Newbie question on atsrophotography

  • Thread starter Holocene
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Main Question or Discussion Point

What effect does exposure time have on images?

Say I just wanted to take a picture of some stars in the night sky, just with a cammera, no other optics....

Is it the exposure time that will show the stars?
 

Answers and Replies

mgb_phys
Science Advisor
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The exposure depends on the sensitivity of the film (ISO setting) and the focal length of the lens. The longer the exposure the more stars will be visible, but if it is longer than around a minute the stars will be blurred into lines as the earth rotates.
The easiest way is to try different settings and see.

It's a little more difficult with a digital camera.
 
chroot
Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
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Open the aperture all the way, focus at infinity, and take exposures of several seconds up to a few minutes, depending upon your subject. Beyond that you'll need some kind of clock drive, unless you desire star trails in your images.

- Warren
 

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