Astrophotography - images taken with my SLR

When I am observing using a telescope at a nice, dark site I like to set up my SLR on a tripod outside the telescope dome and take some shots of the night sky. Most of these image are star trails, where the camera is pointed in a fixed direction, and a long-exposure photograph is taken. The apparent motion of the stars across the sky, due to the Earth's rotation, results in long bright streaks or 'star trails' in the image. This is a great way of revealing the amazing range of colour visible in the night sky, from the coolest, reddest stars to the hottest, bluest ones.

Instead of a single long exposure, I usually take a series of shorter (~4 minute) exposures, and later add them together using the incredibly easy-to-use StarStaX software. All the images on this page were taken with my Canon 500D SLR camera, and an 18-55 mm lens (almost always set to 18 mm). I am able to automatically take a series of long (> 30 second) images thanks to the excellent (and free!) Magic Lantern software which I have installed on my camera's SD card.

Click on each image for a larger version.

Trails over the GTC and TNG (1)
Trails over the GTC and TNG (2)
Trails over the WHT and LT
Trails over the INT dome
1 hour
3 hours 20 minutes
1 hour 30 minutes
2 hours
2013 October
2014 February
2014 February
2014 October

The Milky Way
45 seconds
2014 February

© A. M. S. Smith 2007-2019