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Backyard Pleiades

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As you may have been able to tell from the image below, this post is quite old! This was the first time I attempted to capture Messier 45 through a refractor telescope from the backyard. Since then, I photographed The Pleiades several times. Looking back at this post, I realize how pivotal the books I ordered from Jerry Lodriguss were to my success. My current image processing workflow shadows many of the lessons learned from his tremendous videos. M45 - The Pleiades Although M45 is an extremely popular open star cluster in the night sky, it is very difficult to image properly. The t…

Show me the Crab

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This is an old post from my early adventures in deep sky astrophotography before I had a backyard to call my own. From 2011 through 2014, I spent a lot of time at my local astronomy clubs observatory. It took me about 45 minutes to drive there each way, and I set up all of my gear and tore it down each time. During those years, my future wife worked at a restaurant in the evenings and weekends. As hard is this was on our relationship, it provided the perfect opportunity to keep busy with my new hobby during those lonely nights. A fantastic night at a dark sky site I spent my second night…

Orion and Running Man Nebula

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This is an old post from November 2011. At the time, deep sky astrophotography was still very new to me. Since then, I have photographed the Orion Nebula and Running Man Nebula several times, and it's still one of my all-time favorite deep sky targets. Interestingly enough, this post talks about my first time using an apochromatic refractor, the Explore Scientific ED80. I went on to use and enjoy this telescope for the next 5 years! My experiences with this refractor were critical to my success and enjoyment of the hobby. This is one of the many reasons I recommend a compact APO refracto…