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Astro Photography Tool Review

Astro Photography Tool for Camera Control

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I have recently installed Astro Photography Tool on my dedicated astrophotography laptop.  From my very first imaging sequence, I knew I was going to like this application. I recently used APT to capture the Whale Galaxy using a One Shot Color CCD camera. There is no better way to learn a new imaging application than to put it to use for a night of deep sky imaging.  With clear night ahead of me, I dive into Astro Photography Tool to plan my Whale Galaxy astrophotography project. In the video below, I also discuss my on-going transition from a DSLR camera to a cooled CCD. Subscribe t…

Astrophotography autoguiding camera

New Autoguiding Camera and Guide Scope

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My friends over at Ontario Telescope & Accessories have sent me a new Altair Astro GPCAM2 autoguiding camera and guide scope to use with my astrophotography setup.  In this post, I'll give you an early look at these products, and why I am excited to start using them. Why Use an Autoguiding Camera? Expensive, high-end astrophotography mounts are capable of ultra-precise tracking of the night sky. Connecting a DSLR to your telescope on one of these mounts can yield long exposure photographs of up to 5 minutes or longer, with razor sharp stars. If you are lucky enough to own an astro…

Bahtinov mask

Better Focus using a Bahtinov Mask

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Focusing stars through your telescope Achieving a sharp focus is an essential step of any deep-sky imaging session.  With so much time and effort put into your polar alignment and autoguiding accuracy, it would be a shame to spoil a photo due to poor focus. A Bahtinov mask is a tool designed to help you focus your telescope. In general, the smaller the stars are in your image, the better. One of the reasons I love my Explore Scientific ED 102 Refractor so much is its ability to capture pinpoint stars. However, this characteristic is only present in my images when my focus is spot-on.…