Equipment

Telescope

 

My first telescope was a Meade DS2090 GoTo set up. This was a good first scope, it was not too heavy to transport and was the alt/azimuth mount was east to use. The GoTo feature meant that I was able to find night sky objects easily, and as a beginner this was a must. What will remember to this day is my first view of Saturn. One view of this beautiful celsteral body I was hooked on astronomy.

 

In the end this scope did not last long as my real passion was to get in to astrophotograpy (more on that in my blog section) and this scope was not suitable to carry my Canon DSLR.

 

 

 

 

 

Images to come (posted 17th Feb 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

I now own an Omni 127 XLT (5 inch Cassegrain design) telescope with a focal length is 1.25m (f/10). This has proven to be a good all roung scope. It is easy to set up and the equitorial mount means it can be polar alligned for more accurate tracking, which is required for taking long exposure images needed for deep sky objects.

 

 

 

 

Images to come (posted 17th Feb 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Observatory

 

In order to have my telescope permanently set up I decided to build an observatory out of a standard 6x4 foot wooden shed. The project took several months to complete, but I was able to make a new home for my telescope. Set up time is in the region of 10-15 minutes, but as the sope is always outside, it does not require any additional cool down time. Within about 20 minutes of going outsite I am able to start taking images.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images to come (posted 17th Feb 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

Deep sky and wide field imaging

 

The camera I use for deep sky and wide field imaging is a Canon 450D DSLR. For deep sky imaging I use it in conjunction with my telescope, either at prime focus or with a 2x or 3x Barlow. For wide field imaging I use a Tamron 18-200mm lens.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images to come (posted 17th Feb 2017)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Planetary and lunar imaging

 

I own a Philips SPC900NC webcam for imaging the planets and for taking close up detail of the moon. This provides me with an avi video file that I process using RegiStax. The SPC900 is commonly considered one of the best, if not the best, webcam for planetaty imaging owing to its sensetive CCD chip (as aposed to the alternative CMOS type sensor found in most modern webcams). I was able to pick one up on Ebay for a very resonable price. They typically go for £50-80, but there are some bargins out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Images to come (posted 17th Feb 2017)