PHYS397R-Astrophotography
(1 credit - Fall 2015)

Yulei Cao, Cheng Xi Duan, Crissy Hendrickson, Lori Jin, Mintao Ye and Hao Zhang

    In this course you will learn about and do Astrophotography through course work and nighttime observations. You will use cameras and telescopes to photograph a range of celestial objects from the Sun, the Moon, the Planets, Constellations and very distant objects like Star Clusters and gaseous Nebula. You will also take images of star trails over Oxford College buildings like Seney Hall or the new Science Building. Your goal in this course is to capture a range of beautiful astro-photographs that you will put on display in Pierce Hall at the end of the semester.




Observing Night #4 - Oxford College Campus under the Stars
Date: Nov. 14, 2015  8:30pm.
Location: Oxford College Campus

We used two Canon DSLR cameras to photograph sites around campus. We originally came out to do star trails, but it was too cloudy, so we made do with photographing building and trees with clouds and stars above.



PHYS397-Campus-11/14/15



Observing Night #3 - The Moon
Date: October 22, 2015  10:30pm.
Location: Oxford College Campus

We used the 8 inch Schmidt Cassegrain telescope to image and photograph the Moon.

We first centered the Moon in the 8 inch Telescope, then turned OFF the telescope tracking. Watch as the Moon slowly moves out of the field of view due to the rotation of the Earth.




Observing Night #2 - The Andromeda Galaxy and Deep Sky Objects
Date: October 7,  8:45-11:30pm.
Location: Charlie Elliot Astronomy Field, Mansfield, Ga (~20 mins from Oxford)
  • We used the new 6 inch Newtonian telescope to image and photograph the Andromeda Galaxy M31, the Lagoon Nebula M8, and the Globular Star Cluster M22.

You should see a list of folders where all of the photos are organized by name/group. Click on a folder with your name, then click on the upper right corner on DOWNLOAD --> DOWNLOAD as ZIP.

AstroNight #2, October 7, 2015


Observing Night #1 - The Milky Way Galaxy and Saturn. 
Date: September 6, 6:45-11:30pm.
Location: Charlie Elliot Astronomy Field, Mansfield, Ga (~20 mins from Oxford)
  • We used DSLR cameras to capture wide field views of the Milky Way Galaxy. To do this, we need to go to a very very dark place, like the Charlie Elliott astronomy field, about 20 minutes by car from Oxford. Note that the Milky Way will not be visible beyond September, so this will be one of our first observation nights. 
  • We will use the large Celestron 11" telescope to photograph the planet Saturn and it's beautiful rings. Saturn will not be visible after September.

You should see a list of folders where all of the photos are organized by name/group. Click on a folder with your name, then click on the upper right corner on DOWNLOAD --> DOWNLOAD as ZIP.

Stargazing on the Charlie Elliott Astronomy FIeld - Sep. 6, 2015







These are some possible observing projects for Fall 2015.

Observing Night #2 - LUNAR ECLIPSE
Lunar Eclipse Date: Sun. Sep. 27, 9-10:30pm.
Location: Oxford College Soccer Field
We will use the Celestron 8" and 11" telescopes to photograph the Moon.
  • We will take photos of the lunar eclipse with the Canon cameras, and zoomed in images on Lunar features using the ZWO camera. The moon will be darkest from about 9-10 pm. The goal will be to get full Moon photos before, and during, the eclipse (see the lunar eclipse animation here).
  • 9:05pm-- Eclipse Starts, the Earth's shadow slowly moves across the Moon.
  • 10:15pm --Total Eclipse begins, the Moon is completely in the Earth's shadow.
  • 11:20pm -- Total Eclipse ends, the Moon begins to come out of the Earth's shadow.

Observing Night #3 - Star Clusters and Nebulae
Date: October or November 
Location: Charlie Elliot Astronomy Field, Mansfield, Ga (~20 mins from Oxford)
  • We will focus this night on observing several deep sky objects including globular star clusters and nebulae. Because these objects are so dim, we will need to go to the dark skies of the Charlie Elliott astronomy field, and we will need a completely moonless night. Photographing deep sky objects is much more challenging than photographing bright objects like planets or the Moon.  Most of the objects below are so dim that not only are they invisible to the naked eye, that are also invisible when visually looking through our largest telescope. Only by taking long exposure photographs through the telescope do the objects reveal themselves.
  • Possible Objects: Globular Star Clusters M2 and M15, the Ring and Dumbbell Nebulae.

Observing Day #4 - The Sun
Date: Any sunny day during semester
Location: Dr. Segre's office - looking out the open window!
We will use two different telescopes to study many features of the Sun.
  • The Coronado Solarmax II 60 - Has a red filter that is sensitive to light from Hydrogen atoms in a region slightly above the solar surface called the Chromosphere. This scope is very good at revealing the detailed features of convection cells, filaments plages on the Sun's surface. Information on understanding the Hydrogen Alpha solar pictures can be found at spacew.com
  • The Nexstar 8" Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope - Views the Photosphere of the Sun in visible light, good at located sunspsots, but not much more detail.

Observing Night #5 - Star Trails over Oxford College Buildings
Date: Any clear moonless night
Location: The Oxford Quad
We will take star trail images (over 45min-1hr) over buildings on campus.
  • Possible buildings to photograph include Seney Hall, the college Library, Language Hall... To make star trail images we will use the Canon cameras mounted on a fixed tripod. 

Observing Night #6 - Light Spectroscopy of Stars in Constellation Cygnus (Optional)
Date: Any clear night
Location: Oxford College Soccer Field
We will use the large Celestron 11" telescope and an RSpec diffraction grating to measure the light spectra from several bright stars in the constellation Ursa Major. 
  • Cygnus is a great constellation to study because there are many bright stars that range greatly in temperature from cold Albireo, at T=4400K, to hot Delta Cygni, at T=11,200K. Measuring the light spectra from 5-6 bright stars can be done quickly, in less than an hour, but post processing of the spectra back in the lab will require several hours of work. 







Observation Objects for 9:30pm, Sunday Sep. 6, 2015: Saturn, the Milky Way and Deep Sky Objects.

Map of Milky Way Galaxy and Positions of Some Nebulae.


**Charlie Elliott Astronomy Field is 20 minutes by car from campus, click for location.



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Psegre Phil,
Aug 28, 2015, 8:09 AM
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Psegre Phil,
Aug 11, 2015, 10:21 AM
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Psegre Phil,
Aug 11, 2015, 10:21 AM
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Psegre Phil,
Aug 11, 2015, 10:21 AM
ć
Psegre Phil,
Aug 11, 2015, 10:21 AM
Ċ
Psegre Phil,
Aug 11, 2015, 10:21 AM