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The Green Comet

How I Photographed the Green Comet

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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…

My Latest Portable Astrophotography Build

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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…

Photographing Thor's Helmet

Photographing Thor’s Helmet from the City

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In this post, I’ll walk you through my process of photographing a jaw-dropping nebula in the night sky known as Thor’s Helmet. As usual, there were a number of challenges in my way, but it wouldn’t be astrophotography without a little stress now would it? I am using an imaging setup that I have used in a while, and I think you’ll get some great tips for your next project by following along. I sincerely enjoy sharing these nights of deep-sky astrophotography in the backyard with you, and I hope you enjoy the final image. Astrophotography vs. Daily Life I don’t know about you gu…

Why I Built a Backyard Observatory

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In this article, I'll explain why I built a backyard observatory, and how the entire project took shape this spring. Officially named "Black Dog Observatory" this structure will become the epicenter of my astrophotography operations in the backyard.  Below, is a photo of me standing in my new SkySked POD XL5 observatory. I expect many memorable nights in the observatory this summer.  My backyard observatory After 10 years of setting up my camera and telescope for astrophotography each night, I finally have a permanent setup to photograph the night sky. Because the base of t…

best astrophotography images

My Best Images & The Gear Used

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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

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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…

astrophotography images

The Gear Behind My Best Astrophotography Images

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In this post, I'll share my 10 best astrophotography images of the year, and the complete list of gear used to take them. I completed roughly 40 projects this year, and it was difficult to choose my favorite 10 images from the bunch.  The selection process involved remembering why each photo was so special. Why each one of these astrophotography images made me say "wow" as I opened the picture files on my computer. You may find it useful to see the exact imaging configurations used for each photo, as the gear used was deliberately selected to best capture each deep-sky object. …

NEAF

NEAF 2019

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As usual, I only scratched the surface of what NEAF has to offer. I attend the Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) as an amateur astrophotography enthusiast looking to get an up close look at the latest and greatest gear, but NEAF is a lot more than just vendor and exhibitors booths. NEAF has been hosted by the Rockland Astronomy Club in Suffern, New York since 1991. This event has featured some incredible speakers over the years including Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Phil Plait, David Levy and many more. NEAF is the largest and most exciting space, science, and astronomy show in the United States.…