Astro Tidbit is a collection of small pieces of information, mostly related to Astronomy. A dictionary definition of tidbit is a small tasty bit of food, or a small piece of news or interesting information. Well, I can’t pass out bits of chocolate (or other bits of tasty food), so that leaves us with the small bits of information.
I don’t know of any information more interesting than that about astronomy. We have gone from knowing about 1 galaxy to knowing about 300 billion or more in less than 100 years. Talk about information overload. We also just learned how a star puts out so much light and heat without running out of fuel in a short time. Our visible horizon has increased from the edge of our galaxy to nearly the birth of the universe, a limit of both space and time.
Everything we know about the universe has come to us through light. Our understanding of light in all its forms has increased dramatically over that same 100 years. By analyzing light from an object, we can derive its age, temperature, mass, chemical makeup, distance, orbital motion, and much more. We can create a record of that information by imaging the object. This allows us to spend more time viewing it, and it can then be compared to other objects of the same type.
Modern cameras are so easy to use that it seems like imaging the heavens should be easy to do. It doesn’t take very long to find out that this is not the case. The subject matter varies from the extremely bright to the impossibly dim, all in the same image. It doesn’t help that everything we see in the sky is moving with respect to us. That complicates long exposures of very dim objects.
My specific goal in writing this blog is to share what I have learned about astrophotography. There are numerous sources of information on astronomy, telescopes, and even astrophysics. Digital astrophotography is much newer than these other topics, so it is a little harder to get information to help you get started.
Very few people use photographic film for astrophotography. Digital photography is a great boon for photography of all types, and even more so for astrophotography. So I will concentrate on digital methods alone. I will start out at the low end of equipment and methods, since that is how most of us started out. Then I will gradually add articles of increasing complication until we reach the level attained by me.
In addition to articles on astrophotography, I will continue to post articles on astronomy in general. New information is becoming available at an alarming rate, so it can be a chore just to keep up. So return here on a regular basis, if only for the tidbits of astronomy news that I will continue to post. But I hope I can keep your interest in astrophotography at a high level as well.
Author of Astro Tidbit