I travel and I camp quite a lot. And I love astrophotography. How can you mix these two? Some time ago, I was using a traditional German equatorial mount, a guidescope and a laptop for astrophotography. The mount was around 18 kilos, tripod included, the guidescope around 2 and the laptop added another 1.5 kg to the setup. This was without my camera and imaging telescope or camera lenses. Oh, and let’s not forget the heavy 12V battery. And the cables. Lots of cables and adapters. Then, I decided to switch to a lighter setup more suitable to by style of astrophotography. I usually do astrophotography at short focal lengths, the longest being 500mm. Now, most of my astrophotography is done with a star tracker on a tripod, one camera body, two lenses, one telescope and one Macbook Pro for post processing. And a portable power pack. For the tracker, I chose the Fornax LighTrack II. Yes, there are lighter trackers out there, but I agreed to trade some weight for tracking accuracy. The LighTrack II is for sure the most accurate star tracker available on the market today. The peak-to-peak unguided tracking error of the LighTrack is around 2 arcseconds, […]
It’s August and the Perseids are right around the corner. The most famous meteor shower of the year should reach peak activity in the morning of August 12, between 00 and 04 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time). According to Jérémie Vaubaillon, one of the foremost meteor scientists, we should have better than average rates this year. Of course, take this with a grain of salt; nobody guarantees it’s going to happen. But even if we have normal activity from the Perseids, the show will be pretty spectacular. Expect to see around 50-60 meteors per hour; maybe more. But what are the Perseids? The Perseids, like most meteor showers, originate from comets. While travelling through the Solar System, comets leave behind a stream of debris, called meteoroids. These are very small bodies, ranging in size from a grain of sand to one meter. When comets intersect the orbit of a planet (in our case, Earth), gravity makes the meteoroids gather into clouds along the orbit of the planet. When Earth goes through one of this clouds of particles, the meteoroids fall towards the planet. Because of friction with the atmosphere, the gases surrounding the small meteoroid get ionised and emit light. This […]
I get this question very frequently, whenever I post a photo depicting the Aurora Borealis.
The answer is simple, but complicated: It depends. :) There is no universal recipe for photographing the Northern Lights, but there are some general aspects that have to be taken care of.