The Emerging Art of Video Astronomy, Part 3

In the first article in this short series on video astronomy, you learned about the capabilities of the latest generation of astronomy video cameras.  In the second installment, you saw the basics of how to connect one of these little cameras and how to match it to a telescope and mount.  In this third installment, you look at the key settings for an astronomy video camera, and you get a few tips to help you take your first image.

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A Guide to Nightscape Photography

Kingham_GuideMany readers have asked about the image I used in the recent article on the Gould Belt, an image which showed a few bright stars in the belt in the constellation Scorpius reflected in a foreground mountain lake, with forest and mountains in the distance.

Did I take this image?

I wish!

No, this splendid image was provided by the expert photographer David Kingham, one of the foremost practitioners of what’s called nightscape photography. Made possible by advances in digital camera technology and post-processing, this new type of photography combines elements of astrophotography (without a telescope) and landscape photography to enable the creation of quite stunning still images and time lapse movies.

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The Emerging Art of Video Astronomy, Part 2


Videocam image of M13 in Hercules

In the first article in this series on deep-sky video astronomy, you learned about the capabilities and trade-offs of astro video cameras.  These little devices effectively triple the aperture of a telescope, and provide electronically-assisted viewing of deep-sky objects for those who have trouble looking through an eyepiece, for urban stargazers who battle light pollution, or for those who wish to take color ‘snapshots’ through their telescope but who don’t want to fuss with the intricacies of astrophotography.  Because the images from video cameras can be displayed on video monitors, video astronomy is also a great way to share images with large groups of people at public stargazing events.  In this article, you get a look at the basics of how to connect an astronomical video camera.  And you find out which telescopes and mounts work best with these little devices…

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The Emerging Art of Video Astronomy, Part 1

A Mallincam astronomical video camera

An astronomical video camera

Want to see more through your telescope than you can with an eyepiece?  You could try your hand at imaging with a DSLR or CCD camera, but that’s got a long, steep learning curve.  If you don’t have years to master this craft, there’s an alternative: video astronomy. Astronomical video cameras give real-time, full-color views of deep-sky objects with an amazingly high sensitivity that effectively triples the aperture of a small telescope, even in highly light-polluted skies.  And these cameras provide an analog signal you can view with an off-the-shelf television or video monitor.  Over the next few articles, we take a look at deep-sky video astronomy and see if it’s something that might make sense for you…

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