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Astronomy and the Beauty
of the Swiss Alps

Alpine Astrovillage Lü-Stailas
..Observatory and Center for Astrophotography
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AAV Courses

Content of the courses:

Course 1: The telescope and direct (visual) observation (3 nights)

  1. The wonders of the universe – objects in the sky and their distances
  2. The light in the sky – Stellar magnitudes and light pollution
  3. The human eye: night adaptation, and indirect seeing
  4. Binoculars and telescopes: a brief overview.
  5. Some helpful formulas (min/max magnifications, resolution, f ratio, exit pupil etc)
  6. Eye pieces, filters, and other accessories – types and applications
  7. Orientation in the sky: coordinates, maps, atlases, planispheres
  8. The parallactic mount
  9. The most beautiful objects for stargazing
  10. Useful tips for observing the night sky and helpful web links.

Course 2: Solar imaging in H-alpha using a digital astronomical video camera (3 nights, from Dec. 2011)

  1. The sun, our home star
  2. Sun observation: Telescopes and filters
  3. Observing the chromosphere in H-alpha
  4. Solar imaging: advantages of a digital video camera
  5. Digital imaging of the sun in H-alpha: Hardware and software
  6. Some recording parameters: Frame rate, exposure time, gain and gamma settings
  7. Data processing: ImagesPlus and Photoshop
  8. Solar imaging: the flow-chart

Course 3: Imaging of the moon and planets using a digital astronomical video camera (3 nights, from Dec. 2011)

  1. Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn - memebrs of our solar system
  2. Advantages of M&P photography
  3. M&P photography: Telescopes, cameras and the "seeing"
  4. Advantages of a digital video camera
  5. Color vs monochromatic cameras
  6. Digital M&P photography: Hardware and software
  7. Some recording parameters: Magnification, focusing, using filters, frame rate, exposure time, gain and gamma settings
  8. Data processing: Registax, Photoshop, and other software
  9. M&P photography: the flow-chart

Course 4: Introduction to astrophotography with a dSLR (7 nights)

  1. Light and color – photography in astronomy
  2. Film- and digital single lens reflex cameras in comparison (incl. an astro-CCD camera)
  3. Optics in astrophotography – lenses and telescopes
  4. Some formulas, matching of telescope and camera
  5. Mount basics and guiding – manual vs digital
  6. How to take the pictures: with or without guiding/piggyback camera mount/through the telescope
  7. Accessories of a camera/telescope-setup
  8. Which telescope (and budget...) for DSLR-astrophotography?
  9. The computer and the software "Image Plus (IP)"
  10. The astrophotography procedure flow-chart
  11. The first pictures – sun, moon, wide field photography
  12. Introduction to digital image processing: raw images and reduction frames, IP application
  13. Introduction to digital image processing: the most important routines in Photoshop
  14. The most beautiful objects for DSLR-deep-sky-astrophotography
  15. Practical examples of image processing on astronomical images

Courses includes theory (each day from approx. 3 to 5 pm) and practical work at the telescope and/or PC. In course 4, participants may take and use their own camera after prior arrangement. Included in the course fees are the use of all equipment, a handout of the course content, and, in courses 1 and 4, a small star atlas.

 

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