Astro Blogs

Partial Eclipse at the Lighthouse

as President Ron posted, 6-8 club members setup our gear at the Santa Cruz Lighthouse Surf Museum on Sunday, May 20th, to show people the solar eclipse, as well as a rather nice set of sunspots.

even a couple hours before the eclipse was to begin, we had a steady stream of visitors looking at the sunspots.

Annular Eclipse at the Lighthouse

Wow! Yesterday's eclpise was absolutely awesome! Here's a great big thank you to everyone that came out with their scopes. There were numerous scopes provided by club members and another handful of scopes and cameras from the general public. The weather was perfect and the turnout was incredible. I'm not that good at estimating crowd numbers but I can safely say that we had hundreds of passersby checking out the eclipse. Everyone got really excited as it began around 5:15 PM and the crowds got bigger as the event progressed toward its maximum.

M13 by DSLR

At tonight's regular Bonny Doon star party, I was tired, so I only shot one series of 20 1min exposures of m13 with my DSLR through the celestron/vixen 80mm super-polaris.... half were sketchy (elongated stars at a pixel level), so I know I definitely need to come up with an autoguider. but the other 10 were good enough, albeit somewhat underexposed, that I was able to stack this, with a bit of contrast curve adjustments (black stayed black, white stayed white, I just steepened the curve a lot at the dark end)

a successfull night of piggyback photography

Continuing with my adventures in beginning astrophotography, on the last new moon night at Bonny Doon, I shot a series of piggyback exposures with various camera lenses on my EOS 60D.

The final pics are here, with comments explaining whats what. I included some of my 'raws'. None of the stacked pictures used any dark frames

EOS 60D data

The Canon EOS 60D

  • 22.3 x 14.9mm CMOS sensor
  • 5184 x 3456 pixels
  • 4.3 micron square pixels

with a 900mm focal length, thats 1.4 degree wide field of view, with 1 arcsecond pixels

with a 200mm focal length, thats a 6.3 degree wide field of view, with a 4.4 arc second pixel

with a 20mm lens, its a 63 degree slice of the sky.

poor mans' autoguider

so, while waiting out this interminable cloudy/rainy weather (not one clear night since March 9th?!?), I started hacking on a homebrew autoguider.

I acquired a celestron 9x50 straight through finderscope in trade for an old eyepiece I don't use, and I scored a 'golf ball' logitech webcam, which I promptly gutted after determining that it functioned, reducing it to a little 1.5 x 1 inch PCBA with the camera chip on one side, and the USB cable on the other side.

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