Stargazing The Pleiades: an underrated glory of the night sky

sophiecentaur

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I was doing my usual untargeted tour of the sky last night and checking the objects I'm now familiar with when I saw a new twinkle down on the NE horizon. The binoculars made it look interesting so I looked at it with my telescope. What a fantastic fairyland of light. No wonder the Pleiades are rich in lore. With my widest eyepiece, they nearly fill the field of view I was staring at them for about a quarter of an hour is total amazement.
Everyone, even with binoculars, should really get to look at them on a suitable night.
I apologise for my beginner's enthusiasm for optical stargazing but what I could see was of the sort of stunning quality that many of the 'things to see' are only available in their glory to posh astrophotographers.
 

sophiecentaur

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I am so pleased with all those 'likes'. Those Pleiades are a treat for me to look forward to over the next few months. I guess I could try my k10D on them. Astrophotography here I come.
 

davenn

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I am so pleased with all those 'likes'. Those Pleiades are a treat for me to look forward to over the next few months. I guess I could try my k10D on them. Astrophotography here I come.

woohooo :smile:

Pentax K10D ?
still have one of those around somewhere. It was my first digital SLR camera
followed by the K7D and K5D in Pentax before moving to Canon ( I got sick of waiting for Pentax to come out with a full frame sensor dSLR)


Dave
 

davenn

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Those Pleiades are a treat for me to look forward to over the next few months
not far from the Pleiades is the Great Andromeda Nebula. Naked eye galaxy from a reasonably dark site. very easy target in binoculars

D
 

sophiecentaur

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not far from the Pleiades is the Great Andromeda Nebula. Naked eye galaxy from a reasonably dark site. very easy target in binoculars

D
Trouble with that is you can easily see the central fuzzy blob but the 'background / foreground' has got to be below the brightness of the elliptical bit. Ain't seen that yet.
 

davenn

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Trouble with that is you can easily see the central fuzzy blob but the 'background / foreground' has got to be below the brightness of the elliptical bit. Ain't seen that yet.
yup, hence the need for a dark sky to get that contrast

I was having a look at it ( M31) through binoculars several weeks ago when I was up for the Perseid meteors
M31 doesn't get far above the horizon for us, ~ 15 - 20 deg
Really do have to try and photo it with the zoom lens and tracking some time. Have only done it with the 50mm lens and ~ 20 sec exp.


Dave
 

sophiecentaur

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It was my first digital SLR camera
The k10D is my first and only DSLR but, looking at the best of my past pictures, I'm not dissatisfied with it. However, I'm summoning up the courage to get a more advanced Pentax. It has to be Pentax because I have a bag full of Pentax lenses. And the sensor will have to be small so that I can use them. It seems that, if I want to be an Astrophotographer, I would be better off with a dedicated camera and they seem to be quite good value. But then I will need a laptop etc. etc. etc.
That's the nice thing of the Mark 1. eyeball: mine may not be too hot but I'm not tempted to get an upgrade.
 

davenn

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The k10D is my first and only DSLR but, looking at the best of my past pictures, I'm not dissatisfied with it.
tho it's getting a bit long in the tooth now, ~ 9 years old ( the model) it's still a good general use camera

I'm summoning up the courage to get a more advanced Pentax. It has to be Pentax because I have a bag full of Pentax lenses.
yeah know that feeling ... I was in the same boat, I still have Pentax lenses left over from my film SLR cameras. But as I commented above, I really wanted to move to a full frame sensor camera and Pentax weren't keeping up with the times. I went out and spent a zillion bucks on a top camera and top lenses studio lights high end tripod ... yup, "the whole 9 yards" haha. And so pleased I did.
It wasn't till the beginning of this year that Pentax finally released the K1 full frame camera.
https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentax-k-1

and it can make use of many of the older lenses ( mainly ones from around 1990 onwards)

The main advantage of the newer models ( ignoring the gimmicks) is lower noise levels with higher ISO settings and better resolution
as a result of better sensors and onboard processing ... great for astro work ( and imaging in general)
Other things, still not gimmicks, include faster focussing, better metering, more frames per second <--- sports photographers love that last one

And the sensor will have to be small so that I can use them.
all the Pentax dSLR's will take the APS-C mount Pentax lenses. The APS-C refers as much to the mount type as it does the sensor size.
From a sensor perspective, it is referring to a crop sensor, regardless of the brand of camera.

It seems that, if I want to be an Astrophotographer, I would be better off with a dedicated camera and they seem to be quite good value.
Presumably you are referring to a astro imaging camera ? as in ones like this .....
http://www.bintel.com.au/Astrophotography/61/categorylist.aspx [Broken]

Seriously, don't worry about any of those for a while, if at all. So much awesome astro imaging can be done with just a camera, some different lenses and a
stable tripod for wide angle short exposure time milky way 30 sec or less exposures, through to longer exposures of deep space objects with a camera, zoom lenses and a tracking mount .... nay a telescope in sight :biggrin:

some food for thought

Dave
 
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Andy Resnick

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sophiecentaur

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I passed on contact lenses and I passed on laser treatment so I'm not likely to go for one (two???). AAA cells in each ear to power them. Lol
 

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