CAS - When Things Go Wrong (WTGW)


First Dark Sky

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Astrophotography - When Things Go Wrong

We have all produced some, perhaps many, bad images. The images on this web site might give the false impression that it is easy or that only very accomplished if not professional astrophotographers can produce such images. That is not true. It is true that most of us have learned many things the hard way but experience and "how to" can be shared. This page provides actual images taken by members of the club which show common errors that most of us have made and overcome. We continue to make some of these errors but modern digital photography yields immediate results and the ability to try again. These examples are provided to let you identify a problem you may be experiencing and provide some basic hints to correct or avoid the problem. Under each image we have provided the name (email contact) of a club member who is willing to mentor you on the problem and how to correct or avoid it.

Alt-Azimuth MOunt Field Rotation

Alt-Azimuth Mount Field Rotation

Click on image for details.

Bumped the Mount

Bumped the Mount

Excessive Thermal Noise

Excessive Thermal Noise

Click on image for detals.

Under Exposed


After shooting several frames of M57 I switched to M27. The first image was fine but subsequent images showed an increasing red glow in the lower left quadrant. I checked for stray light sources or light leaks and found none. Finally, more by accident, I noticed my battery power was dropping fast. Upon taking the in-use battery out, it felt quite warm. Subsequent shots with a fresh battery were fine. I can only conclude the battery was going bad and got hot. Its proximity to the focal plane or other vital electronics must have caused the problem. The next night I used only the replacement battery and had no problem with any of the frames I shot.

Canon Rebel T5i: The red glow in the lower left quadrant was no longer present after switching to a fully charged backup battery.

Richard Edmonds

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