Sunday, March 2, 2014

Deep Sky Imaging Session - March 1, 2014

I went with my family together with some members of the Astronomical League of the Philippines to Caliraya, Laguna t do some deep sky imaging. The sky was clear when we arrive and I use the opportunity to test some shots with the modified Canon EOS 1000D DSLR on the Orion constellation region. I was only able to do some short exposure only with the Canon EFS 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 lens mounted on a Vixen Polarie star tracker as Orion was nearing the western horizon already. Nevertheless, test image looks promising as with a 3 minutes exposure, I could see Barnard's Loop, Orion Nebula, Horsehead Nebula, Rosette Nebula and the fainter emission nebula surrounding the head of Orion. I hope to give the emission complex of Orion some justice when November or December comes. After test image, I install the modded camera on the Canon EF100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 IS L lens to try to do some close up shots of big emission nebula that evening. With initial target Eta Carina getting clouded out, I turn my sights on M81/M82 galaxy pair with also Supernova 2014J still very bright on M82. Unfortunately, exposure was cut short as clouds started rolling in around 9:30pm and we got totally covered at around 10:00pm and we all thought it was game over for all of us that evening. Luckily, the sky started to clear up again at around 1:00am and totally cleared up at around 3:00am with the entire Summer Milky Way visible from constellation Crux till Cygnus with no clouds on sight! That time, I had to choose between shooting the Milky Way or Lagoon and Triffid Nebula but I opted to image the Milky Way instead as it was rare to see the entire stretch of it without any clouds :) We ended the session with a shot of planets Mercury and Venus conjunction just before sunrise. Overall, it was a good session for all of us :)

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