Any readers into astrophotography?

Its a passion of mine, when i have the time. I have never failed to be enthralled as an image of a distant galaxy slowly forms on my PC screen as the light, in some cases tens of millions of years old, is captured by the cameras CCD chip. Each stacked image bringing out more and more faint detail and structure.

This is truly the hobby of a life time, you can always improve on a previous image of a target and there is a universe full of targets!

Globular Star clusters, the jewels of the Milky way, are another favourite and also planetary nebular and and...

The problem here, and also part of the fun if you are the patient type (i'm not), is that it takes a long time and quite a chunk of money to get 'good' at imaging the heavens. I once asked a guy at my local astronomy society who was showing off an absolutley stunning image of Mars his secret; 'ten years and ten thousand pounds of equipment and software' was the answer he gave quite cheerfully!

Someone I admire in this field is Nik Szymanek, get a copy of his book 'Infinity Rising' if you are not familiar with his work then you are in for a treat. A master of the art!

Of course, you can get reasonable results with a cheap(ish) telescope and a webcam. Its well worth the effort and nice to be able to show others what you have been observing. I would recommend having a go...but be prepared for addiction, its probably a good idea to give someone else your credit cards before starting.

Posted by Paul Rumsby
Telescope Sale Team
On 11th April 2011