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Astrophotography 201: In the Field (INTEREST List)

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Hosted By
Steven C.


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The goal of this in the field course is to provide hands on experience setting up and shooting images for astrophotography processing. You can bring all your own equipment or use equipment provided by the instructors. We will cover the following topics

Using a Planisphere What is an Equatorial Mount? How do they work? Setting up an Equatorial Mount - polar alignment. Help navigating the night sky Using an Intervalometer (or) an automation program to capture images. Focusing stellar images (this is a tough one!) Choosing a target. Tips to make the whole process easier. Getting all the image types needed (light frames, dark frames, flats, bias frames) Image capture. Image Processing primer Q&A


We will meet a half hour before sunset and will go over the targets we will be selecting, how to use a planisphere, and the basics of setting up an equatorial mount. We'll also cover how to capture the images needed for astrophotography (settings and process). As night falls, we'll actually set up, balance and polar align our mount(s) and by astronomical twilight we will begin capturing images.

What to Bring

headlamp or flashlight with RED light (only). camera, tripod, intervalometer, laptop (if you have one with batteries fully charged), and perhaps a USB cable to connect to your camera. memory card and extra camera batteries. a telephoto and a wide angle lens Warm hat, and gloves. Optional, but Recommended

If you already have a mount, bring that, along with the instruction manual for your mount. A stadium cushion Light folding chair and blanket Binoculars

How to Dress

Always dress in layers and as though the temperature will be 20 degrees colder than the forecast temperature.

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