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Back in the Game – My New Mount!

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This post talks about upgrading from a Celestron CG-5 astrophotography mount to the Sky-Watcher HEQ5. I have been using the Sky-Watcher mount ever since with over 5 years of successful deep sky imaging under its belt! My New Mount Sky-Watcher Astrophotography Mount NGC 7000: Imaged Monday, June 3, 2013. 32 subs 5 Minutes Each totoaling 2 Hours 40 Minutes The above image was taken using my old mount last Monday. After fighting with it for over an hour (mount shutting off, restarting, re-aligning 3 times!) I finally got it to work for one more night! I am officially back in the sa…

Problems with my Celestron CG-5 Mount Power Port

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Problems with Celestron CG-5 Mount Up until this point, my Celestron CG-5 mount has been very good to me. Despite what I have heard, it has been a quality mount, capable of 5+ minute exposures, no problem (with autoguiding).  Recently though, the power has been cutting in and out.  Last Friday night, under clear, dark, moonless skies at the CCCA, I was forced to head home. Devastating!  The frustrating part, is not knowing whether the issue is the power switch, the jack, or the entire power board itself.  The only thing I know for sure is that it is not the ac adapter,…

Frustrations with PHD Guiding

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M81 and M82 Update: I've learned a great deal about autoguiding with PHDGuiding (Now PHD2 Guiding) since this post was first published. For an updated perspective, please read: Autoguiding a Telescope for Deep-Sky Imaging (PHD2 Guiding) I had a heck of a night this Friday at my Astronomy Clubs observatory.  The skies were clear for the first time in weeks, and I was excited to shoot Orion before it gets too low in the sky until next year.  Everything seemed to be going great until it was time to calibrate PHD guiding.  Even though my mount was polar aligned perfectly (I did it seve…

M78 Project – Done!

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M78 - Reflection Nebula in Orion I am finally done my "winter project" of M78 in the constellation Orion. The winter weather in the Niagara Region doesn't bode to well for astrophotographers as the clear nights are slim to none. Last night, however, I was able to squeeze in another 1.5 hours of shooting on this beautiful subject. I am satisfied with my results, and look forward to moving on to my next project, The Orion Nebula:) Thanks for looking! 72 frames 4 and 4.5 minute exposures 5 hours 30 minutes total exposure Stacked with darks ES ED80 Triplet Apo ASCG-5 GT Orion M…

Astrophotography Processing Graphic

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Basic Processing of an Astro-Photo I created a graphic showing the basic steps needed to turn a raw stacked astrophoto into the final image. This was from data collected in July at the CCCA Observatory in Wellandport, Ontario. I wish I had framed the object better so I could have included M20, oh well, next year! Get Started: Beginner Astrophotography Guide