Photographing constellations

Last night, the skies finally cleared up and we (Mon, JB and I) found ourselves in between wooden posts in the construction of the rooftop next to our house. I was very eager to finally test my brother’s bridge camera in photographing the stars without any help from a telescope.

Orion and the Orion nebula (M42) - October 28, 2012 Marikina City, Philippines

I was really happy with the photo above because you can see the fuzzy clouds in group of stars or the Orion nebula (M42). I used an ISO 1600, an aperture of 3.4 on a GE X500, and with a 30 second time lapse. I was also delighted because the camera was able to capture a lot of stars, which we can’t even see with our naked eyes, even JB who has a 20/20 vision.

Orion constellation (flipped CCW) with the fuzzy Orion Nebula - October 28, 2012, Marikina City, Philippines

I tried taking a closer image of the Orion constellation but this time, it was on an ISO 800. It was still a decent shot.

Pleiades star cluster (top left), Taurus (off center) and Jupiter (bottom) - October 28, 2012 Marikina City, Philippines

Last but not the least, I was able to get three pictures of the Pleiades star cluster (top left), Taurus (off center) and Jupiter (bottom) with three 30-second time lapse shots. Of course, because the Earth is rotating in its axis, the subjects in the the pictures taken seemed to have been moving slowly. The above image was a combination of the first and second shot because the third photo had a glare from a passing vehicle. Ugh. Jupiter was looking amazing in this photo.

All these photos just made we want to desperately have a better telescope. I tried taking a picture of Jupiter (whose equatorial bands were visible even on 38.9x magnification) but as I do not have an equatorial mount, there was a ‘startrail’. Anyway, I hope I’d have more luck in the future, and I’m optimistic of that. =D

2012 Astronomy Day – Clouds throwing shade

Not literally. But since October 20, 2012 is Astronomy Day, I decided to take my telescope out after several months of being inside its box and look up to the heavens. Any amateur enthusiast or professional astronomer must do something astronom-ish for the night. LOL However, the wonderful clouds went in the way and I wasn’t able to see other things, except for the Moon.

Crescent Moon - October 20, 2012

Don’t get me wrong. I am in LOVE with the Moon, but I was hoping to catch a glimpse of other celestial bodies. I took this photo of the moon almost half past six, and Jupiter wasn’t due until about  almost ten from where I was located. I borrowed my brother’s bridge camera, just to try my luck in capturing Jupiter, because I had been having a hard time with my point and shoot camera (which I used for the photo above — but I was also wondering why my photos using the same camera this time were not that good as before). As I went out of the house four hours after, I immediately saw Jupiter almost above me and unobstructed — perfect condition because it meant less turbulence in the atmosphere for my optics to penetrate through. But as I was already searching for it, first with the 25mm eyepiece, then with the 9mm eyepiece, I could no longer see it. Thanks to the clouds. Ugh. I was cursing under my breath, no, loudly and Mon had to remind me to lower my voice. We were in the middle of our street.

It’s no longer the rainy season but I just hope that those dense cloud formations would give way for me just to get a good glimpse of the Orion Nebula, Pleiades and Jupiter. >_<