Free planetarium

 
User avatar
Watsisname
Science Officer
Science Officer
Posts: 853
Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Location: Bellingham, WA

Astrophotography

18 Jul 2017 23:13

The sky at class 4 is still much, much better than 7, and you'll be able to see the Milky Way. :)  But if you're able to then sure, go for the darkest sky you can get!  

I grew up just outside of Washington DC, which is Bortle class 8.  The first time I went out in the country and saw it as class 4, my reaction was "WOW, that's what the Little Dipper looks like?!"  All my life I had only seen Polaris -- never the fainter stars that make up the whole constellation.  You'll really appreciate how people in ancient times connected the stars to imagine fanciful creatures in the sky.

I've also had the fortune to see the night sky in the southern hemisphere under truly dark, Bortle Class 1 conditions, and it was the most amazing thing.  It really is as much better than a 4 than a 4 is from a 7.  The Milky Way, especially if the central region is in view, becomes a commanding presence in the sky, and you just get lost in it.  There are so many stars it's hard to contemplate how the sky contains them all and yet is still so dark.

There's tons of resources out there for following the sun and moon movements.  One of my preferred tools is the Photographer's Ephemeris, which lets you pick a location on the map and then computes not just the times of sunrise/sunset and the Moon phases, but also where they will rise and set and how high they are in the sky at different times.  I really like it because it's fast and easy to use.

You'll also want to try to mind the weather.  Not just for clouds, but for the clarity of the atmosphere.  Dust, haze, or water vapor will reduce the clarity of the sky and dim the stars.  In the desert though it will probably be quite clear if there isn't any dust.

Also I should say, so that you don't have false expectations, that the Milky Way will not look the way it does in photographs.  The camera picks up a lot more light over a long period of time, and thus shows fainter details, and colors, which are not so apparent to the eye.  However, it is still an absolutely spectacular sight, and in very many ways is better in person!  You will not be disappointed! :)
 
User avatar
Mosfet
World Builder
World Builder
Posts: 663
Joined: 24 Oct 2016
Location: Italy

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 01:15

Spacer wrote:
Source of the post any website i can track the moon circle and rise/set times? i want to go on august in a day that the sky will be with no moon at all

If you have an android smartphone I'd suggest Planetdroid by Wolfgang Strickling. Pure high quality ephemerids of solar system and custom objects, a small visibility graph, a finder tool...
screenshot_2017-07-19-09-57-28.jpg

Now that I think about it, he made also another android app, EclipseDroid, which could help our US friends for the upcoming eclipse.
"Time is illusion. Lunchtime doubly so". Douglas N. Adams
My mods | My specs: Asus x555ub - cpu i5-6200u, ram 4gb, gpu nvidia geforce 940m 2gb vram | IRC freenode.net canale ##SpaceEngineITA
 
User avatar
Spacer
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 248
Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Location: mevaseret zion, israel

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 01:23

cool thanks for all the info!
here in the summer the sky almost clear all days, i live in a region when the summer is absolutely dry. the rains stop here on may and start again on october so the chances for clear sky are pretty high in here than most places in the world when it rains in the summer too.
anyway i will ask in the forum of my local weather website about some date few days before that date, the admin (the forecaster) will tell me if it will be clear or not.
:D wats you got me so excited i may push on my parents to go to the class 2 place in the middle of the desert with some dirt road with the car! i try to explain to them that they wont be disappointed! i would go there on my own but i want them to experience that too, they live here and never goes to such dark places at all in thier lifetime.
i also just checked and a new moon will happen on august 21 or july 23. july 23 is too close to now so i may go around august 21. the problem is that my parents want to see the perseids in a place here that has Observatory, however the place is bortle class of 4 and there will be alot of people at that day that will come to watch the meteors too. many people=many smartphones lights...(today tech....) so it wont be much clear, with all the lights i will guess the bortle class will be 5. so i need to convince them to return a week later to another place with class of 2!  :)
"Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still"
-carl sagan
 
User avatar
Watsisname
Science Officer
Science Officer
Posts: 853
Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Location: Bellingham, WA

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 01:38

I decided to make a comparison to show just how dramatic the difference in brightness of the sky is from different locations.  Same part of the sky, same equipment, and same exposure settings, all straight from the camera with no editing besides resizing.  (30s exposure, f/2.0, ISO3200, 4000K white balance).  The difference between where I live (Bortle 4-5ish) and downtown just a few miles away (Bortle 6-7ish) is stunning.

