Putting the lunar back in lunarbovine

I had the telescope out last night to take a couple of shots of our nearly full moon. I’m slowly getting better – there’s a bunch of factors that make astrophotography really challenging. One, you have to wait for perfect weather. Two, even the tiniest vibration in your setup (wind, footsteps, camera shutter) will cause blur in your picture. Three, the moon is moving! Fast! When you’re looking at a tiny slice of the sky you really get a sense of how everything is whirling around through space. The moon is pretty bright so it’s not a huge factor, but without a star-tracker robot to keep locked on celestial bodies, you need to keep shutter speeds pretty fast to prevent motion blur. (but you want long shutter speeds to collect a lot of light, soooo)

Anyhow – I’m failing better and better. 🙂 Here’s a shot from last night. Lots of dust on my sensor and inside the telescope – I’ll have to blow it clean soon with some compressed air.


Exploring Pluto

How exciting are all of these new pictures of Pluto? We live in a time where we take for granted how much we know about a lot of subjects, but it’s amazing to think that as recently as a few days ago we weren’t sure what Pluto really looked like, nevermind its moons and cohort of Kuiper Belt friends. Now we’re going to have to throw out all of our old Solar System books, because we know all about it’s surface features, composition, atmosphere, mass, diameter, the list goes on and on.

It’s so amazing to live in a time where images from the edges of our solar system are accessible on the web minutes after they arrive.