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Thread: A Very Dusty Horsehead

  1. #11

    Re: A Very Dusty Horsehead

    Actually deep sky astrophotography using CCD and digital cameras do not require dark sky or high elevation observing sites. Back in the late '90's a local bay area amateur routinely got full color images similar to CJ's from Monte Bello Open Space Preserve on the Peninsula and from his backyard in Castro Valley that were indistinguishable from images produced by professional observatories using much larger telescopes. Of course observing/imaging from a dark high spot doesn't hurt and for me is actually a necessity since my scope is a “push to” and not a “go to.” To polar align the scope and set the circles I have to first center Polaris and then center a star that lies on or near the celestial equator such as Mintaka in Orion's belt. Once the scope is properly aligned I can manually “push” the scope to the coordinates of the celestial object of interest. The SCT is not as friendly to “star hopping” as the Dobsonian is so I learned to use the coordinates instead. Nowadays the mounts and tracking are very sophisticated so it is not necessary to visually see Polaris or Mintaka to polar align. But relatively dark sky sites are still available here in the bay such as the summit of Mount Diablo where I often observed from and Fremont Peak which is a bit of a drive south of San Jose. Mt Tam is also a dark sky site but I have never observed from there.

    Thomas

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    12

    Re: A Very Dusty Horsehead

    Amazing what technology and skill can do (coming from someone happy to not leave the lens cap on). Beautiful Colorado CJ!

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