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About this blog

I got interested in space and astronomy as a wee boy watching the Apollo moon landings, and then a lot of time passed very quickly…

I've just started getting into astrophotography and have progressed from using a point&shoot compact to having a DSLR and telescope.  I'd been meaning to keep a diary but haven't started one so I've decided to use a blog here to record my progress and, hopefully, give others who are starting out some insight and shortcuts... 

Entries in this blog

The metal has landed!

The metal has landed!

After much advice here and thanks to a friend of a friend I took delivery of this today. 1.3 m high, many kilograms heavy!  It's been treated with zinc phosphate primer and will get a couple of coats of Hammerite or equivelant before planting.  This weekend I'm running Cat6 cable out to the plinth and starting to build the equipment box which will be fitted to the bottom of the mount.  Michael

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

 

Reboot

It seems a cheek to continue a blog about being a beginner 2 1/2 years after the last post but in many ways I still am.  Family health issues have meant that I got out with my equipment irregularly so spent most of my time trying to get set up.  I would collect an hour or so of data but rarely enough to encourage me to do anything with it. This year I decided to use what I have learned, solve my issues, and do a ‘reboot’. Equipment.  I’ve bought a QHY10 OSC cooled camera and spe

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

 

Another step forward

Clear Outside said it was to be a clear night so I got set up and set about tonight's challenge - Polar Alignment. I've struggled to do this properly since I got the scope, lack of visibility of Polaris being the major issue as I set up close to my house facing south.  I've now got the camera, mount and guide camera running through a USB hub and have managed to set up far enough from the house that I could see Polaris.  It took me a while to find the star, and longer to convince myself that

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

It's getting dark...

It's getting dark...

There's an old saying, 'If you want to give the gods a laugh tell them your plans for the future'.  My plans were along the lines of spending the very light nights setting up and testing ASCOM,  PHD2 and other software and practising my post processing.  What actually happened was that my laptop died, taking with it all of the settings that I'd struggled to figure out - but hadn't noted down  It also had lots of personal data that hadn't been backed up recently so a new laptop and dozens of ho

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

 

Taking it seriously

Having wanted to do astronomy properly for decades I finally took action late in 2017 and bought a pair of Canon 15x50 image stabilised binoculars.  I was absolutely blown away with what I could see using these from my garden with what I now know are Bortle 8 very light polluted skies. For the first time in my life I saw the Orion Nebula M42 - only as a small cloudy area but I knew there was more to see with better optics.  When I saw the Pleiades, directly overhead, for the first time I knew

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

 

My first astro photo

This was taken 8th April 2016 from an apartment in Hamilton Island, Australia.  The equipment I used was a Samsung Galaxy S5 and an old but good quality pair of binoculars left by the owners.  The skies were incredibly dark and we were able to attend a talk by a local astronomer who guided us around what could be seen with the naked eye. I was delighted last year when I used Stellarium last year to look at the view on that date and confirm that I had indeed captured Jupiter and 4 moons

Synchronicity

Synchronicity

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