Astrophotography: First Night Out

Two nights after I bought the telescope I decided to go and try it out with the camera attached, I headed to a nearby area which a pretty dark part of Dorset called Bradbury rings. I arrived at about midnight as I knew the moon was to rise at about 12:30, and I had thought that the moon would be a good first target to try and photograph. I setup the telescope powered it up and waited for the moon to rise. As the moon rose I trained the telescope onto it and was absolutely blown away by what I was seeing! I have seen plenty of pictures of the moon on the internet but when you are actually seeing it yourself it really is an amazing sight!
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One thing I will mention here… We are obviously aware that the moon travels across the sky as the night progress’s however, until you actually look through a telescope with reasonable magnification you don’t realize just how damn fast the thing moves! (and this was the first major stumbling block i came across!) So, I focused the moon onto my Nikon D7100 using the live view and experimented with a few snaps. Once I had the exposure and ISO settings correct I looked at the photos.. They were all blurred! Damn! The exposure was too long without moving the telescope in sync with the moon! As at this point I didn’t know how to setup the GoTo system I settled with taking a video that you can see below. (Pardon the heavy breathing it was REALLY cold!)

Unfortunately, after one night out; After my first attempt at photographing the moon, the next day i setup the telescope in the daylight and configured the GoTo system. I was happily playing around watching it slew around the room and it the started making a horrible noise and stopped slewing… I did a quick google search and a common problem with these is that the gears get stripped. My first telescope had only lasted a week before it had died 🙁

So I took it back to the shop, and was told it would be 6-8 weeks till it was ready. so I trundled off home and started browsing the internet…

Next Chapter: The Addiction gets serious!

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