Creating a time-lapse video out of your individual photos is a simple matter with Microsoft Movie Maker. And the cool thing is that it will work with Canon RAW .CR2 format files, so no need to convert them to JPG ahead of time.
The following steps are performed with Windows8.
Step 1 – Select the sequence of images in Microsoft Photo Gallery
Step 2 – Under Create select Movie. This will automatically launch Microsoft Movie Maker with the individual photos loaded in a new Movie Maker Project.
New Movie Maker Project created
Step 3 – Under Edit – Video Tools, change the duration between frames to a value less than 1.0- example 0.20.
Step 4 – Save your movie in the format and resolution you wish. Voila! And why not add a title, caption and a soundtrack to go the extra mile.
Therefore set your camera on a tripod and start taking some pictures of the night sky.
There’s a bright comet in the sky, currently at magnitude 6 and predicted to brighten to 5 by November. Not yet visible in the Northern Hemisphere, but just as it peaks in brightness towards the end of November, it will start showing up in the early morning sky, gradually rising earlier every day until late January 2016
Note that a good opportunity will be around January 2nd when it will pass within 1deg of magnitude 0 star Alpha Bootis – Arcturus. Until then, people in the south keep enjoying it, I’ll just have to wait for the cold winter nights to get a peek at this comet.
Comet C/2013 US10 is not periodic, but comes from the distant Oort Cloud and this will be it’s only recorded passage by the Sun. After spending millions of years slowly orbiting the outer solar reaches, it got disturbed, possibly by a nearby star and is now on an ejection trajectory; its velocity is such that it will be flung into interstellar space, away from the Sun’s influence until it’s picked up by another star.
Trajectory of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina for 2015-2016
Visibility of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina in the Evening
Visibility of Comet C/2013 US10 Catalina in the Early Morning
Couldn’t put all those frames to waste, so I processed and assembled them into a time-lapse video showing the Earth’s rotation and the various layers of clouds flying by.
The video was created with Microsoft MovieMaker, a tool that all Win7 and Win8 users have by default. So it’s FREE! Yay!
These were processed in IRIS and saved as BMP, but MovieMaker will also create videos with Canon CR2 RAW Files directly. Therefore dump all your frame and you can generate an instant video without any processing. By default it sets 7.0sec delay between images. Simply select all images and change the value to 0.100 or whatever frame rate you wish. And then export your video.
The Perseids peak had already passed, but the sky was better so I decided to set up the trusty Canon XTi and see if I could catch some meteors. This time instead of pointing the camera straight up, I decided to frame the top of the house to provide some reference.
Out of the over 120 shots taken, a sequence of 30 frames were without clouds obscuring the stars. This was a perfect opportunity to mark the celestial pole by adding the images without alignment.
Celestial Pole on August 13, 2015
30 x 30sec
17mm F4.0 ISO800
30 x 30sec
The 2015 Perseids were predicted to be great, largely thanks to Mother Nature turning off its night-light (aka our Moon). Unfortunately the weather wasn’t as cooperative… With clouds over the horizon I knew my window to try to capture some Perseids was quickly vanishing. Nevertheless I setup my camera on a tripod and hoped for the best.
The best I got was 13 shots without clouds. A quick scan of them did not reveal any notable meteor streak. But it wasn’t all a waste. I was able to process, align and stack them to provide a good 60deg field of view around the zenith.
Constellations Draco, Lyra, Cygnus and Vulpecula
13 x 30sec (17mm F4.0 ISO400)
17mm F4.0 ISO400
13 x 30sec
Fixed mount, no tracking