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• 04/24/09
    
Friday, April 24th, 2009
Location: Downtown Portland NE, OR
 
This is my first night ever doing astro-photography, and because I'm a newbie, I decided to something easy (joking I don't know what I'm doing) and I choose Saturn and take a single-shot picture of my favorite planet with a Canon 40D.  :)
 
After messing with the alignment for a looooooooooong time, I finally found Saturn.  It was always up there, but I just could not find it.  I was using a planetarium software to assist me learn the sky.  Stellarium was not connected with my mount yet, so it was mostly for finding my bearings around the sky.  And what a beautiful freebie this software is.
 
I REALLY wanted to see Saturn big, so I put a 2x Barlow at the 5" Mak-Cas, then I attached a telextender tube to the Barlow and I put 21mm EP inside the telextender tube, and then I connected my Canon 40D to the telextender tube.  I did a rough calculation and I was operating about x270+/- magnification.  OMG!!! It was SO difficult to put Saturn in the center of camera.  I was using the Liveview function and I could barely see it.   Then, I touched the focuser with my BIG fingers and the image would go flying out of my FOV.  It turned out to be a very frustrating process.

After a lot of tweacking, I finally got my first astro image:
 
 
Cheers,
 
Miquel


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Comments:
On 07/06/09 at 02:52pm Barry wrote:
This is a "GREAT" first effort! Saturn is not an easy target. Your focus was "right on". Seeing the separation in the rings requires good focus and good seeing (dark mark just left of the left edge of the planet).

If you aligned and stacked several of these images, you would get a photo to knock your socks off.

Because of the difficulties you described (been there, done that), many folks begin using a webcam for the moon and planets. Any webcam will do if you can remove it's lens. The scope becomes the lens. Usually folks shoot a 1 1/2 to 2 minute avi video clip, and then plug it into a free downloadable program called Registax. The results will amaze you, and it's far less frustrating. A 2x barlow will usually give you good scale.....although the diehards use up to a 5x Tele Vue "powermate".



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