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Dr. Jerome Klingaman, Friday, 5-24-13 May 24, 2013

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Dr. Jerome Klingaman, Friday, 5-24-13


Guest:  Dr. Jerome (Jerry) Klingaman.  Topics:  Astrophotography, astronomy, and advanced imagery work.  Please direct all comments and questions regarding Space Show programs/guest(s) to the Space Show blog, https://thespaceshow.wordpress.com. Comments and questions should be relevant to the specific Space Show program. Written Transcripts of Space Show programs are a violation of our copyright and are not permitted without prior written consent, even if for your own use. We do not permit the commercial use of Space Show programs or any part thereof, nor do we permit editing, YouTube clips, or clips placed on other private channels & websites. Space Show programs can be quoted, but the quote must be cited or referenced using the proper citation format. Contact The Space Show for further information.

We welcomed Dr. Jerome (Jerry) Klingaman to the program to talk about astrophotography, how to do it, the needed equipment, what to expect, astronomy, and why it is so rewarding to engage in this field.  During the first segment of our 1 hour 34 minute program, Jerry told us how he got his interest in astronomy and astrophotography.  It’s a great story stemming from his Air Force flight days.  After the experience he described to us, he started reading about astronomy, he bought a basic refractor telescope, and over time that evolved into a system for astrophotography geared to taking pictures of nebulae.  Jerry described his system for us with technical detail and he explained the importance of the components in the system.  He talked about starting out looking at the M5 star cluster, working with the right kind of mount that does the tracking, and the CCD camera.  A listener asked if he could visibly see the items in the sky and he said no. Focusing in on a target was by trial and error which he explained in detail later in our discussion.  We also talked about exposure time, light filters, and stacking.  He mentioned other star clusters, M86, M87, and The Wizard.  Jerry was asked about light pollution and he had much to say on this topic and the need for dark skies.  I asked him about atmospheric interference, another topic he had much to say about, even with a CCD camera.

In our second segment, we talked about visual astronomy and astronomy with a digital camera.  He told us how to focus on the image and this is where our guest went into detail on the trial and error method of focusing.  I asked our guest about image quality, specifically the quality we see in popular astronomy magazines.  He had interesting observations about having his and other astrophotography pictures published in these magazines. I learned for example that typically one does not do any touchup work on these photos. I thought otherwise.  I’m sure you will find this discussion highly interesting.  We also talked telescope size, focal length size and the cost of systems, including a system like Jerry’s.  This led to a listener asking about buying good equipment used.  Jerry supported this and told us about a website for this purpose.  As we were getting near the end of the show, we talked about reflector as compared to refractor.  This is also an interesting discussion.  Our caller near the end of the program talked about digital SLR basic photography, even using iPhones and getting excellent pictures.  In fact, if you are interested in astrophotography, you will be most interested in this discussion as its an inexpensive way to test it out before buying more costly gear.  At the end, listener Dave asked Jerry to tell us the name of his observatory which is the Lake View Garden Observatory.  You will understand the name when you hear Jerry’s description of it.  At the end, Jerry said he would send listeners a few of his photos so if this interests you, please send your request to me and I will forward it to Jerry.

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