Image


And below is the same sequence, except the exposure time is set so that the light metering reads the same (about 1 stop less than neutral exposure).  The exposure times are 30s, 15s, and 5s.  This demonstrates how the Milky Way details are lost as the sky brightens.


► Show Spoiler
 
User avatar
Spacer
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 248
Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Location: mevaseret zion, israel

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 01:56

Watsisname, wow and i live in class 7!! i hope one day soon i will be able to buy a camera like yours too and try it out.
i hope to go to chile or something one day too to experience class 1  :)
"Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still"
-carl sagan
 
User avatar
Fireinthehole
Astronaut
Astronaut
Posts: 60
Joined: 02 Nov 2016
Location: Sweden

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 02:52

Really great images, Watsisname, and a great comparasion! I myself live under a class 6 sky. I can, in the very best nights in autumn, distinguish the Milky Way through Cygnus, but never through Cassiopeia, Perseus or Auriga. I made observations last January and found that I could see a star in Aries with a magnitude of 5.2, and that star was about 40 degrees up, so possibly the NELM at zenith is about 5.4 or something.

Have you checked the naked eye limiting magnitude from the places you visit, Watsisname? I would love to hear. :)

I have a fairly dark sky about 40 km from where I live, with clear horizons and 3-4 on the Bortle scale. I have seen the Milky Way through Orion from there, and M33 with the naked eye (with averted vision, however). I have never made a serious attempt at determining the NELM, but I have seen a 6.1 star. Zodiacal light in autumn mornings should be visible, as the eastern horizon is relatively free from light pollution, although I have never tried to see it. I have a few times seen a class 2 sky, and as you say, there is a major difference. I can only dream about a Bortle 1 sky! The closest, except for the seas, is in the Swedish fells, about 600 km as the crow flies from where I live.

We talk a lot about climate change, which is of course good and neccessary, but we often forget light pollution, which also has severe consequences on human and animal life. Darkness at night is natural for humans, and was the reality until about the mid-19th century for huge cities like London, Paris and New York City, and until the early 20th century for smaller towns. Not only will the general public lose interest in astronomy, but also animals will get confused, humans will easier get sleep disorders and even disturb our hormones. Not to mention the waste of energy sending light up in the sky...
 
User avatar
Marko S.
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 159
Joined: 02 Jul 2017
Location: Serbia

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 03:35

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post The loss of our dark skies is a very sad problem. =(

Yes, it is sad. But that's what people wanted.
Here, where I live, on one side, it is kinda light polluted, but on the other side, it is dark. It is dark because there is a mountain that only has cottages. I live on a hill that's nor mountain nor some low a altitude hill. I like the place where I am now. City is 10 km from my house and I can see it. Not whole city because there is another mountain blocking the view. I am surrounded by mountains to be honest. I'll take a picture one day to show you.
Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post Equipment is a Canon Rebel T3 with a Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 lens.

How much money did you have to spare for it? And are you satisfied with it? Can you reccomend some equipment on a budget? It's not like I got any since I stopped saving. But I'll start again. Now I have just less than 100$  :lol: My best saving was two years ago and it was 400$ (Even more than some salaries). But, of course, it took some time.
Specs: Ram: 8gb | Vram: 1gb | Graphics card: AMD Radeon | Hard-drive: 1tb | Processor: AMD Athlon X4 750 Quad Core Processor | CPU: 3.40 GHz | OS: Win 10 and XP (lol) |
We use time just to orientate through space.
 
User avatar
DoctorOfSpace
World Builder
World Builder
Posts: 785
Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Location: SpaceX Mars Colony
Contact:

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 14:10

Had some recommendations from HarbingerDawn and SpaceEngineer, obviously a telescope would be preferable, but I am curious if anyone here has some ideas or cheaper alternatives.

