So once again I was puttering around outside tonight, pointing the new camera at those mysterious lights in the sky. Most interesting result came from pointing the new camera fitted with the old 300mm lens at the Orion nebula. With the old Nikon D5000 camera and this lens, the nebula was recognizable, but looked like garbage. Now it’s recognizable and still nowhere near publication-worthy, but for just lookin’ at purposes, it’s not half bad. In order to get the shot with only a few seconds exposure, the ISO on the camera was cranked up to over 20,000, which is moderately impressive.
These photos might have been worth a single note on this blog, but you’ll notice that there are three essentially identical copies posted below. The reason why there are three is this: if you look kinda close, you can see a satellite pass straight through the nebula. I suppose it’s no more special than a satellite passing through any other patch of the sky, but actually nailing a known astronomical object just seems kinda cool.
Stacking the three images produced a slightly improved-quality version, reducing some of the noise. To really improve the image quality would require a motorized equatorial mount to track the motion of the stars; this would allow a longer exposure at lower ISO.
So is this sort of amateurish astro-photography of interest?