D3X and D3S team up to nab a Nebula

Started Mar 8, 2010 | Discussions thread
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Marianne Oelund
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D3X and D3S team up to nab a Nebula
Mar 8, 2010

Cameras in Concert:

The Result (imaging camera D3X on the 400 VR + TC-20, f/7, 20 min., ISO 400):

The Method:

Long-exposure astrophotography requires tracking the apparent movement of the stars across the sky. Tracking mounts such as the one shown above do a fair job of this, but have accuracy limitations which become apparent at exposures of 5 minutes or longer, when using long telephotos.

For exposures of 10 min. or more at these magnifications, it's necessary to guide the mount much more precisely. This is where the D3S's amazing see-in-the-dark Live View capability becomes extremely valuable. Set up in parallel with the imaging camera, it allows me to choose from a number of viable guide stars, and keep the pointing precisely adjusted over an indefinite time span.

Shooting location was a suburban hilltop not far from home. Sky glow was greatly reduced by use of an Astronomik UHC filter.

Definitely looking forward to my next trip to a location with even darker skies.

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