Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Deep Sky with the Edge 11"

Its been a busy couple of months.  My wife and I finally moved back to Edmonton and for the past two weeks or so I've been reaping the astronomical benefits.  The skies were ridiculously clear, if not extremely humid.  Dew has been a major problem but not so much as to stop me from Stargazing.  I spent three or four nights out at the Blackfoot Staging Area (its one of the local RASC observing sites) testing the conditions and starting to put my 11" Edge through its paces.  I also got to catch the Perseid meteor shower! What an amazing night.  I brought my wife and several friends with me and in a few hours we saw dozens of meteors, the International Space Station, Jupiter, the Moon, the Milky Way, and about half a dozen deep sky objects.

I also noticed a few other things

1)  My old battery is basically dead.
2) The new site is quite a bit better than the site I had in Vancouver
3) The Edge is an amazing telescope

I'll write a post soon about how I overcame my dead battery because rather than buy a new one I actually built my own astronomical power station.  For now I'm just going to post a few pictures I took from the Blackfoot Staging Area.  There are a few Deep Sky objects like the Dumbbell Nebula and the Iris Nebula along with a wide angle shot. I would have like to do longer exposure but as I mentioned before dew was really becoming a problem.

11 x 5 min @ 1600 ISO

 10 x 5 min @ 1600 ISO
2 min exposure with Rebel xTi with 16mm Lens

The last picture was actually a series that I planned to use in a short time lapse.  The object in the foreground is my telescope with the Milky Way in the background.  The bright streak across the sky is the International Space Station. I had intended the time lapse to be quite a bit longer but again, the dew got in the way. So here is the 5 or so seconds of the movie.

Didn't turn out to badly but by the end you can start to see the effects of the dew on the camera lens. Of well, hopefully as we move into the fall dew will be less of a problem.

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