Thursday, February 26, 2009

Damn comet...

Snuck out of the room at 10:30pm last night, while Giliane was sleeping. I really wanted to try and take a picture of this green comet that I had heard so much about. Apparently, what I neglected to take into consideration is that this comet isn't that spectacular. Sure, it was visible to the naked eye. Sure, it was green. However, it was small. If you could find Saturn, which I could, then it was only about 2° from it.

So, trying to be as quiet as possible, I set up my telescope in the backyard, all the while the damn motion sensor light kept lighting up the neighborhood as I went in and out of our AZ room. Finally got the telescope aligned, using Sirius, Saturn, and Arcturus, I believe, as the three points of reference for the telescope's SkyAlign process. Beautiful. Time to get out the laptop and my CCD camera. Got it all plugged in, and went looking for this elusive comet. I found it, only the damn thing looked just like any other star. It had a magnitude of about 5, maybe 6.

By now I'm scowling at the sky. This wasn't what I wanted. I wanted to take a picture of something easily recognizable. So I pointed the telescope back at Saturn and tried my luck with taking its picture, adjusting saturation levels, gamma levels, and the like. It's a little fuzzy, but at least you can see the rings! This was using my 3x Barlow lens, too. I'm still learning all about the different options, so I hope to put a better picture up here sometime soon. Giliane is learning more about her new camera, so I'm hoping she'll be able to give me a few pointers.
I have a 30% moon filter that I can use with my CCD camera. I'm looing forward to trying the moon again. Last time wasn't too bad, but could have been better. Gonna have to get the A/C adapter for my telescope, though. That sucker eats batteries like I can eat Krispy Kremes. :)


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