Learn how to capture the night sky with ‘astrophotography’ in Clinton

The image was created with exposure times of 150 minutes luminance, and 30 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14-inch Meade LX850 telescope at f/6, according to Jim Mazur.

CLINTON — How do you capture the night sky? Find out on Thursday, Aug. 22 at 6 p.m. at Henry Carter Hull Library.

Astrophotographer Jim Mazur of Killingworth will discuss the equipment used (yes, you can use a cellphone!), tips for getting started, and share his photos ranging from the moon to distant galaxies.

Modern telescopes and cameras make it possible for amateur astronomers to take pictures of the night sky that rival those from major observatories, according to Mazur.

Mazur, who has been doing astrophotography since the 1960s, will present some of his pictures of targets ranging from the moon and planets to distant nebulae and galaxies. He will show the equipment he uses and demonstrate how computer image processing can transform crude raw images into beautiful finished products. Some types of astrophotography can be done with an ordinary DSLR camera or even a cell phone. Suggestions and tips for getting started in astrophotography will be discussed, as well as the types of equipment one needs for more advanced astrophotography.

Messier 81, Bode’s Galaxy, is a beautiful spiral galaxy, one of the nearest to us. At magnitude 6.8, it is fairly easy to see with binoculars, but all that can be seen is a faint oval patch of light. Even through very large telescopes, the intricate details in this photograph cannot be seen visually. However, with a low-power eyepiece, the nearby galaxy Messier 82 can be seen in the same field of view, making this one of the most impressive galaxy pairs visible through amateur telescopes, according to Mazur.

Exposure times of 150 minutes luminance, and 30 minutes each of red, green, and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 14-inch Meade LX850 telescope at f/6. Taken by Jim Mazur, January 2015, Killingworth.

— Submitted press release

Connecticut Media Group