Daily Archives: October 14, 2015

Soul (Baby) Nebula (IC1848)

Buy a Print Very near the Heart Nebula is this interesting structure, captured here in H-alpha and OIII.  It is sometimes called the Baby Nebula because of its shape, but the proximity to the Heart makes it irresistible to pair them as “Heart and Soul”.  Like the Heart, it is about 7,500 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Cassiopeia. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.6 Mount: AP Mach1 Camera: QSI 583 at –20C

Orion Nebula (M42)

Buy a Print This was one of the first of my astro-photos that I was happy with – about 3 years after I started – and it is still my favorite target. It was captured in late September of 2008, very late at night. The problem with Orion (for those of us living in the northern parts of Earth) is that it is never visible in the summer nights. In late summer it comes up in the east just before sunrise and by spring it sets in the west shortly after sunset. So it’s a great sight in the winter […]

Horsehead and Flame Nebulae (Barnard 33 and NGC2024)

Buy a Print This was one of my first successful targets and this version was captured in late 2012 to get the benefit of the better equipment (and maybe skills) I have acquired since the early days. This was captured at a dark sky site, but using a narrowband hydrogen-alpha filter for the red channel. The Horsehead is a “dark nebula”, meaning that the shape we see is formed by clouds of dust blocking light from behind it. It is located in the constellation Orion. The brightest star seen here (Alnitak) is the left side of Orion’s belt. The nebula […]

Rosette Nebula (Caldwell 49)

Buy a Print The Rosette is a large area of hydrogen in the Monoceros region. This is a 2×1 mosaic of H-alpha (red) and O-3 (green & blue) exposures because the target is so big that it doesn’t fit in one frame – even with my fairly short telescope. I had intended to add some RGB data to this image, but that will have to wait until I can get to a dark sky site. Or at least until near the new moon! This version is just H-alpha for red and O-3 for green and blue. Scope: AT111EDT at f/5.6 […]

Permanent Focus

The PerfectStar controller has always had a “shutdown” feature that stores the current position in non-volatile memory so that there is no need to set the zero position the next time you use it.  Furthermore, the shutdown feature is invoked automatically when an ASCOM-connected application disconnects from the controller.  Building on this feature, Permanent Focus (available in firmware version 5.2) also remembers the last established reference position and temperature (the “reference point”) for temperature compensation (TC).  To use the Permanent Focus feature, simply enable TC before executing the shutdown/disconnect.  When the controller is next powered up (or if the shutdown/lock […]

Astro-Photo Prints/Images/Calendars

Calendars:  The 2017 “Night Visions” calendar is now available.  As in past years, it has 13 images (including the cover), each 9″ x 12″.  It includes a sky chart on the back cover showing where each object is located.  The calendar includes all the major astronomical events happening in 2017.  A new feature for this year is that the events are marked to indicate whether they are visible (in most cases this applies only to North America).  Inserted into each calendar are 2 separate sheets containing additional information on the calendar and astro-photography in general.  A 3rd insert provides useful […]

Astro-Flash USB Drive

Astro-Flash is a USB flash drive (available in capacities of 8 to 32GB) that is pre-loaded with more than 45 high resolution astro-photos from Wa-chur-ed Observatory. Each image is optimized for screen display in 8 different sizes, four wide-screen and four traditional. These images can be used as computer desktop wallpaper and/or screen saver.  Astro-Flash can also be plugged into a Smart TV for a big-screen celestial slide show, or you can transfer the images to a cell phone or tablet so you always have them with you. NEW FEATURE Astro-Flash now includes a special viewer program for Windows-based computers.  […]

Hotech SCA (Self-Centering Adapter)

Almost every customer for our MRT adapter has asked, “This is great, but how do I attach it to my telescope?”  The answer has always been that a direct threaded connection is best, but since most telescopes don’t have T-threads, the next best solution (and one that is far more universal) is the SCA made by Hotech.  So to make it even easier for you, we have arranged to be able to offer you this brilliant product. The SCA is like a standard 2” nosepiece-to-T-thread adapter, except that instead of using one or two thumbscrews to secure the adapter (leaving […]

MRT (Mister T) T Mount Adapter

Astro-photography with a DSLR camera is a great way to go for high quality images with minimal expense and headache, but the traditional T mount adapter was never intended for this application and leaves much to be desired.  MRT solves the problem. First, MRT has 3 set screws that tighten against the lens flange of your camera to dramatically improve the rigidity of the connection between camera and telescope.  The set screws have nylon tips, so they won’t mar the finish on your camera. As if that wasn’t enough, MRT also provides a much better camera rotation capability.  Standard T […]

PerfectTemp Temperature Sensor

Temperature compensation is a great feature of the PerfectStar focus controllers (excluding PerfectStarLite), but to perform to its full potential the sensor must read the temperature of the telescope accurately and not be influenced by the surrounding air, since they will change at very different rates.  That is, the sensor must be thermally coupled to the telescope tube and insulated from the air. This can be done with the standard sensor, but requires some planning an effort on the part of the user.  PerfectTemp makes it much easier:  Just place the sensor block face down on the telescope tube, secure […]