Stars, star clusters, galactic nebulae and galaxies are famous photography targets of amateur astronomers. With today's capabilities of digital imaging an amateur astronomer is capable of making better pictures than the best professional observatories some decades ago. Have a look at
Astronomical Image Data Archive (AIDA) for a bigger selection of astrophotography. January 1993 to February 2013, 33 Images.
The constellation Orion. The camera was guided with a telescope and during exposure time I defocused it. With this trick one can see the constellation and the different colours of the stars. Otherwise the stars would be burned out and appear white.
Pleiyades - the seven stars. Other common names are: Subaru, gummi bear or baby buggy. The asterism looks a little like Ursa Maior. This was one of the first tries with a Lichtenknecker Flatfield Camera and is very out of focus. All stars are rings. Focusing f/3.5 is not very easy. — Minolta XD-7, Lichtenknecker FFC, f=500m f/3.5, Fujichrome RH 400, somewhere in 1997
Messier 42, the Orion nebula. — 3.5/500mm Flatfield-Kamera, January 1997
The double star cluster h and Chi Persei in constellation Perseus
Trails of star gazers during a telescope meeting on Hasliberg/BE.
Star trails of the rising constellation Orion. This picture was taken in 1998 while we were waiting for the big Leonid meteor shower which came one year later.
The constellation Orion is setting behind the famous mount Matterhorn. Picture taken from Gornergrat with the dome of the observatory in the foreground.
Rising Orion above the city Chur, taken from the 18th floor of a building. Just for imagination what light pollution means. — Nikon D70, 24-85mm Zoom lens, 30s @ ISO 1600, 10 December 2004
The milky way on Lukmanierpass. The foreground has been flashed to achieve mor depth on the picture. — Nikon D70, 120s at ISO 1600, 24mm at f/4.5, 11. Dezember 2004, 22:27 MEZ
View from Lukmanierpass towards south. One can see the light dome above Milano. They belong to the cities with the biggest light pollution in europe. — Nikon D70, 180s at ISO 1600, 24mm at f/4.5, 11. Dezember 2004, 23:51 MEZ
The starry sky above Lukmanierpass. The trees have ben flashed with internal flash of the D70. Interestingly the sky has a yellow-brown colour while the colours from the flash are correct. This is caused by different colour temperatures. Unfortunately I did not take this picture in NEF format and hence cannot modify the white balance. — Nikon D70, 120s at ISO1600, 24mm mit f/4.5, white balance sun, 12. December 2004, 02:25 MEZ
View from Hotel Langis on Glaubenbergpass towards Sarnen down in the valley, covered by fog sea. The light dome behind the mountens is caused by Milano's light pollution. — Nikon D70, AF-S 24-85mm lens, f=24mm, f/5, 300s at ISO 800, white balance tungsten, graduation curve adjusted, 6 February 2005
Trails of stargazers at Hotel Langis on Glaubenbergpass. — Nikon D70, AF-S 24-85mm, f=24mm, f/5, 190s at ISO 800, white balance tungsten, graduation curve adjusted, 6 February 2005
The polar star above a fir tree. — Nikon D200, Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm, f=28mm, f/2.8, 960s, ISO 100, white balance 3000K, Glaubenbergpass, 22. April 2006 — Nikon D200, 959 s, F/2.8, 28 mm, ISO 100, Saturday, April 22, 2006 00:02:19
The region around the brigt star Antares in the constellation Scorpius. The red stripe across the image was caused by an airplane.
The milky way in the constellation Cygnus.
The milky way with the Scutum star cloud.
Milky way at the spring telescope meeting on Hasliberg
Trails of stars above trees and mountains. I set the white balance to 3000K because then the night sky appears blue, which is not scientifically correct but looks more natural ;-) If the white balance is set to sunglight then the night sky appears brown. I recommend using NEF for all night scenes or under illumination circumstances which are unclear. — Nikon D200, Nikkor AF-S 28-70mm, f=28mm, f/2.8, 480s, ISO 200, white balance 3000K, Glaubenbergpass, 22. April 2006
Circumpolar stars with clouds on Mirasteilas 2006 in Falera. — Nikon D200, Nikkor AF-S 12-24mm 1:4, f=12mm, f/4, 30min, ISO 100, colour temperature 3000K, 24 September 2006
Nikon D200, 960 s, F/3.5, 24 mm, ISO 100, Saturday, May 19, 2007 00:43:40
Nikon D200, 960 s, F/4.0, 17 mm, ISO 100, Saturday, May 19, 2007 02:17:31
Nikon D200, 1800 s, F/4.0, 13 mm, ISO 100, Saturday, February 9, 2008 22:02:20
Nikon D200, 900 s, F/4.0, 13 mm, ISO 200, Saturday, February 9, 2008 22:40:00
Nikon D200, 480 s, F/4.5, 12 mm, ISO 200, Saturday, February 9, 2008 23:15:03
Nikon D3, 25 s, F/4.0, 17 mm, ISO 6400, Sunday, August 23, 2009 00:25:14
Nikon D3, 25 s, F/2.8, 17 mm, ISO 3200, Friday, September 18, 2009 22:36:09
Nikon D3, 30 s, F/3.2, 17 mm, ISO 3200, Saturday, February 5, 2011 00:53:29
Nikon D3, 29 s, F/3.5, 17 mm, ISO 3200, Saturday, February 5, 2011 22:00:06
Nikon D3, 240 s, F/3.5, 17 mm, ISO 400, Sunday, February 6, 2011 01:55:25
Nikon D3, 30 s, F/3.5, 17 mm, ISO 3200, Saturday, August 18, 2012 22:54:59
Nikon D3, 30 s, F/3.5, 17 mm, ISO 3200, Saturday, August 18, 2012 23:13:41
Nikon D3, 30 s, F/2.8, 17 mm, ISO 3200, Saturday, February 2, 2013 02:08:23