Your First Total Solar Eclipse

If this is your first total solar eclipse, make sure you soak in the whole thing. Many people who are witnessing their first eclipse focus too much on trying to capture the event with a camera. Getting really good photos of eclipses is really a highly specialized field of photography. Because of the changing lighting … Read more

What is a solar eclipse?

If this is your first time viewing a total solar eclipse, you are in for a treat. Imagine the astronomical coincidence that places the sun about 400 times more distant from the Earth than the moon, and at the same time, the sun is about 400 times the moon’s diameter. This set of circumstances makes … Read more

What are the Types of Telescope Mounts?

There are several types of telescope mounts in use today. They are variations of the two main types: equatorial mounts and altazimuth mounts. Either type can be computerized to point to and track an object, but they do it differently. Equatorial Mounts For astrophotography, the only real choice is the equatorial mount. This is because … Read more

Celestron Nexstar Evolution HD Review

Celestron Evolution HD with StarSense

Price $2949 (for 8 inch) Celestron is one of the largest producers of affordable telescopes for beginners and experts alike. The Celestron Nexstar Evolution HD is an advanced powerful telescope suitable for all astronomy enthusiasts. This scope comes in 3 aperture sizes: 6 inches, 8 inches, and 9.25 inches. The 8-inch version has a focal … Read more

ZWO ASI294MC Pro Camera Review

ZWO ASI294MC Pro Camera

Another in the line of excellent, affordable ZWO astronomical cameras is the ZWO ASI294MC Pro cooled color CMOS astrophotography camera. This camera boasts the Sony IMX294CJK sensor, with a 4144 x 2822 resolution with 4.63-micron pixels. This results in a diagonal measurement of 21.6mm, which is slightly smaller than an APS-C sensor found in many … Read more

The Importance of Solar Filters

Spectrum Solar Filter for Telescopes

While most of us assume astrophotography is a nighttime hobby, there is one object that is reliably visible during the daytime every day of the year as long as the sky is not entirely cloud-covered. You may have guessed this object is the sun. This is especially true in the summer when the sky cloud … Read more

What is Telescope Magnification?

Telescope magnification

The term magnification or “power” is often used to describe department store telescopes in order to oversimplify the “quality” of the scope. It makes it sound like a telescope with a magnification of 100x is more powerful, and therefore of higher quality, than one with 50x magnification. This is really far from the truth and … Read more

Planetary Astrophotography

There are other objects to photograph other than galaxies and nebulae, also known as deep sky objects (DSO’s). Solar system objects including the planets, sun and moon are also favorite targets for astrophotographers, especially when you can tease out detail, such as the bands of Jupiter or rings of Saturn. Planetary imaging is not quite … Read more

What is plate solving?

OK, not that kind of plate! Simply put, plate solving is comparing an astronomical mage with a known database to determine the exact coordinates to which the telescope is pointing. As accurate as the pointing is for some high-quality telescope mounts, there is enough potential pointing error that the intended object may not appear on … Read more

What’s in the Sky Tonight – Summer Season

Milky Way Galaxy

Summer in the Northern Hemisphere (June through September) is a great time for astrophotography since the nighttime sky is pointing directly into the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy. This part of the sky is rich in bright and colorful nebulae. This applies to both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Many of these objects are … Read more