Saturday, January 26, 2019

Halley's Comet

I mentioned in the Huber Woods post about viewing Halley's Comet. That got me to dig out some of my old photos (hard copies from olden times when I used film!).

And I found eight  3.5" x 5" prints in an envelope. Fortunately there were notes on the back, "Halley's Comet, 12/8/85".

I scanned three, of which this was the best (after a bit of work in Photoshop to clean things up).

☄️  🔭  ☄️  🔭  ☄️

Note I didn't say "good". The comet is that fuzzy dot dead center. I think these were my first attempts at astrophotography. And if I recall correctly I used a Minolta SR 101 camera, with a Vivitar 70-210mm lens. I have no idea as to what film, ASA (what ISO was called back then), f-stop, or shutter speed I used. If I took notes they are long gone. Nor do I have the negatives.

The camera was mounted atop a Celestron Super C8 telescope, which itself was fork mounted on a equatorial wedge. My first big purchase after graduating from college. It was that or IBM PC. I went back and forth on this for several months as I saved up for it, pouring over magazine ads in Sky & Telescope and Scientific American.  I'm glad I went with the scope. It would be years before I bought my first computer, a Mac 512KE. I still have both the scope and the computer, both in working order (the scope has held up better).

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