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Getting Started with Astrophotography

Star Trails

Star Trails

Astrophotography is, “the process of producing images of objects on photosensitive surfaces.” One of the most breathtaking activities that you can do for a hobby and as a profession is capturing the spectacular events in the night sky. Trying to master the beauty of the cosmos can be quite the challenge, but with patience and practice, sooner than you might think, you will be amazed at how astonishing the objects from your digital “astro-imaging” pictures have turned out.

The photographs, which you have taken of the celestial heavens, will develop clear and accurate, expressing all of the beauty and mysteries of observational astronomy that are so abundant throughout the universe.

What type of Digital Camera and Telescope Should I Get

If you are considering getting into astrophotgraphy, the first thing that you need to do is to research what type of telescope and digital camera you should buy. Depending on your price range and the sensitivity range that you want to use, there are many options to select from.

You will want to have a digital single-lens reflex camera that is sensitive enough to collect photons “particles of electromagnetic radiation” over long periods of time. This charge is then converted (in an analog-to-digital sensor unit) to an analogy voltage that is amplified and converted into a digitized output.

The camera lens is a grid of “photosites,” called pixels, if you’re an avid computer user, or a own a tv, or purchase any sort of monitor, you’re probably familiar with the term. Pixels, which are sensitive to light, and represent the colors red, green, and blue as numbers. The higher the pixel number the better the results on the focused picture will be.

A good telescope should have high-quality optics with a large aperture “the diameter of its light-gathering lens or mirror,” of at least 2.8 inches (or larger) for acquiring a good amount of light rays that will be available to a camera, with a strong stable camera mount, preferable one with a tracking, sampling timer.

A general rule to follow is that a telescope’s maximum magnification is approximate 50 times the diameter of the aperture in inches. Understanding these basic facts will help you to decide what telescope and digital camera combination system you’re going to get.

A quick note on Tracking Time Sampling

Taking astrophotography images of celestial, or natural objects requires a tracking mechanism, which keeps the telescope in the proper alignment with the object being captured as it moves across the night sky, and the correct amount of timed exposure, which is controlled by the camera’s shutter speed, film speed, and the amount of illumination gathered by the aperture.

Film is a photosensitive material that absorbs the lights laminations from the celestial object or objects being observed. The film speed is determined by the (ISO) “International Organization for Standardization” rating regulations. The faster the films speed, the shorter the required sampling time period of light exposure onto the film, so Decide what film speed you need to accomplish your goals.

Invest in the proper equipment, and soon you will be shooting incredible photos of the majestic night skies.

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