Astronomy Index

Photographing Vesta

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Animation - Details


The images were taken between 7th and 15th August - dates and locations are indicated on each page. The sky darkness varied from brightly lit at Curtin Street to dark at Leichardt. All images are 30 second exposures. All were taken with the camera mounted on a fixed tripod.

The 7th August image was taken with a Sony DSC 828 camera with the ISO rating set to 100. The remaining images were taken with a Canon EOS 400D camera with the ISO rating set to 1600.

The images were shot with three different zoom lenses at different focal lengths.

The images were resized, stretched, and rotated in Photoshop until the star fields roughly corresponded. Apart from fitting the images over one another, no other image processing was done. The images displayed are about 25% of the size of the originals.

Where to Next

Focus is out in all but one of the images. I am not yet practiced at getting sharply focussed shots of the night sky. The sharpness of the image for 13th August indicates what the equipment can achieve - it has recorded stars down to magnitude 10. A procedure for routinely achieving such sharpness must now be found.

Attaching the camera to a tracking drive will produce point-like stars. Thirty second exposures will show stars several magnitudes below the faintest recorded on these images. Image stacking technology might allow me to burrow even deeper into the sky.


Photographing Vesta at Eaglehawk Secondary College
Photo: Graeme Knight