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Thread: Amateur Astronomers?

  1. #16
    I thought there would be more, too.

    I've always had a general interest in astronomy, as I'm sure many who play Elite do, but I've only recently got my first scope. I originally wanted an 8" Dobsonian, that seems to be a good entry level scope but I found this one at a bargain. It's a 130/900 reflector on an EQ2 mount with a motor drive - it doesn't have a computer/go-to function, just a single axis motor. I haven't been able to see any of the planets in Sol just yet, due to timing and location, but finding faint deep sky objects and just the moon have been great .



    I'm trying it out as a hobby and quite enjoying it, getting used to polar aligning the mount and getting better at finding celestial objects and tracking them... All in all it's a relaxing way spend a few hours outside.

    It's not really an astrophotography scope but no doubt I'll point my phone or webcam down the eyepiece, once in a while.


  2. #17
    Nice! Good old EQ2. I used to have one with my Orion 130ST I got started with. Was going to buy the tracking motor, but ended up selling the whole thing to finance the i80 for my eclipse trip. I did like it alot though, didn't really like parting with it but it wasn't getting much use after the dob arrived.

    I did start doing some basic photography with the i80 and a DSLR. Nothing fancy, just short exposures to share with my FB peeps what I'm looking at. Astrophotography is a long road that ends in alot of money spent.

  3. #18
    Leonid Meteor Shower this weekend, Don, you should be able to capture a bit of that with your DSLR

  4. #19
    Originally Posted by Don Alvarez View Post (Source)
    Astrophotography is a long road that ends in alot of money spent.
    And that's the main reason why I stuck with planetary work only for the time being.

    Even though, truth be told, some rudimentary deep sky astrophotography can be made even with extremely basic tools, just a DSLR with a moderately good lens can give results under a good sky. Attach it to a EQ mount and at lower focal length you can follow objects for several second even with a coarse alignment and a simple RA clock drive. With softwares like DeepSkyStacker it's possible to sum and process several short exposures to somewhat simulate having longer exposure times. With it, I managed to capture SN2014J in M82 (one of the closest and brightest supernovae of recent years) using only my 60D and a cheap Tamron 70-300 tele mounted on the EQ2 (and no clock drive), stacking several 4-5 seconds captures taken from my balcony, under an almost totally washed-out urban nightsky.
    Even as basic as it is, I'm still amazed at that image!

  5. #20
    Originally Posted by mp4x View Post (Source)
    Leonid Meteor Shower this weekend, Don, you should be able to capture a bit of that with your DSLR
    Unfortunately I was away the weekend, and where I was, it rained of course.

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