Thursday, November 18, 2010

Astrophotography Online

Orion Nebula
If you want to try astrophotography but have no access to equipment then this post will help you.

The Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics developed a MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network. This allows users online to log on to the use of the telescopes to take an image of a selected celestial body. The MicroObservatory is a network of 5 automated telescopes that can be accessed on-line.

The MicroObservatory is designed to allow students and teachers nationwide to investigate the wonders of the deep sky from their classrooms. The project is sponsored by the National Science Foundation (RED 9454767), with additional in-kind contributions from Eastman Kodak Company and Apple Computer.

Those who log on are responsible for taking their own images. This means focusing the telescope, selecting exposure times, filters, and other parameter. This helps the users get a feel of familiarity with the use of the telescopes. MicroObservatory has a wide range of targets including solar system objects, stars and nebulae, and also galaxies and deep-sky objects.

Images then can be edited by the user using a program that can be downloaded from the sight, or via other photo editing software.

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