Afocal Astrophotography on LightBridge

The first step on astrophotography on the LightBridge was to attempt an afocal setup using a Canon PowerShot SD780 IS point-and-shot camera.  After the counterweight issue was resolved, the next issue was to get the camera into position using the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount.  The SteadyPix was completely adjustable but also made it more confusing to get everything to align but finally I did. 

One problem was getting the image to look centered in the camera and also not have random spots displayed.  I zoomed in a little and that fixed the issue.

Once the image looked good, I experimented with camera settings.  I switched to the P mode manual option.  I then set the ISO to either 1600 or 800.  I changed the metering to “spot” but left it on Auto White Balance (AWB).  I set it to the highest resolution JPG files.  I turned off all flash settings.  Lastly, I set the self-timer to 2 seconds to avoid any motion after clicking the shutter.

I took some test shots of an electrical pole in the distance.  Overall, the images were fine though not as focused as looking through the eyepiece but the next step will be to try with astronomy objects.

Overall, the setup was fine but the SteadyPix was a little too complicated to get everything set.  I had to remove the camera a number of times to remove the SD card to check the results on my computer.  That wasn’t really the fault of the SteadyPix but made the overall configuration less than ideal. 

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Angle Celestial

We created an Angle Celestial Astronomy Calculator.

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Counterweight for LightBridge

When I started testing my point-and-shot camera doing afocal photography, I added an Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount.  However, when I pointed the LightBridge at a telephone pole in the distance for testing, the LightBridge tube was too top heavy.

I did some research and one common solution was to add some magnets.  Though it wasn’t as easy to purchase some magnets that also had some weight, I eventually found enough and they acted as a counter-balance.  It was nice in the end to have a number of smaller magnets because I could remove them if needed.  I also got some felt to prevent any scratching.

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Installing Solar Filters for Binoculars

I decided to purchase the solar filters I researched before.  The installing was very easy.  I had noticed a video on Rainbow Symphony’s website on how to do the installing.  I add to double up the felt but it was good fit.  Unfortunately, it was rainy today so not able to test.

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Galactic to Equatorial

We created a Galactic to Equatorial Astronomy Calculator.

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Equatorial to Galactic

We created an Equatorial to Galactic Astronomy Calculator.

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