Strain Wave Vs Hybrid Telescope Mounts

Telescope mounts might not grab headlines like the newest telescope optics do, but their importance to stargazing and astrophotography cannot be overstated. They’re the unsung heroes that support telescopes, allowing astronomers to track celestial bodies with accuracy. Mounts come in various forms, each with its unique mechanisms and uses. I would argue that a quality … Read more

The William Optics Redcat 51 WIFD Review

Manufacturer: William Optics Price: $898 I acknowledge your curiosity about the William Optics RedCat 51. It’s not just a telescope; for many, it’s a gateway to the cosmos. William Optics, a respected name in the realm of astronomy equipment, has crafted a piece that’s garnered attention for good reasons. The RedCat 51 stands out due … Read more

ZWO ASI2600MC Duo Review

Price: $2499 A few decades ago, Santa Barbara Instruments Group (SBIG) had a great idea to solve some of the problems of autoguiding, namely having to use an off-axis guider or a separate piggy-backed telescope with its own camera. Each of these methods had their own problems: finding a suitable guide star in the case … Read more

Vespera II Smart Telescope Review

Manufacturer: Vaonis Price: $1599 The Vaonis Vespera II Smart Telescope is another offering in a fast-developing market for all-in-one astrophotography equipment designed to simplify observing and capturing remarkable real-time images of celestial objects. The Vespera II is a more advanced version of the Original Vespera. The 50mm aperture remains the same, but the sensor is … Read more

Astrophotography Gear Recommendations

When I first thought about how to write this article, I wanted to try to come up with price brackets for different budgets. However, I could not come up with any decent combination that was under $1000. In all the years I have been enjoying this hobby, there is one constant principle that I have … Read more

Sky-Watcher SolarQuest Review

Manufacturer: Sky-Watcher Price: $530 As the 2024 North American total solar eclipse approaches, many are planning on attempting to photograph the event, or even deciding whether it is worth the attempt. This is a decision made by many every time a total solar eclipse occurs. As with any astrophotography endeavor, having a tracking mount eliminates … Read more

My Astrophotography Equipment

Astrophotography equipment setup

My Equipment I live in a highly urban area with a Bortle value of around 8 or 9. I finally ditched the mostly reliable Meade LX 200 classic that I have had since 1996. It was a real workhorse in its time, but as equipment technology advanced, it became harder and harder to integrate into … Read more