Flintstone Stargazing

October 12, 2007

Stargazing with my son

Filed under: astronomy, Astrophotography, Messier Objects, Observation Journal, Planets — Tags: , , , , , — Ed @ 10:50 pm

M19 on 10/12/07

My oldest son Eddie, who is 11, stayed up with me this evening and we captured a bunch of the Messier Objects. This evening we were able to capture M19 (pictured above) as well as M25, M26, M28 and M30. I let Eddie help figure out what we should capture and while we were doing that he suggested we should try to get an image of Pluto. We were able to find it! I’ll get another photo in a day or two and post it then so that you can see that it moves against the background of the stars. With the Messier Objects I got this evening I now have 48 Messiers (out of 110) and 5 of the 9 planets (for these purposes, I’m counting Pluto as a planet. 🙂 )

We had a great time. I helped him figure out how to properly point the telescope and explained how the capturing software worked. He had already played with the Starry Night software that I use to find things and had a great time helping me figure out if we were in the right place (which was particularly important with Pluto since it wasn’t obvious like the Messiers). We ended up the night with him deciding to do a lot of 15 second exposures of M13 (which we would stack afterward) – a very bright and easy to find target. I told him where to aim the telescope using the red dot finder then he looked through the eyepiece and was able to see the blur of M13. I helped him refine his positioning and get it really centered then we attached the camera. Below is the result:

M13 on 10/12/07
M13 on 10/12/07 (taken by Eddie)


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