Nikon Coolpix 950 Telescope Final Result

After taking so many picture of the Empire State Building and other landscapes with the Nikon Coolpix 950, let's put it to the real test. Moon? Too big, too bright, too easy. Let's try some deep sky object. The target, M13-the Great Cluster and M5, another Globula Cluster.

The telescope I used was a Takahashi FS-102. A 4" refractor with focal lenght of 820mm. I was using a 25mm super plossl eyepiece with a Meade 2x barlow. Since I needed to get the camera's sensitivity as high as possible, I had the Coolpix's zoom set to wide-angle to get F2.6 from the camera. The whole setup gives about 65x.

Since both star clusters are very small, about 17 arc minute, with 65x, these celestrial objects occupies a very tiny area of the camera's CCD. After subtracting out the dark frame and chop out the unrelated part of the picture, here's what I got:

Huh? What is this?

It's M13, the Great Cluster. It is a magnitude 5.9 globular cluster. The size is 16.6'. It looks a lot better directly through the telescope and on the Coolpix's LCD screen

Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority Metering: Center Weighted
Shutter: 8 sec Exposure: F2.6
Focal Length: 7.2 mm Focus: INF
Exp +/-: 0.0 Sensitive: +2.0
You can see the star cluster a lot better with a little adjustment on the light level using Photoshop.

Because the Manhattan sky is so bright, too much "light-pollution", you can see the background with a lot of "noise".

Another adjustment using Photoshop, the picture is a lot cleaner now.
M5. Visual Brightness 5.8. Apparent Dimension 17.4 arc min.

Please note that the white background is not CCD noise. They are the sky-glow from the surrounding buildings. I took these pictures on the roof top of my apartment building in Manhattan, New York. The sky is too bright.

I also tried to take pictures of the Beehive. It's a Magniture 3.1 Open cluster. However, the size is too big. It's spread to about 95.0'. I can't get it fit into the screen. Maybe next time I'll just bring a simple tripot and take pictures of it with Coolpix's 3x zoom lens directly.

When I get a chance to go to a dark site, I'll take more pictures then. Stay tune.

[1.Setup] [2.Result] [3.Solution] [4.Final Setup] [5.Final Result]

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 Copyright © 1999 Wesley Chuen

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