which show up as these really beautiful trails on the final image.

 

All you need is a tripod and a camera, but you can also get a little remote control kinda thing that allows you to hold the shutter open for as long as you like. It takes some practice but it's really fun and rewarding.

i must admit, that i don't like this world we are living in, because it's all about click and click...

37 clicks the person is doing, just to sell me a single burger, crazy!

when it comes to setting up something this days, i need to have written it down, step by step, as i'm too old to learn new tricks.

often the tech people at the shops stuff up as well, it took me 3 weeks to get a noise reducing head set going with my tv, only one young man knew how to do it.

 

anyway, it's a panasonic luminex digital camera, small tripod i got, thank you ton! :)

 

edit: i used to work old cameras pretty well, and have taken astro shots and night fire twurling shots..

Edited by withdrawl clinic

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Alrighty, so I've never used a Lumix camera myself but I managed to find a couple of guides that will hopefully explain the buttons you need to press to enter manual exposure mode. If you've had experience with SLRs and long-exposure photography in the past you'll find it very easy to take some amazing shots in the digital world. I only had a little bit of experience with film SLRs in high school (I think I still have the negative of my one and only long-exposure shot from Year 11 media class, if I ever find it I'll scan it in!) but when I started messing around with my Canon 1000D 6 years ago it took me about half an hour to start taking photos that made peoples' jaws drop.


Here's a text guide that has more to do with what each individual shooting mode does on Lumix cameras,

https://lumixexperience.panasonic.co.uk/learn/expert-advice/exposure-modes-explained/

 

and this Youtube tutorial seems pretty in-depth and informative, hopefully it helps you get past the technical barrier of setting a digital camera up for night-time/sky photography:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpXbUUW4qIM

 

I managed to find a few of my old night-time shots on an old SD card, I've got a lot of processing to do (about 100gb of images!!) but as I plow through it I'll upload my favourites.

 

All the best!

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Great thread man!

 

I just bought my first ever dSLR at the start of this year. Just an entry level Nikon and a few cheap Nikkor lenses. Only actually realised I could take photos of the milky way a couple of months ago and have been loving the few times I've actually got around to it. Just bought an adapter to stick the camera on my old mans telescope too but It's a few hours away so haven't had a chance to try yet.

 

Humboldt, how long have you had your telescope? Is it much of a learning curve? I honestly know nothing about it at this stage. Rings of Saturn sounds really cool. Have you been able to get any pics through your telescope? Would love to see any if you do.

 

Here's a pic of the milky way I did. Nothing fantastic but I'm pretty happy with it being my first real attempt. Was originally around 70mb so has lost a bit of the quality I think.

 

milkyway.thumb.jpg.602183b756cfc99d3109b33e494c45fe.jpg

 

Using the 500 rule and with my cheap lens and camera I can only do around 12 second exposures before I get star trails. But I tried stacking about 30 pics using DeepSkyStacker and it improved it a bit, and it's free open source software which is cool too. There's some other good open source software I used too. digiCamControl was good for controlling the camera for using the bulb setting, taking a long series of photos etc, and also has it's own astrophotography section that's just a few options to choose and then shoot away. Also have been trying RawTherapee for editing RAW files but at this point I haven't got a clue what I'm doing.

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That's an awesome foray into the world of night sky photography right there! I had no idea you could mount a DSLR to a telescope, I'm going to have to look into that!!

 

Last night I camped out taking an ~800 shot timelapse of the night sky. My landlord was doing some fuel load reduction and there was this epic bonfire going, and the night was crystal clear. I checked out a sky map and saw that Jupiter and Saturn were set to chase the moon across the sky. I made some clunky measurements and oriented myself using features of the landscape (one thing I do not own is a compass, which I find embarrassing,) and am currently rendering out the product of a similar struggle with the program Darktable. I tried Rawtherapee as well and have settled on Darktable as it works a little more intuitively for me and I'm consistently impressed with the output.

 

The workflow reduced me to caveman grunts the first 5 times I used it, before I realised that you organise your files and arrange exports in the lighttable part, and process the images in the darktable screen. Figuring out how to apply styles etc required a defeated trip to the documentation, but I've currently got it spitting out an image sequence of tifs which I'll convert to a movie with ffmpeg and finally import into a video editor. I'll post the results when it's done; at this stage it's currently taking about a minute and a half per frame :huh: but the resulting image is more or less noise free and has this rather satisfactory cinematic depth and colour treatment; a pretty damn good result for photos taken at 800 ISO on the old Canon 1100D.

 

I was astounded when I saw the moon rise tonight- Jupiter and Saturn now appear to have overtaken it in their race across the sky. I felt positively compelled to set up and take that sequence last night, it was an effort of will as I've been feeling very lethargic as of late. I had also caught wind from a reliable source that the news wasn't good for Victoria and knew that I would get stuck in a loop of fretting and online research if I didn't do something to fight against that urge.

I had no idea that I would be capturing something quite incredible in the alignment of those celestial bodies, and it was only as I was in the final stages of preparing to set up that I noticed that my starsign of Libra would be setting on the horizon at the start of the shoot. I was about 15 degrees off my intended shot so it'll be interesting to see if I still managed to capture it.

 

Another constellation I hope I've captured is the rather inappropriately named Corona Australis :blink:

Will post the results ASAP! Keen to see other peoples' sky shots!

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Ahh!! I completely forgot that I'd stumbled upon this gem last night, I'll be using this to coordinate future shoots. Even allows for the simulation of lenses etc so I can set a GPS location, set up a virtual shot and check it against a few test shots on the camera to ensure that I'm getting what I want in frame every time. I also checked out the EOS utility's functionality with the 6D, and it allows for full control over the shutter speed, f-stop and iso, as well as a low-resolution live feed.. via wi-fi :D

 

https://stellarium.org/

 

Absolutely incredible, free and open source- just the way it should be!

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14 hours ago, Tøn said:

I had no idea you could mount a DSLR to a telescope, I'm going to have to look into that!!

 

I just bought one like this but for nikon. The t ring goes on your camera instead of a lens and the adapter screws onto it. Just have to make sure that the t ring is the correct one for your camera I think. 

Screenshot_20200803_121145_com_ebay.mobile.thumb.jpg.c0416da98ddf301a351e88514af19c55.jpg

 

Will check out darktable and stellarium too. Thanks for that mate. 

 

 

Edited by Cubism
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