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Photographing the Moon in Cornwall with RSPB 76mm telescope using PD video camera through double-glazing!


Roger Samworth


 We were on holiday in Cornwall last week - that's what caused me to miss the RAG meeting.

We were in an RSPB shop near Exeter and on impulse I bought a 76mm reflector on a small dob mount they had on sale there for 60-odd pounds Yes, yes, I know! - but you are allowed to do something daft when on holiday. Actually, I was attracted by not only its small size (300mm focal length f/4) but that it had a 1 1/4" focuser, and I could therefore easily use the PD camera with it. Looked ideal for taking on holiday in future without taking up any space in the car. I know you can get them cheaper on the web, but as I said, you are allowed to do something daft while on holiday!

Anyway, after taking it apart and fiddling with it (that's where the fun is), and especially properly collimating it, it isn't actually bad!. The attached photo of the moon was taken with the PD camera and a barlow lens, through the double glazing, with it sitting on the bedroom window-sill. See the attached photo of the set-up with the camera. You can see the scope competing with the plants - - -! I also used the barlow that came with it. (it has a 6mm and 20mm eyepiece too).

Click here to see a moon photo without the barlow too.

Also attached is a pic of the Orion nebula region early 4/10/2014 using the same set-up.

Bear in mind the limitations I was under taking the photo:

  • Cheap “toy” 76mm reflector
  • Widow-sill
  • Through double glazing
  • Un-driven
  • Exposure with the PD camera boils down to 32 frames at 1/50 sec per frame - about 0.6 sec total exposure.

If you look hard, you can just about make out the trapezium!

Amazing what you can do with a "toy"!




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