I mounted some welding glass into some filter adapters and it seems this is the best I can get of the sun
Image

It might be good enough for the eclipse, but maybe I should look to getting something like
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DS7IFQS/
CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 4.2GHz 6-Core Processor - RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 - GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC Black Edition
Quando omni flunkus, moritati
 
User avatar
Mosfet
World Builder
World Builder
Posts: 663
Joined: 24 Oct 2016
Location: Italy

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 16:11

DoctorOfSpace, good for a wielding glass. I used a doubled one back in '99, crudely placed before the optics with rubber bands :)
The solar filter sheet you mentioned it certainly seems better in case of sunspots, much less graininess.

I've been able to recover a scanned photo, the end of the totality, at Balaton Lake in august 11, 1999. Unfortunately I've lost the films.  You may notice that there were still some clouds near the Sun, it rained the night before. No filters in place for this one.
UscitaEclisse99.jpg
"Time is illusion. Lunchtime doubly so". Douglas N. Adams
My mods | My specs: Asus x555ub - cpu i5-6200u, ram 4gb, gpu nvidia geforce 940m 2gb vram | IRC freenode.net canale ##SpaceEngineITA
 
User avatar
Spacer
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 248
Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Location: mevaseret zion, israel

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 20:33

Watsisname, hi wats! i found a place in the south desert class 2 and in some guide here it says you will be able to see on good day stars with magnitude of 6.9-7.1. is the magnitude very good?
this place has been rated the best and darkest place in the country with 7.1 magnitude (not the best compare to some worldly places)
and what should i expect to see there with my naked eye? all images out there is probably like yours with exposure...there is any good image to compare what you will see there with your own eyes?
"Exploration is in our nature. We began as wanderers, and we are wanderers still"
-carl sagan
 
User avatar
Watsisname
Science Officer
Science Officer
Posts: 853
Joined: 06 Sep 2016
Location: Bellingham, WA

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 21:15

Spacer, yes, a NELM of 6.9-7.1 is an excellent sky. :)  That's between Bortle 2 and 3, so it'll be like where I took the aurora photos from.  In addition to the Milky Way, which will look very bright and detailed, you may also see the Zodiacal Light and perhaps even Airglow.

Zodiacal light looks like a yellowish triangular glow rising up in the east before the morning twilight, or in the west after twilight fades away.  From a very dark sky the color and shape contrasts nicely with the Milky Way.  Airglow is more apparent close to the horizon, and is most often just a vague featureless "glow", but sometimes has wavy or rippled structure that slowly drifts across the sky.  Kind of like a very subtle aurora.  It can be different colors (greens, blues, reds) but is mostly greenish, though to the eye it may be more colorless.

Mosfet, AWESOME photo of the diamond ring!  That's really spectacular.

Fireinthehole, I'm afraid I haven't made the effort to precisely determine the NELM at the various sites, but I'll try to do that the next time I'm out under good conditions. :)  The wikipedia article for the Bortle Scale also has a rough range of NELM and sky magnitude for the different classes.

DoctorOfSpace, that image doesn't look too bad to me.  Much better than what I can do!  The green of course is a consequence of the welder glass, while the solar filter will give a nice warm color.  You could also try a photographer's neutral density filter to give a white light like Harbinger's image.  As for securing it; I'd say that's a DIY thing.  Tape and cardboard with elastic bands?  Also think about how to be able to quickly and easily take it off in time for totality.  

Marko S. wrote:
Source of the post How much money did you have to spare for it? And are you satisfied with it? Can you reccomend some equipment on a budget?

Yeah, I've had this camera for many years and have been extremely happy with it.  I forget how much it was -- I think around $600 or so, though it may be possible to get a used or refurbished one for less. 

The lens I got two years ago, specifically to do landscapes and night sky photography.  It's great for the Milky Way because it captures a wide field of view, and at f/2.0 it gathers a lot of light very quickly.  I've also been extremely happy with it, and it's a good price for the quality of the optics.  It usually goes for about $300-$400.  The catch is that it is a totally manual lens that doesn't electronically interface with the camera,  So you must focus and set the aperture yourself, but that's not really a problem for shooting landscapes or the night sky. :)

If you're in the market to get some photography gear, it's real important to think about what you intend to be shooting, as this will dictate what kind of equipment will be best for you.  I'd say it's comparable to the research one should do before getting a telescope.
 
