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Equipment

Choosing a Star Tracker

|Equipment|7 Comments

When it comes to astrophotography, a star tracker allows you to take better images. Your exposure lengths are no longer limited to 30-seconds or less due to a moving sky, and you can dial back camera settings like ISO and F-stop. Equatorial camera mounts are designed to align with the polar axis of the night sky so you can take long-exposure images that are free of star trailing. Astrophotography demands long-exposure tracked images to collect as much signal (light) as possible, and that is exactly what a star tracker allows you to do. This summer, I had the opportunity to review a new sta…

iOptron iPolar Review

Upgrade Your SkyGuider Pro with iPolar

|Equipment|23 Comments

In my latest video, I captured a wide-field deep sky object using an impressive little star tracker, the iOptron SkyGuider Pro. Since 2017, I've captured several deep sky images with the SkyGuider Pro, with a DSLR camera attached to a camera or small telescope. In my latest adventures in the backyard, I've set up the iOptron SkyGuider Pro once more, but this time I've added a rather simple device that makes a critical step of the astrophotography acquisition stage process easier, and more precise. The iPolar Electronic Polarscope The iPolar electronic polarscope uses a small camera to u…

Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro

Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro Review

|Equipment|20 Comments

The Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro is a computerized equatorial telescope mount with GoTo capabilities. This equatorial (EQ) mount is capable of providing precise, accurate tracking of the night sky, and is suitable for long-exposure astrophotography.  The core specifications of this equatorial mount include having a built-in ST-4 autoguider port, a payload capacity of 44 pounds, and a SynScan computer hand controller with an extensive database of objects.  I have been using the Sky-Watcher EQ6-R Pro telescope mount since October 2018, and have used it to capture several deep sky images…

QHY PoleMaster Review

|Tutorials|22 Comments

The QHY PoleMaster electronic polar scope was designed to make your polar alignment routine easier, and more precise. No matter which camera tracker or telescope mount you’re using, when it comes to astrophotography, accurate polar alignment is critical. If you have ever struggled to polar align your telescope mount with the north or south celestial pole, the QHY PoleMaster may just be your new best friend. With a slew of recent technical headaches and an unforgiving winter, my appreciation for devices that make my life easier has grown. The QHY PoleMaster delivered exceptional results…

Astrophotography in Costa Rica (Carina Nebula)

|Nebulae|16 Comments

I’ve just returned from a vacation to Costa Rica with the goal of capturing some astrophotography images from the resort. Being so close to the equator, the night sky featured many new southern hemisphere deep sky targets I had never seen before. Aside from astrophotography (including an impromptu Facebook Live stream from our balcony) my wife and I also enjoyed a private birding tour and some much needed relaxation. The average temperature from home in Canada was around -10 degrees Celsius, in Costa Rica, 33. Despite the pleasant temperatures and impressive number of clear nights duri…