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Cloudy nights

Unseasonably Warm, Cloudy Nights

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These cloudy nights have kept my garage door closed, and my telescope inside.  I don't usually like to make a blog entry without having some new astrophotography images to show, but at this point, I felt an update was needed.  Time is running out to add more exposures to my winter astrophotography projects. [caption id="attachment_5001" align="aligncenter" width="600"] The Orion Nebula, Rosette Nebula, and Horsehead Nebula this winter[/caption] Despite the unfriendly weather, the AstroBackyard community continues to grow on Facebook and YouTube.  Never in a million years did I think 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

|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.…