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Binary star Mizar and Alcor split using the high resolution of the Canon EOS 350D cameraThe Plough / Big Dipper / Great Bearsplitting the binary star Mizar / Alcor

If you at the night sky you can usually see a lot of stars, so what happens if you try to take digital photographs of the sky? Do you have images in digital high resolution? Can the camera see better than you can?

In this experiment in night time photography, the camera is just aimed into the night sky and a picture taken of some stars. This particular image is of the constellation of the Plough / Big Dipper / Great Bear, and without a telescope, just using the standard lens that comes with the EOS 350 camera, and no extra equipment apart from a tripod, a real image of stars is seen (left).

If you look at the star second on the right, if you've got good eyesight you can see it's a binary star. This camera can see this, and taking a closer look at the image on the computer, it's possible to see that it's split the optical binary star Mizar and Alcor (second on the right).

The image detail (right) is just a small piece cut out from the main image with is 3456 x 2304 pixels (8 megapixels). The other image is just an overview to give some idea about the full image while resisting the temptation to put megabytes of image online.

This image was taken using manual focus, as the camera isn't sure about trying to focus in the dark. You just set it to infinity, although it will go beyond!

More astronomy is visible at the page of basic astronomy and more about the Digital Rebel by Canon is can also be seen at this site.