Astro 101 Observing Session 2

Venus setting, in the handle
 of Sagittarius’ “teapot.”

Here is a combined report for observing session 2 for the Monday and Thursday AST101 labs. We were delayed by bad weather but eventually got out on November 14 and 18. On both evenings, we concentrating on digital imaging. First we tried some afocal photography, which amounts to holding a camera up to the eyepiece of a telescope and snapping a photo. It can work well, even with a cell phone, for bright objects like the moon or a planet.

L to R moon pics by Sarah Scott, Rorie Lentz, Megan Haugh, and Ali Cooke.
Sarah’s photo was the College photo of the day on 11/26!

We also took some time lapse image sequences of the sky using a Canon point-and-shoot camera running the Canon Hack Development Kit. Here is one of the better results, a video compiled from images of the northern sky taken each minute for about two hours.

Finally, we took images through a Meade 8″ telescope using and SBIG 402 CCD camera. The best results are below:

Globular cluster M13, unfiltered.
Planetary nebula M27, combination of 3 images using
red, blue, and green filters.
M92, another RGB combination