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Astrophotography autoguiding camera

New Autoguiding Camera and Guide Scope

|Equipment|0 Comments

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

|Equipment|4 Comments

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.…

Deep-Sky Astrophotography During a Full Moon

|The Moon|9 Comments

The clouds have parted, and I have enjoyed 2 cold, clear nights of astrophotography back-to-back! This is a fortunate occurrence that doesn’t come very often, especially during a Canadian winter. However, the moon is nearly full, rising in the late evening in it’s waning gibbous phase. This reminds me of a question that comes up time and time again. Is deep-sky astrophotography during a full moon a waste of time? The moon reflects bright sunlight into the sky for about a week on either side of a full moon.  This moonlight floods the sky and is so bright that it washes out faint deep-sk…