Pleiades with DMC-TZ1


Tonight (November 7, 2010) it was very cold but the sky was clear. So I put my small Meade Polaris 60EQ out on the deck and attached the Panasonic DMC-TZ1 camera to the OTA in piggy back mode. I took 21 images of the Pleiades (before the battery of the camera was drained). I also used the small battery-operated motor drive for the tripod of the Polaris 60EQ for tracking. This drive is not very accurate and the tripod of the Polaris 60EQ is rather shacky. Nevertheless, 11 images from the 21 were useable with only minor star trails. The DMC-TZ1 was operated in the "starry night" mode at f/4.2, ISO 80, focal length of 52mm (350mm on 35mm camera), exposure times were 15s (4 images), 30s (5 images), and 60s (2 images) for a total exposure time of 5.5 min. The DMC-TZ1 automatically subtracts darkframes. Therefore, I just applied a master flat image (average of 4 flats), stacked the 11 images with the Nebulosity v2.3.0 software and did a little post processing (also in Nebulosity). The final images is certainly not as good as the one taken with the Canon camera on 10-30-2010 using the much more accurate motor drive of the Meade 2120. But still, the image is not bad for a small point and shoot digital camera. There is even some nebulosity visible in this image. Taken on November 7, 2010.

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