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I've had a long term interest in astronomy and am just preparing to start getting some gear.
I've spent a while now doing some research, reading and watching videos.
I want to get started in visual observing, but I hope to, get into some astrophotography as well at some stage.
I will definitely always want to be able to do visual, so I can share this with my family, and also I plan to get some decent scope experience for a while doing visual, plus I was thinking in terms of cost, starting out just visual allows me to stage the cost outlay by buying the camera gear later.
I've mostly settled on the gear I'm looking at getting, but wanted to get some advice on one aspect.
I am planning on at the start getting a Celestron SCT with a CGX mount plus the SkyPortal WiFi module.
I was planning on also initially getting the Celestron StarSense.
My plan for later was to get a not-too-expensive ZWO mono camera (at least to start with), EFW, plus a ZWO mini guide camera and an OAG.
To manage all this I was planning on using either an AsiAir or Astroberry setup.
So my question mostly revolves around whether or not the StarSense is effectively a waste in the long run?
It seems to me that the functions the StarSense performs will end up also being able to be done by the cameras with the AsiAir/Astroberry.
So instead of spending the money on the StarSense, can I simply earlier on buy the OAG, guide camera and AsiAir (or Astroberry) and then attach the OAG inline with the star diagonal, and then use the guide camera and AsiAir/Astroberry for alignment and mount control, while still doing visual astronomy (i.e. before I actually buy the "proper" main camera"), and thereby obviating the need for the StarSense altogether?
Or is the idea/setup I've described completely stupid and non-functional in terms of visual observing?
Can I actually use a guide camera via AsiAir/Astroberry for alignment, or does it have to be the main camera (which I wouldn't have in the initial setup I've described)?
Hopefully I've explained myself well enough.
This spectrum (taken using the C11 and ALPY600 spectrograph) is of magnitude 15 star IRAS 00500+6713 in Cassiopeia. It is believed to be the result of a merger between two white dwarfs, kept from complete collapse by a powerful magnetic field and may be the stellar remnant of the supernova seen by Chinese astronomers in 1181. It is a star of extremes with a temperature of 200,000 K and 16,000 km/s winds. More about this star and references on my BAA page here
It feels like it's been an absolute age...the weather just has not cooperated...
Anyway, this is first light for my ASI 2600MC Pro camera and why not go for a composite image right off the bat?! I've always wanted to capture these two nebulae together in the same image and the larger sensor of the new camera enabled me to do this in just 2 panels, which was great!
I've taken a number of NGC7000 images before, including in narrowband with more details, but something about this true colour image just wows me all over again.
Taken on warm summer nights in astronomical twilight. APP was used for all pre-processing, including combining the panels. Captured in Voyager and post-processed in Pixinsight. 9 hours total integration.
Full details here
Thanks for looking!
The Helix Nebula (NGC 7293), also known as the "Eye of God" is a planetary nebula located in the constellation Aquarius. One of the closest planetary nebulae to Earth being 655 light years distant.
This image was exposed through a 8" SCT at 1280mm focal length (f6.3) using a QHY268M astro camera, tracked and autoguided on a Hypertuned CGEM mount.
The total exposure time spent on this image was 19 hours and 5 minutes worth of H-Alpha, OIII, SII and H-Beta subs.
This image is mostly based on the HOO color palette but as a bit of difference and an experiment, I mixed in SII to the red channel and H-Beta to the blue channel before color balancing the image to the photo shown.