Hank’s Astrophotography Blog

I purchased my 8″ Celestron Evolution HD telescope with StarSense in the spring of 2020.  About the same time I got interested in using a Revolution Imager video camera to take photos of the moon, planets and deep sky objects.  The Revolution Imager was designed to be a night security camera and while the photographs were not very high quality, they sure got me interested in taking photos.  By late summer I had a Mallincam DS10c video camera and Starizona Hyperstar that allowed me to take high quality images with a wide field of view.  By the fall of 2020 I had an outdoor observatory set up close to our home in Custer, South Dakota, that allowed me to control the telescope and camera from inside our home when the weather turned cold. The telescope and camera are computer driven.  I use an i5 mini computer and two monitors. The telescope is aligned for each viewing session using StarSense; a special camera on the telescope that can locate where it is and align it with the stars. The telescope is controlled via WiFi using a combination of CPWI (Celestron’s telescope control software) and Stellarium, a free planetarium software that helps me find what I want to see and it sends the telescope to that location.  I use SharpCap or MallincamSky software to control the video camera over a USB3 cable.  This software can take a series of video images and align them to create one image.  I then open the…

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Jim’s Intro

Ever since walking the sands of Seven Mile beach in New Jersey as a teenager I have loved looking at the night sky. A friend showed me the moon and planets from his 4” table top scope. I remember seeing  comets from the dark pine lands forests.  After moving to the dark skies of South Dakota I did some primitive astrophotography with a camera, spotting scope and some zoom lenses. My interests originally were for visual observing but my eyesight and ignorance of the heavens soon led me to EAA and GOTOs. That is Electronic Assisted Astronomy and computerized “GoTo” telescopes for finding objects. I have never been talented or patient enough to do the astrophotography like my fellow amateurs produce. As you will see in my blogs I progressed from digital cameras and birdwatching scopes to to larger and more sophisticated gear. I have also enjoyed the gadgetry of telescopes, computers and remote controlled mounts. EAA allows me to see and record the skies in near real time and natural color. Traditional astrophotography requires 30 minute or more exposures and hours of processing afterwards. The following blog describes the different processes I have tried. MY BLOG:  https://sdbhas.org/blogs/members/jimg-blog/  

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