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

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

Signal-to-Noise Ratio

signal to noise

What is signal-to-noise ratio and why is it important? The simplest definition would be the ratio of captured digital signal vs the captured noise acquired during the imaging process. In general, it is a measure of the quality of the image. Today’s digital cameras generate noise simply from the electronics inside the camera. Ideally, when … Read more

Dealing with Dew on a Humid Night

dew heater, dew controller, dew zapper

Summer in much of the world brings warm temperatures and often times brings nighttime dew. Dew accumulation can ruin a night of astrophotography by decreasing and diffusing the light that reaches the eyepiece or camera sensor. To fight dew on a telescope, you can employ several methods and tools to minimize or eliminate its impact … Read more

Autoguiding Options for Astrophotography

Do you really even need autoguiding? Serious astrophotographers know that autoguiding, although very useful is not always necessary. There are some mounts that are extremely accurate at tracking for short periods of time, even up to 5 minutes without the need for autoguiding. There are also some who would argue that dozens or even hundreds … Read more

How to Chose Astrophotography Equipment

Choosing astrophotography equipment can be confusing due to the many choices available. When matching a telescope with a camera for astrophotography, there are several things to consider to make sure you have the best match. It is much more than just thinking about budget and what looks nice. Image circle Many beginner astrophotographers fail to … Read more