Gallery of Digital Astrophotography Back | Up | Next
The author with his equipment under the stars

This is a self-portrait with my telescope equipment. It was taken as Orion set in the west just before the start of astronomical twilight in the morning after an all-night astrophotography session.

The main scope is a 130ED f/8 with an aperture of 130mm and a focal length of 1,040mm. It sits on a Losmandy GM-100EQ German equatorial mount on a CECO tripod. An SBIG ST-4 autoguider was hooked up the scope. The ST-4 control panel is in a box mounted on the north leg of the tripod which also holds the guiding head when not in use. A Nikon 180mm lens with a modified Canon 1000D (Digital Rebel XS) with an Astronomik CLS clip-in filter is mounted piggyback on top of the main scope in a set of rings. A 12-volt deep-cycle marine battery which powers the entire setup sits in a plastic cooler beneath the tripod.

The foreground is lit by two red-LED flashlights with the brightness turned way down. One is set on a tripod to the left of the camera at a 45-degree angle to the scope, and the other was set up to the right on top of my car at a 90-degree angle to the scope.

The hardest part of shooting the image was tripping the self-timer, and running to stand by the scope and then holding my breath without moving for 30 seconds while the shutter was open. I had to hold my breath because a cloud of fog would form around my head from my breath in the cold!

Exposure Data
  • Lens: Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • Focal Ratio: f/4
  • Exposure: Single 30 second exposure
  • Mount: Fixed mini tripod
  • Guiding: None
  • Camera: Canon EOS 20Da DSLR
  • Mode: JPEG
  • ISO: 3200
  • White Balance: Custom
  • In-Camera Noise Reduction: Off
  • Filter: None
  • Temp: 36F
  • Date: November 22, 2009
  • Start Time: 5:21 a.m. EDT
  • Location: Scott's Pit near Maxwell, NJ
  • Calibration: None

Back | Up | Next