Sadr (γ Cygni) Region

11 10 2010

Sadr (γ Cygni) Region

Originally uploaded by Eriza

Fresh from the oven.

North America Nebula

9 10 2010

North America Nebula

Originally uploaded by Eriza

Weekend, no moon, clear sky, returning mood to drift align, target object high near zenith… a very extremely rare combination. But it happened nonetheless…

Why Astrophotography?

17 10 2009

It’s the question I sometimes ask myself. A bit of reflection gives the answer: it’s its multi-disciplinary nature that attracts me to it. It’s not sheer photography, neither it’s sheer astronomy. There’s just a bit of everything. Just to mention some:

– Astronomy: from understanding the movement of the heavenly bodies, celestial sphere coordinate system, to astrophysics, the formation, evolution, and death of stars and galaxies.

– Photography: mastering the camera. How to do focusing. How to select the appropriate exposure. How to post-process. How to make a nice composition. What is light frame, dark frame, offset frame, bias frame. What to do with noise and hot pixels.

– Optics: one needs to be able to a certain degree assess the quality of the telescopes and the issues around it. Should it be a reflector or a refractor or a catadioptric. What is the good focal-to-aperture ratio. How important is magnification. What is chromatic aberration, spherical aberration, astigmatism.

– Mechanics: should it be alt-azimuth or equatorial mounting. What is the principle of tracking. How to balance an equatorial mount. How to polar align. How to guide.

– Computer and software: from automating the image acquisition, autoguiding, and image processing.

This for sure will keep me busy for years to come.

My first deep-sky astrophoto!

3 10 2009

The Orion nebula:


With the stuck mount problem removed, the long nights of deep-sky imaging begin…

UPDATE: A new picture of the same object here.