Mark Shelley followed on from his talk about using digital SLRs for astrophotography (at the June Members’ Evening) by explaining the various image processing steps which need to be performed to turn raw astro-photographs into finished images. Critical to the process are the Bias, Dark and Flat frames which allow the imperfections in the Light frames to be corrected, and Mark’s slides clearly illustrated the effects of each.
After coffee, Ken Pearson gave us a talk about the Loughton Astronomical Society’s observatory and telescope. He was heavily involved in re-building the telescope and refurbishing the observatory in the late ’90s, and adapted a security camera for use with the scope for public observing sessions. He showed us a number of videos taken with the equipment at the time. Sadly, the observatory is no longer in use, as a tall block of flats has been built close to it, but the scope’s optics are now part of a Dobsonian. Ken wrapped up his talk by showing a few slides of holiday locations with facilities for practical astronomy.