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Book of Stargazing


Go to the Table of Contents for this booklet

Using A Camera to take star photos

You can take photographs of the sky with any camera that has a setting to allow the aperture to stay open for long periods of time. This is often called a "B" or Bulb setting. Most 35 mm cameras have this setting. If you are using a 35 mm camera be sure to set the aperture to the smallest F number and set the focus to infinity.

The camera must be firmly resting on something so that it does not shake at all and a tripod is ideal. When you have set the camera in the position desired you should cover the lens with something like a hat or a piece of cloth. Now you can depress the button that opens the shutter. Now when you remove the hat from in front of the camera the exposure will begin. After waiting the desired amount of time carefully place the hat in front of the camera to stop the exposure. Now you can close the shutter on the camera. Using this method of a hat or cloth insures that you do not disturb the image when you shake the camera by pressing the buttons.

With 400 speed film an exposure of approximately ten second will record the brighter stars. An exposure of an hour or more will give you beautiful star trails. An exposure of the area of the north pole will give you a beautiful picture of circular star tracks like the illustration shown below.

star trails


I also have a video showing you how to do this:





Astronomy and telescope related books & products

Star Wheel

Night Sky Star Wheel





Make a telescope kit

Refractor Telescope Kit

Build-It Yourself! -- It?s so easy, now even an eight-year-old can build an 18" long, 3X refractor telescope in less than an hour. -- Includes objective lens, eye lens, glare stops, kraftboard tubes, instructions and an Edmund Star and Planet Locator. Finished product is powerful enough to show moon craters, Jupiter?s moons and many stars not visible to the naked eye. -- For ages 8 and up. --



Astronomy for Kids

Janice VanCleave's Astronomy for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments that Really Work (Science for Every Kid Series)


Why do planets spin? How hot is the Sun? What keeps the Moon in orbit around the Earth? What are Saturn's rings made of? What's a black hole in space? Now you can discover the answers to these and other fascinating questions about basic astronomy. In Astronomy for Every Kid you'll learn about the constellations using a shoe box planetarium. You'll chart the movement of the stars with nothing but a string, a marker, and a nail. And you'll use a toy magnet to simulate the Earth's protective force field. Each of the 101 experiments is broken down into its purpose, a list of materials, step-by-step instructions, expected results, and an easy to understand explanation. Every activity has been pretested and can be performed safely and inexpensively in the classroom or at home. Also available in this series from Janice VanCleave: Biology for Every Kid Chemistry for Every Kid Dinosaurs for Every Kid Earth Science for Every Kid Geography for Every Kid Geometry for Every Kid The Human Body for Every Kid Math for Every Kid Physics for Every Kid


The Night Sky

A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky: The Story of the Stars, Planets, and Constellations--and How You Can Find Them in the Sky

Children eight and up will enjoy this conversational but information-packed introduction to astronomy and stargazing, which includes the achievements of the great scientists, the history of space exploration, the story of our solar system, the myths behind the constellations, and how to navigate the night sky. Whimsical color illustrations on every page and handy definitions and sidebars help engage younger readers and develop their interest. The special star wheel helps locate stars and planets from any location at any time of year. This is the third in Black Dog & Leventhal's successful series including The Story of the Orchestra and A Child's Introduction to Poetry.