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Backyard of the Week – March 27, 2018

This week, we travel to beautiful Cape Town, South Africa. As you’ll soon hear from our photographer, he has his fair share of challenges when it comes to deep sky imaging from his suburban backyard.

But with a strategic approach to target selection, he’s been able to capture some incredible photos of space between the lush trees and surrounding landscape.

deep sky astrophotography setup

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Peter Dunsby

Once again we see the ZWO ASI1600 in action. This time, however, it’s the one-shot-color version attached to this 80mm refractor. The ASI 1600MC-Cool is a proven astronomy imaging camera, and Peter has certainly been able to produce some stunning images of the night sky with it.

The telescope is a wide field 80mm Triplet Apochromatic Refractor, an excellent choice no matter which stage of the game you’re in. I have never experienced a TS Optics telescope myself, but the images shared on Peter’s Facebook page are a testament to the image quality of this ‘scope.

TS Optics ED80

TS-Optics ED 80mm f/7 Refractor

The Sky-Watcher NEQ6 equatorial mount has proven itself to be a reliable choice for beginner-intermediate level backyard astrophotographers. It’s a more robust version of my HEQ5, and I have been lucky enough to use a few NEQ6 mounts in the past.

Breakdown of Peter’s Gear:

The Lagoon Nebula by Peter Dunsby

The Lagoon Nebula by Peter Dunsby

Peter’s Description:

Based in Newlands Cape Town, in the heart of the suburbs, surrounded by trees and close to Table Mountain, this is not the ideal spot for imaging the night sky.

That said, with careful target selection and scheduling, there is still so much that can be done from this beautiful location and hearing the sound of Eagle Owls punctuate the stillness of the night make it all the more enjoyable.

My equipment is fairly modest, but gets the job done – Mount – NEQ6; Telescope- TSED80; Imaging Camera – ZWO ASI 1600MC Cool, Guide scope – Skywatcher 9X50 finderscope; Guide camera – ZWO ASI120MM-S. Software – PHD2, AstroImager, Nebulosity, Pixinsight, EQMAC.


View more of Peter’s Work on his Facebook Page: AstroCapetown

Thank you for sharing your setup with us, Peter!

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 beginners to see a deep-sky imaging setup that is being used to successfully photograph the night sky.

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