Orion 2″ Multiple Filter Wheel review

I have been using this Orion 2″ multiple filter wheel available from Amazon for quite some time and it never really dawned on me to write a review of it. I suppose I never thought of it because it is just an accessory that happens to sit between the camera and the telescope and since it never gave me any serious problems making it just vanish from my thoughts. Well, not so much. The Orion 2″ multiple filter wheel does a lot; it houses four filters (Light Pollution, Ha, O3 and S2), it has my HOTECH SCA 2 Inch Field… Continue reading

Observing the moon in daylight

Moon in daylight? You have seen it, I have seen it, it is broad daylight and there in the sky is the moon. If you stop and think about it you realize that the moon is up in the daytime just as much as it is at night, we just don’t tend to notice it. In my opinion this is a direct result of the fact that the moon has a much higher contrast at night since it is the only rock we see directly illuminated by the sun. The picture above was taken during the day on March 31st… Continue reading

Carl Sagan’s Birthday!

One of my childhood hero’s, Carl Sagan was instrumental in getting me and keeping me interested in science and astronomy in particular. I still remember my father and I watching the TV show Cosmos in the late 1970s. It, like any TV program back in those days, was a big family event which sometimes included popcorn or actual TV Dinners on a TV tray (this did not happen very often). On November 9th, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York, astronomer, astrophysicist and cosmologist Carl Edward Sagan was born to Russian immigrant Samuel Sagan and New York housewife Rachel Molly Gruber. Sagan’s… Continue reading

Burnham’s Celestial Handbook

Burnham’s Celestial Handbook is an astronomy book that has been something I have heard about over and over again ever since I have really been into astronomy. I was always dubious as to their value to my astronomy as they were old (1978), not available new that I could tell (if they were really good, wouldn’t they still be in print?) and pretty large (2138 pages total). After getting a set in good shape from a used book store, for more than the original new price I might add, I have spent some time looking through them and actually using… Continue reading

DIY light cylinder for taking flats; small, light, battery powered

My most popular DIY project which I think is now in at least two of my books is this one. Since so many people enjoy it I thought I would post it on the blog for everyone to use. Remember that this is primarily for inspiration and not really meant to be a recipe for one that will work with your scope. Well since I have started really working on my post processing I have noticed the need to start shooting flats. The problem is, you must shoot flats without moving the camera, scope, focus, anything. This means they have… Continue reading

Dark site etiquette

Dark site etiquette is an important part of astronomy to ensure that everyone enjoys their evening under the stars. When you are going out to an astronomy club dark site there are some guidelines you should follow to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone. Some of them probably seem like commons sense, and they are, to someone who understands what is going on. Unfortunately a lot of newcomers have no idea and this can cause friction. Help avoid the friction and stares by following a few simple astronomy etiquette guidelines. Dark Site Etiquette Guidelines If you park anywhere near… Continue reading

Getting Started: Visual Astronomy released

Getting Started: Visual Astronomy is quite a departure for me as most of you know I am primarily an astrophotographer and spend comparably very little time visually observing. When you are imaging for up to ten hours at a stretch however that still leaves a lot of time for visual observing, so compared to many others around me I do a lot of visual observing. It is all relative. There are a lot of fantastic books on general astronomy and observational astronomy. The one thing that I could never find however is a book that got right to the point… Continue reading