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light pollution

Light Pollution is Ruining Our Night Sky

|light pollution|6 Comments

Have you ever looked at a brightly lit building or street light in your neighborhood and thought it was excessive? You know, light shining in all directions or perhaps in your bedroom window, rather than only lighting up the intended area. That is light pollution.  Light pollution is misdirected excess/obtrusive outdoor artificial light in a night environment. Too much light pollution washes out the night sky, interferes with astronomical research, disrupts ecosystems, wastes energy, and has adverse health effects. Urban towns, cities, and suburbs are known for their excessive light.…

ZWO ASI2600MM Pro Overview

ZWO ASI2600MM First Impressions

|Camera|10 Comments

The ZWO ASI2600MM Pro mono is the much anticipated monochrome version of ZWO's popular ZWO ASI2600MC Pro dedicated astronomy camera. It houses a 26 Megapixel Sony IMX571 back-illuminated sensor, and some seriously impressive specs. This camera uses a highly sensitive, cooled, monochrome CMOS sensor in the APS-C format. The size and resolution of this sensor is its biggest selling feature. The ZWO ASI2600MM Pro not only improves on nearly every aspect of its predecessor (the ASI1600MM), the sensor is now APS-C, capturing a larger field of view. In the land of deep space astronomy cameras, t…

nightscape photography

8 Nightscape Photography Tips for Amazing Astrophotography

|Image Processing|8 Comments

Nightscape photography involves capturing a landscape style image, at night. It can include the beautiful Milky Way, a starry sky, or your favorite constellation. This is a type of astrophotography, where long exposure images are taken to reveal the beautiful light of a seemingly 'dark' sky. Star photography requires quality optics, and some camera lenses are better suited for it than others.  To really make your nightscape image amazing, you'll want to capture an interesting foreground, too. This can be snowy mountains, a waterfall, or in my case, just a dark, wooded forest. In the vi…

best astrophotography images

My Best Images & The Gear Used

|Blog Updates|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…

Sigma 24mm F/1.4 Lens for Astrophotography

Using a Sigma 24mm F/1.4 for Astrophotography

|Camera Lenses|6 Comments

The Sigma 24mm F/1.4 lens is an interesting choice for astrophotography, particularly wide-angle Milky Way photography. With an f-ratio of F/1.4, this Sigma art series lens can pull in a lot of light under a dark night sky. Over the years I have used a number of great camera lenses for astrophotography from the Rokinon 135mm F/2, to the Canon EF 300mm F/4L. The Sigma 24mm F/1.4 is perhaps the most impressive lens for astrophotography overall, rarely due to its incredibly fast aperture.  I've used the lens on my Canon DSLR and Mirrorless cameras, and have found it to be one of the mo…

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…

The Stunning Double Cluster in Perseus

|Star Clusters|5 Comments

The Double Cluster in Perseus The Double Cluster in Perseus (NGC 869 and NGC 884) are two open clusters in the constellation Perseus. Also named Caldwell 14 or simply "The Double Cluster", both star clusters are very similar to each other in size, magnitude, and age. This pair of open clusters lie about 7,000 light-years away from Earth. They are an easy binocular target, and an impressive sight through a small telescope. The magnitude 3.7-3.8 star clusters are bright enough to be spotted with the naked eye under the right conditions. Each of the clusters contains more than 300 blue/whi…

Photographing the Lobster Claw Nebula

|Nebulae|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…