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
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 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
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?
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
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
Bringing Your Time and Effort to Life
You’ve just spent hours, or even days or weeks collecting data for your latest object. You stack up all of your light frames with your calibration frames (darks, flats and BIAS) in DeepSkyStacker and let it do it’s thing. What comes out is a very dim view of your object, or a even what looks like a red hazy image with no object at all. If you did the first part of the job right, your data is in there, I promise. How do you pull that data out in the most effective way possible? Well, I’m sorry to say there is no magic bullet because everybody’s data is different. However, there are methodologies, workflows, and tools to help you along.Read more
So you’ve gotten through the Milky Way objects in Sagittarius and they’ve have started to fade off to the West. After that marathon, you might be wondering where to go next. Don’t worry, so many great objects are in prime spots, or are coming up!Read more
…If the celestial pole is visible.Read more