User avatar
DoctorOfSpace
World Builder
World Builder
Posts: 785
Joined: 22 Aug 2016
Location: SpaceX Mars Colony
Contact:

Astrophotography

19 Jul 2017 22:55

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post The green of course is a consequence of the welder glass, while the solar filter will give a nice warm color.


Hue can always be adjusted or blanked out in post, the color doesn't concern me.

Before I got my camera a few years ago I had to use a really bad camera for the transit of Venus and this was the best it could do

► Show Spoiler


So there is clearly an improvement in quality, but not as substantial as I thought I would get.

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post You could also try a photographer's neutral density filter to give a white light like Harbinger's image.


I have checked, they aren't very cheap, especially after buying a new lens.  Many of them have 3 weeks of waiting as well, so that is cutting it close.  I may just have to make do with what I have, which again shouldn't be too much of an issue hopefully, it just won't be as good of pictures as I would like.

Watsisname wrote:
Source of the post As for securing it; I'd say that's a DIY thing.  Tape and cardboard with elastic bands?


Already have a solution.  I spent $15 on a step up and step down set, wrapped the edge of the piece of glass in electrical tape, and snugly fit it inside the filter adapters.

Pictures in spoiler tag to avoid page stretching
► Show Spoiler
CPU: Intel Core i7-5820K 4.2GHz 6-Core Processor - RAM: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 - GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 Ti SC Black Edition
Quando omni flunkus, moritati
 
User avatar
the photo guy
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 152
Joined: 27 Apr 2017
Location: canada/saskatchewan

Astrophotography

02 Aug 2017 22:04

IMG_0394.JPG
IMG_0395.JPG
IMG_0396.JPG

Hey! these are my very first astrophotography shots :) a little while ago I bought a Celestron 130EQ and this is my first time seeing the moon through it :D I have to say it was awesome! but the pictures didn't turn out as good :roll: oh well... hope its at least a good start :)
HI! I would like to say that I'm just a friendly teen who loves talking and helping people out :) Space engine is truly a wonderful program and the website is also very cool! Many great people here. I hope to make some good friends here.
 
User avatar
Marko S.
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 159
Joined: 02 Jul 2017
Location: Serbia

Astrophotography

03 Aug 2017 03:36

the photo guy wrote:
IMG_0394.JPGIMG_0395.JPGIMG_0396.JPG
Hey! these are my very first astrophotography shots :) a little while ago I bought a Celestron 130EQ and this is my first time seeing the moon through it :D I have to say it was awesome! but the pictures didn't turn out as good :roll: oh well... hope its at least a good start :)

Wow! :D You finally got a great view from the skies! And these are great for the first time. Especially the second one! First has little bit more glare to it and isn't focused. Second is great, and third after it! If you get a chance, can you also photograph Jupiter and it's Moons? It would be hard to focus it but, worth a try! :)
Specs: Ram: 8gb | Vram: 1gb | Graphics card: AMD Radeon | Hard-drive: 1tb | Processor: AMD Athlon X4 750 Quad Core Processor | CPU: 3.40 GHz | OS: Win 10 and XP (lol) |
We use time just to orientate through space.
 
User avatar
the photo guy
Explorer
Explorer
Posts: 152
Joined: 27 Apr 2017
Location: canada/saskatchewan

Astrophotography

03 Aug 2017 08:42

Marko S. wrote:
the photo guy wrote:
IMG_0394.JPGIMG_0395.JPGIMG_0396.JPG
Hey! these are my very first astrophotography shots :) a little while ago I bought a Celestron 130EQ and this is my first time seeing the moon through it :D I have to say it was awesome! but the pictures didn't turn out as good :roll: oh well... hope its at least a good start :)

Wow! :D You finally got a great view from the skies! And these are great for the first time. Especially the second one! First has little bit more glare to it and isn't focused. Second is great, and third after it! If you get a chance, can you also photograph Jupiter and it's Moons? It would be hard to focus it but, worth a try! :)

thanks :) I know you have been waiting for me to get some up here sense I got the telescope. XD
I don't think my telescope can get me all the way to Jupiter, or at least clearly to the point where you can see its moons.  
HI! I would like to say that I'm just a friendly teen who loves talking and helping people out :) Space engine is truly a wonderful program and the website is also very cool! Many great people here. I hope to make some good friends here.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 2 guests