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Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Pro

Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Pro (First Impressions)

|Equipment|22 Comments

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to receive a very large package in the mail, the Sky-Watcher EQ8-R Pro. Some people get excited about the arrival of flowers or perhaps a new book from Amazon at their door. Me? I prefer over 100 pounds of deep-sky astrophotography equipment. The brand new EQ8-R Pro is an observatory-class equatorial telescope mount capable of handing advanced astrophotography equipment, and one of the heaviest objects I have ever attempted to lift on my own. I'd like to think that deadlifting the heaviest of astronomy equipment is something I'll always be able to do,…

Star Adventurer Pro Review

Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Review

|Equipment|27 Comments

The Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro is an extremely popular portable star tracker designed for astrophotography. After using iOptron star trackers for deep-sky astrophotography exclusively, it was time to see what all the fuss was about. In this post, I'll share my unbiased opinion about the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro, and actual images I was able to capture using it. The setup I used was the Pro Pack version, that comes with the counterweight kit, latitude EQ base, and fine-tuning mounting assembly. Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer Pro Review If you would like to get a good look at t…

star trackers

Choosing a Star Tracker for Astrophotography

|Equipment|21 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. I recommend the Sky-Watcher Star Adventurer 2i (Pro Pack…

Andromeda Galaxy Astrophotography Tutorial

|Galaxies|12 Comments

In this post, I'll walk you through the image processing steps I used to create the image of the Andromeda Galaxy shown below. This astrophotography tutorial uses Adobe Photoshop to bring out the intense colors and detail of a galaxy that was photographed using a DSLR camera and a small telescope.  You can follow along and process the exact same data I did (download here), or you can try these techniques on your version of the Andromeda Galaxy taken using your own equipment. If you choose to download my data and process it, you can skip straight to the Photoshop portion of this tutoria…

Canon DSLR Ha Filter

Use a DSLR Ha Filter for Astrophotography

|H-Alpha|24 Comments

After almost a decade of taking pictures of space with a DSLR camera, I have come to the realization that a DSLR Ha filter is quite possibly the most important astrophotography filter in your kit. Traditional light pollution filters designed to help you photograph deep sky objects in broadband (true-color) are useful, but a hydrogen-alpha filter makes the single greatest impact on your astrophotography overall. Beginners often ask me which narrowband filter (line filter) I recommend buying first, and it's always a Ha (or "Hα") filter. H-alpha is a specific deep-red visible spectral line wi…