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Radian Raptor 61 Review

Radian Raptor 61 Review

|Telescopes|27 Comments

The Radian Raptor 61 is a triplet apochromatic refractor telescope for astrophotography. It features a compact design with features custom-suited for wide-field, deep-sky astrophotography. Since the Raptor arrived in September, I have taken some of my best astrophotography images to date with it. In this review, I'll share all of the image examples I have collected since the prototype arrived at my door.  This compact telescope was designed for astrophotography with a camera attached, not visual observations through an eyepiece. If you're interested in taking pictures of deep-sky ob…

Backyard of the Week | June 7, 2021


The AstroBackyard Backyard of the Week highlights astrophotography setups from around the world. A "backyard" can be a balcony, driveway, garden, or wherever else you set up astrophotography equipment at home. By taking a behind-the-scenes look at the equipment amateur astrophotographers use to take deep-sky images, you can get a better understanding of the process. This week’s backyard astrophotography equipment profile comes to us from Helena Cochrane in Scotland. Location: Scotland, United Kingdom I have watched Helena progress from a DSLR and a manual Dobsonian telescope to a…

Types of telescopes

Types of Telescopes


There are many different types of telescopes available for those interested in exploring the night sky. Telescopes come in a variety of designs, some of which have been around since the 1600s.  The first type of telescope ever designed was a refractor, designed by an eyeglass maker in the Netherlands in 1608. Soon after, Galileo improved on this refracting telescope design and applied its uses to astronomy. The three main types of telescopes are refracting telescopes, reflecting telescopes, and catadioptric telescopes. There are many variations and hybrid designs for each type.…

Backyard of the week May 10, 2021

Backyard of the Week | May 10, 2021


The AstroBackyard Backyard of the Week highlights astrophotography setups from around the world. We break down each piece of the system so you can understand exactly what goes into a successful imaging kit.  This week’s backyard astrophotography equipment profile comes to us from Christopher Mills from Michigan, USA. Chris uses a Samyang 135mm F/2 (Rokinon 135mm) lens to capture his deep-sky images. This is a spectacular camera lens for astrophotography, offering the perfect mix of focal length and aperture for many deep-sky projects.  His setup is extremely portable a…

jellyfish nebula

Astrophotography: The Jellyfish Nebula


The Jellyfish Nebula (IC 443) is a supernova remnant located in the constellation Gemini. This nebula is approximately 5000 light-years from Earth and is estimated to be roughly 70 light-years in size.  In the wide-field telescopic view below, you'll notice two bright stars, Tejat, and Propus (Tejat Prior). The locate the Jellyfish Nebula with your telescope, use these two bright stars as a guide. This image was captured from my light-polluted backyard using a dedicated astronomy camera, and a small refractor telescope. The image includes 2.6 hours of total integrated exposure t…

best astrophotography images

My Best Images & The Gear Used

|Equipment|28 Comments

On this website, I do my best to share information and astrophotography tips that provide value. I could pat myself on the back about all of the great astrophotography images I took this year, but it is of little interest to anyone if I don't explain how I took the shot.  In this article, I'll share my best astrophotography images of 2020, and the equipment setups used for each image. This way, you'll have a better idea of what's behind each image, and how you can accomplish a similar result yourself. Capturing the images with the right set of gear is only half of the equation, of c…

Photographing the Lobster Claw Nebula

|Blog Updates|7 Comments

The Lobster Claw Nebula (Sharpless 157) is a bright emission nebula. It lies near the edge of the northern constellation Cassiopeia, bordering on Cepheus. As you'll soon see in my long-exposure image, this bright HII region is surrounded by many more interesting deep-sky objects. It sits very close in the sky to another popular emission nebula for amateur astrophotography, the Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). Although I have photographed the Bubble Nebula several times, it wasn't until this year that I focused my attention on the neighboring Lobster Claw Nebula.  The Location of the Lobste…

Canon EOS Ra camera

Why I Bought the Canon EOS Ra

|Equipment|20 Comments

In early May 2020, I decided to purchase a Canon EOS Ra camera from B&H photo. This is Canon's latest astrophotography camera, and it has some seriously impressive specs (like a  full-frame 30.3 MP astro-modified sensor). For a complete rundown of the Canon EOS Ra, you can read my full review from January of this year. Essentially, it is a clone of the popular Canon EOS R mirrorless camera, with a specialized IR cut filter optimized for astrophotography. In this article, I want to discuss why I purchased the EOS Ra, and share my results from the backyard.  Is the Canon E…