Monday, June 09, 2008

Arcturus & Vega

The astronomical forecast predicted good transparency and average seeing tonight, so I set up the Astrotrac and my big binoculars for some viewing and widefield imaging. Tragically the combination of city light pollution and the quarter moon kept the skies pretty bright. Due to short exposure times (anything more than about a minute at ISO 800 and f/2.8 resulted in a totally washed out image), I concentrated on photographing stars with a 200mm lens.

Unfortunately there isn't anything interesting easily visible near Arcturus (top picture). In the photograph of Vega (pictured below), you can see Epsilon Lyrae (a.k.a. the double double) in the lower third to the left. If you look at a higher resolution image you can also make out the even closer double star Zeta Lyrae.

I am definitely looking forward to when I take the Astrotrac out to a really dark spot to really give some imaging a whirl.

Technical Specs: Canon XSi (full spectrum), no filter, 200 f/2.8L II, f/3.5, ISO 800, 62s (top), 45s (bottom).
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