Zodiac Light Home

Barn Door Photographs (As simple and as cheap as it can get....)

A barn door tracker is a simple device that has a camera mounted on a board that is hinged like a door.  The board that the camera sits on is moved by turning a handle on a rod.  The board is moved at the required rate (of 0.25 degrees per minute) that is required to turn the camera in sync with the sky.  The idea is that you slowly turn the handle once per minute and the board (with your camera on top) rotates 0.25 degrees per minute.  It is in effect a cheap equatorial mount.  For details on constructing a barn door mount like the one I use click here.

Latest Photograph
Click for an enlarged view

Barn Door Photo Over My House 19Jun06
The Southern Cross and Milky Way over my house photographed from the barn door using a Canon 350D.  The orange glow of light pollution visible.


A Simple Barn Door Tracker
Barn Door Mount
(Hinged for the Southern Hemisphere)

Eta Carina
Eta Carina Nebula
captured CCD video using the barn door

Sagittarius in the Milky Way
Sagittarius in the Milky Way
captured on 35 mm film using the barn door

More Examples...

Click Here for a LARGE View

Click the above image to view a close up.
Canon 350D 18mm lens 2 Mins f3.5 ISO 800 Noise Reduction On
All of the above images had to be shrunk down to fit on the screen.   The image below is a 100% resolution (pixel for pixel) section cut from the original photo.  The images produced by the Canon 350D are huge, at a whopping 3456 pixels by 2304 pixels.   That's more pixels than can fit onto your computer screen, so to see a full photo I have to shrink it down for you.  In the image below instead of shrinking it down I cut out a small section that is 772 pixels wide so it fits neatly on the web page below. 

The cropped image below is cropped (cut) from the area visible at centre-left of the image above.

Cropping the image has the effect of giving you a closeup of the Lagoon nebula (M8), which is clearly visible in the pink nebulosity (right of centre).  Also the Omega (Swan M17) nebula can be seen as the small pink area on the left.  The brown backdrop across the whole image is the light from billions of stars lighting up the galactic centre's exhaust (i.e. the fine carbon particles and other dust) that's been created by and is now recycling back through the massive star factories...  The dust is so thick it obscures the bright central core of our galaxy.   The slightly brighter whiter patch of stars seen at centre-left (near M17) is actually a thinner gap in the dust in our arm of the galaxy that lets us peer through to see the stars in the next inner arm of the galaxy.   Good stuff. 

Get yourself a barn door and whack a 35mm film or a DSLR camera on it.   Get going...  You'll be glad you did.

barnDoor19Jun06CloseupMilkyWayWide.jpg (53296 bytes)

The Sagittarius Starfields (The Centre of the Galaxy)
Canon 350D 18mm 2 Mins f3.5 ISO 800 Noise Reduction on.  Image cropped to 100% resolution.

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