SeeStar S50 Review – Suitable for Beginners or Experienced Users

Manufacturer: ZWO Introductory Price: $399 Have you been wanting to dip your toes into the fun hobby of astrophotography, but are intimidated by the complex equipment choices, high prices and steep learning curve? Well astronomy and imaging equipment manufacturer ZWO has come up with an innovative, reasonably priced way to produce some quality images that … 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

How are Stars Named?

star cluster

The naming of stars has evolved historically. Several early civilizations were very aware and interested in celestial objects, phenomena, and events. The Greeks, Romans, and early Arabs were prolific “namers” of stars. For example, Betelgeuse (pronounced like “beetle juice”), a bright star in the constellation Orion, gets its name from the Arabic word for “shoulder … Read more

The Value of Dark Sky Sites

Milky Way Galaxy

Astrophotography is a very rewarding hobby. Many really good images are being taken all around the world from less-than-ideal night skies, in or near major cities by taking advantage of today’s technology. But there really is no substitute for a pristine, dark night sky for getting the absolute best photos or for just taking in … Read more

Lunt Solar 80mm f/7 Telescope Review

Lunt 80mm Modular Solar Telescope

Manufacturer: Lunt Price: $5077with rack-and-pinion focuser With the upcoming April 2024 North America Eclipse approaching, I thought it would be interesting to pique the interest of astronomy enthusiasts in solar observing before the big event by reviewing a solar telescope. Quality telescopes can be a bit pricey, and telescopes made specifically for solar observing are … Read more

The QHY 268M 26 MP Camera Review

Manufacturer: QHY Price $2399 (bundles are a bit more) The QHY 268M 26 MP is a monochrome astrophotography camera that features a 26-megapixel back-illuminated Sony IMX571 sensor. Because of the back illumination, the quantum efficiency is very high and the dark noise is very low.  The sensor also has a large full well capacity of … Read more

Solar Eclipse 2024 – Get Ready Now

Total Solar Eclipse, solar eclipse

   A rare treat is in store for the three major countries of North America on April 8, 2024, when a total solar eclipse follows a path making landfall starting near Mazatlán, Mexico, traveling through the south-central part of the U.S. and tracking northeast until it leaves the U.S. near Caribou, Maine. Many people in … 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

ZWO FF130 Refractor Telescope Review

Petzval telescope

Manufacturer: Zwo Price: $3499 Zwo is well known in the astrophotography world for producing excellent astronomy gear at reasonable prices. Well, now the company has ramped up the competition for quality refractor telescopes designed specifically for astrophotography, also called astrographs. The ZWO FF130 Apo 130mm f/7.7 Petzval Refractor Telescope is a high-end telescope that is … Read more

Cloudy Nights? No Problem!

Cloudy Night

Our weather in Southern California has been persistently cloudy and gloomy. Typically, this time of year we get cloudy nights that clear to sunny days. But for months now the sky has not cleared during the day, and the nights have remained cloudy and sometimes drizzly. Weather naturally contributes to our ability to enjoy the … Read more