By Robert Reeves
Writer Aldous Huxley supplied an extremely flexible access within the lex-
icon of recent words while he penned the name to his 1932 novel Brave
New global. There comes a time in the course of nearly each iteration and in ev-
ery road of human recreation while it sort of feels applicable to invoke Hux-
ley's phrases. For the pastime of astrophotography, that point is now.
After greater than a century of dominance, emulsion-based astronomi-
cal images has not just handed its Golden Age, yet is in such rapid
decline that i think we'll see somebody writing its definitive background be-
fore the tip of the current decade. Rolls of movie and the alchemic interiors
of darkrooms have given solution to silicon chips and private computers.
In the realm of traditional images this transition occurred so
suddenly that even pundits have been taken without warning. yet these folks in the
world of astrophotography observed it coming for years. certainly, by means of the begin-
ning of the Nineties, lengthy sooner than most folks ever heard the time period "digital
photography," novice astronomers have been prowling the heavens with spe-
cialized CCD cameras. lots of those members have been both good heeled
or irresistibly interested in the leading edge (or both), for again then CCD im-
aging was once pricey, and there have been few areas the place you'll be able to flip for
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Extra info for Introduction To Digital Astrophotography: Imaging The Universe With A Digital Camera
When shooting the full disk of the Moon at low magnification, such as with a 32-mm Plossl through a common 8-inch f/10 SCT, the camera can actu ally be hand-held because the shutter speed will be in the 1/500- to 1/800-sec. 14). 7. 8: Improving Your Moon Shots 21 shots will be acceptable because of camera shake. With still higher magnification, a tripod, or some means to attach the camera to the telescope is necessary as the shutter speeds drop to between about 1/40- and 1/8-sec. At slower shutter speeds, it may be necessary to use the camera's self-timer option to trigger the shutter without vibration if the camera does not have remote-control options.
With a digital camera, incoming photons strike an electronic detector that converts the 14 Chapter 1 Entering the Digital Realm Fig. 11 Heavily light-polluted sky inhibits backyard astrophotography of diffuse nebulae, but bright star clusters will shine through light pollution. Convert the image to grayscale to eliminate excess color shifts caused by light pollution, and image starry objects like globular cluster M3 in black and white. 6. Photo by Robert Reeves. image into electronic signals. These signals are then processed and recorded electronically on the memory card, then downloaded to a computer or printer in order to produce the final picture.
Axes of the telescope. 4: Using a Webcam for Astrophotography 33 Fig. 6 Before a video capture can be written to the computer hard drive, it must be named under the Set Capture File option (top). The easiest way to capture a video sequence is to set a maximum time limit for the exposure using the Set Time Limit option. Photos by Robert Reeves. top of the image and also simplify aligning any mosaic segments. Perform the alignment by placing a lunar feature along one edge of the field-of-view and moving the telescope north or south.