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The Green Comet

How I Photographed the Green Comet

|Blog Updates|1 Comment

You have likely heard about the "green comet" that's all over the news. It is known as Comet C/2022 E3 ZTF, and it is currently visible in the night sky. This particular comet only comes around approximately every 50,000 years, so I set up my camera and telescope to photograph it while it is still here.  In this post, I will explain my approach and provide some photography tips on how you can capture this elusive green comet from the far reaches of our solar system. You can also view my experience in the video below.    What is a Comet? A comet is a small celestial obje…

Astrophotography | 14 Must-Know Starting Tips

|Telescopes|4 Comments

If you’re getting started in astrophotography, I am here to save you some time and frustration by learning from the mistakes of myself and others. Whether you're looking into a full-blown deep-sky camera and telescope setup, or just getting started with a DSLR and tripod, I think this article will come in handy. The following advice and tips were compiled by myself and the hundreds of responses I received when I asked the AstroBackyard community: “What's the most important piece of advice you'd like to give to beginners?” So get ready, because the advice I have may surprise you.…

Celestron StarSense Explorer Dob Review

Celestron StarSense Explorer Dob Review

|Telescopes|0 Comments

The Celestron StarSense Explorer Dob is a clever upgrade to a traditional 8" Dobsonian telescope, thanks to its integrated smartphone app that helps you find objects in the night sky. It's a visual telescope (not designed for astrophotography), but photos of bright objects like the Moon and planets are possible through the eyepiece.  With 8 inches of aperture, this telescope has enough power to see, not only the moon and planets but also deep-sky objects like distant galaxies and nebulae. The StarSense Explorer technology found in the dedicated mobile app contains a wealth of fascinati…

Photograph the Total Lunar Eclipse

|The Moon|7 Comments

Are you hoping to capture a photo of the upcoming total lunar eclipse on November 8th? If so, you are not alone. Amateur photographers and astrophotography enthusiasts around the world will do their best to take pictures of the upcoming lunar eclipse using a wide variety of camera equipment. A total eclipse of the moon is a truly breathtaking astronomical event that anyone can appreciate. The best part about it is that you do not need expensive astrophotography equipment or special filters to take a great picture of the total lunar eclipse. It's all about using the best settings on the came…

Bortle 1

The Dark Skies of the Okie-Tex Star Party

|Astronomy Camping|5 Comments

We have just returned from a memorable astrophotography trip at a Bortle 1 dark sky site. The event was an annual star party hosted by the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club known as the Okie-Tex Star Party. After a few location changes during the first several years, the star party found its home at Camp Billy Joe near the small town of Kenton, OK, not far from the Oklahoma/Texas border. The name ‘Okie-Tex’ was selected to show the collaborative efforts of the two states.  Aside from taking some amazing astrophotography images through our telescopes, the event opened our eyes to the ex…

portable power station for astrophotography

Choosing a Portable Power Station for Astrophotography

|Portable Power|17 Comments

One of the most common questions I get is “what portable power source do you use for astrophotography". This is a hot topic in the astrophotography community, and there are many options to consider for powering your gear at night.  When deciding on an off-grid power station, you need to think about things like battery life, power output, power input charging, and the number and types of output ports. There is no one-size-fits-all option, as budget and weight come into play as you explore the higher-end options.   If you've ever browsed the Portable Power Stations on Amaz…

Celestron NexStar 8SE Telescope Review

|Telescopes|5 Comments

The Celestron NexStar 8SE computerized telescope is one of the best-selling telescope packages of all time. It features a large aperture optical telescope and a computerized GoTo mount. The NexStar series of SCTs have been around for over a decade, and I was finally able to experience this beginner-friendly telescope for myself. I was impressed with the completeness of this package, from the 1.25" 25mm eyepiece and diagonal, to the red dot finder mounted to the 8-inch OTA. Celestron NexStar 8SE Video Review. This is a primarily visual telescope, meant for enjoying views of the moon,…

My Latest Portable Astrophotography Build

|Blog Updates|9 Comments

Are you looking to build a full-featured (GoTo, autoguiding, etc.) portable astrophotography rig for this summer? If so, I think I have found the perfect "template" to follow (with plenty of room for substitutions, of course). The major difference between this setup and the portable rigs I've shared on this site before is that this one features complete mount control via the ASIAIR Plus wifi controller. The entire system can be powered using a portable power station, for complete mobility.  It's a lightweight, wide-field refractor telescope configuration that revolves around th…