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Backyard of the Week – February 20, 2018

This week we have a serious looking deep-sky astrophotography setup housed in a backyard observatory in Connecticut, USA.

Kurt Zeppetello uses his Canon EOS Rebel T3i DSLR camera to photograph objects in space through an Orion ED80 Apochromatic refractor telescope. I am a huge fan of this combination, as it is nearly identical to the gear I used for many of the images in my photo gallery.

Orion ED80 F/7.5 Apochromatic Refractor Telescope

Location: Connecticut, USA

Kurt Zeppetello

The portability and performance of a wide-field imaging APO with a DSLR camera make this combo one I often recommend for beginners. This Orion 80mm refractor telescope has an aperture of F/7.5 and a focal length of 600mm – making it a versatile instrument for many deep-sky targets.

Sticking with Orion, Kurt uses the very capable and reliable Orion Sirius EQ-G Goto Telescope mount. This is a fantastic choice for those looking to step up to deep-sky astrophotography using a telescope. This mount is a twin to my beloved Sky-Watcher HEQ5 and has been widely used and enjoyed by backyard imagers for many years.

refractor telescope

Kurt has mounted the Sirius EQ-G to a permanent pier in his observatory. This cuts down on setup time a great deal, with many advantages such as the lack of a polar alignment routine required for each imaging session.

Astrophotography by Kurt Zeppetello

The Horsehead Nebula and Jellyfish Nebula by Kurt Zeppetello

For autoguiding, Kurt has chosen to use an Orion Short Tube 80mm F/5 Refractor with a QHY-5L-II-M camera.  He also owns a new Agena 50mm Guide Scope with a Helical focuser – which I am sure Kurt will put to good use very soon.

Breakdown of Kurt’s Astrophotography Setup:




As you can see, everything stays nice and dry inside his home observatory when the weather is being uncooperative.  Have a look at some my favorite images from Kurt below, and be sure to check out his blog; Quantum Quest.

View Kurt’s Photo Gallery on SmugMug

Thank you for sharing your setup with us Kurt!

For a chance to be featured as the Backyard of the Week, please fill out this form and include the details of your setup. This is a great way for others to see the astrophotography equipment that is being used to successfully photograph the night sky.