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.

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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?
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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.

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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.

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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.

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5 Things Every Astrophotographer Needs

Regardless of your mount, or OTA, or camera, there are things every astrophotgrapher needs to survive. These aren’t equipment related, but something all of us can relate to. If you aren’t into the hobby yourself, and/or don’t know an astrophotographer, you’ll probably think we’re just crazy.

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Why Do We Do This?

Some of us come to this hobby from the world of art and photography, and some come to it from the world of science and astronomy. From there, given enough time, the two worlds unavoidably converge with artists learning science and scientists learning artistic techniques. As we get deeper into the hobby, the purpose and result of the two groups start to meld into something fairly similar. Through nights of frustration and bleary-eyed days at work, we often ask ourselves: Why do we do that to ourselves to do this?

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