Get started in Astronomy and Astrophotography
These pages help you get started in Astronomy or Astrophotgraphy
I am building the Observatory for My HEQ5 with a short fast refractor for imaging and my LX90 SCT mainly for viewing, so my pier must allow me to easily swap scopes if necessary....
What you want to do will influence what kit you choose.
Choosing Astro equipment
What to buy
What to see in the night sky
A basic introduction to what you can see
I have had my LX90 8″ SCT for over 10 years, but recently decided to have a go at astrophotography. Several not very good attempts using the LX90, led me to do some research and find that the best place to start was with a short focal length fast refractor. The market leader for newcomers seems to be the Starwatcher ED80 at around £450. I decided to start more cautiously and bought a 90mm, 500mm at F/5.5 from ebay for £180 to see how I went. I then ended up needing a mount, so I went for a Sky-Watcher AZ GTi WiFi Alt-Az Mount. You can see my rationale and more on the kit on my equipment page. Oh yes and I have built an observatory.
However my rationale is to learn to get the most out of what I have before splashing out on more kit. The plan therefore is to start easy and then add elements:
- Used the 90m refractor on the GTi Alt-Az Mount with a Canon 1100d I already have to photograph easy stuff and learn more about post processing.
- Once I can do that try using my ZWO ASi178MC CCD camera to go for some easy small stuff.
- If that works take the above kit on holiday to the Canaries and try it in Dark (Warm) skies
- Back home, repeat steps 1 & 2 by mounting on an HEQ5 Pro, to extend exposure times
- Try the DLSR on the LX90 on its native Alt-Az mount
- Add a wedge to the above to get EQ alignment and longer times
- Finally try the CCD camera on the above.
I figure that if I go one step at a time I should be OK.
So step one:
90m refractor on the GTi Alt-Az Mount with a Canon 1100d
Picture of the week:
Actually my first reasonable photograph of M42 and associated friends such as NGC1977 “The Running Man”