I’d been wanting to upgrade/update my old LXD75 mount for quite some time. The old horse has been tracking great, but I really want to take my imaging to the next level, and I had an opportunity for a package deal with an Meade 80mm triplet refractor that I couldn’t pass up. You can check out the video below, and/or read on for some first impressions.Read more
Category: General Advice
How to Differentiate Yourself in a Sea of M42’s
It’s the Orion time of year in the Northern Hemisphere. Images of the Great Nebula in Orion and the Horsehead and Flame nebulae litter Instagram and Astrobin on a daily basis. Images with great detail and small round stars look great, and really do stand on their own, but do they stand out? Can the average person who isn’t an astro-imager really appreciate the difference? Are you happy with our little astrophotography community appreciating your pictures, or do you have bigger aspirations of bringing the magic of space to the world through imaging and art?Read more
Is Astrophotragphy Getting Too Easy?
Everybody should be able to take pictures of space without having an astronomy degree, IT background, or having to take out a second mortgage. A lot of us like to think our little club is exclusive, but I think it should be more inclusive. I talk a lot about how hard and frustrating this hobby is on someone starting out, so I’m all for technology making things easier on us. But are these new phone image sensors and software all they’re advertised to be? And is an upcoming all-in-one scope, mount and imager misunderstood? Is imaging space getting too easy?Read more
Are we Living in the Greatest Time in Astrophysics?
You wouldn’t know it if you watch the news.
Stories about immigration, impeachment, sanctions, political investigations, attacks on oil fields and the like litter the headlines daily. These are deeply important to some, while others are more content to obsess over what celebrity did what to who, or who was airbrushed in what magazine. In the reality of the Universe, none of it matters. The celebrity with the DUI, the world leader threatening nukes. Even the events we view as the most important in human history are all pointless.Read more
What’s Your Unobtanium?
What object in the sky always bites you in the ass when you try to image it? Endless cloudy nights, dew problems, focus issues, equipment failures… A lot of us have one object that continues to elude us year after year. We look on Astrobin or Instagram, see everyone’s beautiful images of this object and want to tackle it ourselves, but every time out the Gremlins start to work their way into our imaging session. I wouldn’t rush to say that everyone has some object they just can’t seem to capture, despite good planning and preparation, but I’m sure there are a lot of us out there with one object that just pisses us off, night after night and year after year.Read more
Do you have OHD?
How to diagnose and treat Obsessive Hobby Disorder.
If you can check off just one of the symptoms on the list below, you probably have OHD.
- Do you check the clear sky chart before planning date-night with your significant other?
- Do you find family time sidetracked by staring at a computer screen monitoring your mount’s tracking?
- Do you wake up in the middle of the night, and instead of going right back to sleep, look outside to see if the sky is clear?
- Have you ever called in sick to work because you were up all night imaging?
- Do you START drinking coffee at 8PM because the sky is clear?
- Do you disassemble, re-grease and test your mount because, Saturday?
- Do you plan out the next 6 months of imaging wile you’re at work?
- Is your bank account’s primary purpose to fund your next piece of astrophotography gear?
Trip to Dark Skies
Last week, my family and I took a trip out to Galena, IL – about 3 hours West of Chicago. My wife and I frequent the area, but this was the first time we were taking the kids along. I took a video a couple days before we left, talking about my plans to shoot 2+ hours of the Eastern Veil Nebula in Chicago and then 2+ hours of the same object from Bortle 3 skies in Galena. I knew there would be a huge difference and I’d need to find a way to get to dark skies more often.Read more
Buying Your First Astrophotography Setup? Start Here… kind of
I often wonder if anybody in astronomy forums has had to struggle to figure out how to pay kids’ school fees and the mortgage in the same month, or forgo that pizza order to put gas in the car.Read more
SNR for Morons and how to Get Your Best Ratio in Light Polluted Skies
Noise mitigation for OSC (One-shot Color) Cameras in polluted skies
We all know that SNR is the Signal to Noise Ratio, and that more signal and less noise is good, right? OK, if you didn’t know that, you do now.Read more