These are some extra things that I did during my observation on 14-1-20 that aren’t necessarily going to go towards the AL Observation Program stuff. I also talk about my use of binoculars (binos), and some learning experiences in astrophotography.
Basically, when I did the observation, I focused on naked eye observing, looking with a Nikon Aculon 10×50 binocular (on a tripod) and taking pictures with my Canon 60D using my Tamron 18-270mm lens (with a polarizing filter–forgot to take it off) which was on a tripod. While doing the observations for the 20th, I also focused on Jupiter and the Moon, which was waning. It was a pretty busy night. However, I think, for now, that I like this mix of naked eye, binocular work, and astrophotography. It works.
I’m going to bring out the Dobsonian (think big reflecting telescope) when things get warmer, as it has to cool down for an hour, and takes some other time for set up and take down.
For now, I really like binocular observations. Binoculars aren’t as sexy as telescopes. They also aren’t amenable to things like filters, and they only has one set magnification capability (side note–for astronomy–NO ZOOM BINOS–it degrades the quality of the image). However, they have some definite pluses. The best explanation of these I’ve found is here:
In addition, binoculars are known for having good contrast compared to telescopes because both eyes are used. Finally, it has a lot of “grab and go” quality to it and is far easier to pack in a car. So, for now, I like it.
Getting back to the other stuff observed that night, I saw Jupiter and the Moon.
Jupiter in 10×50 binos and a 270mm camera lens is simply a white dot. I think that looking at it through a telescope will make a better difference when looking at it in terms of being able to see the bands of Jupiter. Still, I did try to take a picture of it. My mistake was zooming in on it to take the picture, which led to a need for a slower shutter speed due to a smaller aperture. But, this whole blog is about the learning curve, so here we go:
I also took pictures of the Moon.
I think that the tactic of taking pictures using prime lenses and/or zoom lenses at their widest point, then cropping the heck out of the pics will be my preliminary strategy, in addition to applying the Rule of 500 (which I learned about after this observation). The cropped image of the Moon pretty much suggests that this is what would work.
Hey, it’s a work in progress, folks. Hope you join me in learning.