Bob's AstroGallery

About Me

No more telescope!

by on Oct.04, 2013, under My Equipment

I sold my telescope and everything that goes with it.

I have other priorities right now, I will pick my hobby up again when the time comes and I can afford it again!
The Newton was nice, but it’s not really my thing. I just don’t like having to collimate all the time.
Bigger aperture for less money than a decent refractor is very nice, of course, but I still rather go for the easier -and most importantly quicker- use of the refractor.

It might take a little while to get started again, but when I do, I will be back with a vengeance!

In the meantime, it might help if you could spare some bitcoins, I will spend it on this hobby alone.

Thanks for your support!

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Recent changes

by on Feb.23, 2013, under My Equipment

Some time has passed again since my last update.
For various reasons I sold most of my last gear and traded the 115mm triplet apo (which I never blogged about) for an entirely new setup.

Right now I have a full Sky-Watcher setup: a 200mm F/5 Newton with dual speed 10:1 focuser on a HEQ-5 Pro.
I know, it’s a step back from my previous telescopes, but I hope to have more fun with this bigger aperture and light-weight mount.
The problem I had with my previous setup is that I found myself reluctant to set the heavy CGE and everything else up outside on those rare unclouded nights.
This new set will be easily and quickly deployed outside.

Right now it will be for visual use only, but I will buy the necessary adapters, coma corrector and anti-light pollution filter when funds are available again. I will be using my trusted Canon EOS 550D again.

Sky-Watcher set

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Now with both telescopes mounted

by on Jun.08, 2011, under My Equipment

Finally received the DSBS-V side-by-side plate!
Now the Big C9.25 EdgeHD and ED80 can be mounted at the same time, allowing me to use one scope for imaging and the other for autoguiding.
One tiny setback though, the 10kg counterweight isn’t sufficient anymore, I need to add another one or I can’t balance it as it is!

I am no longer using this telescope! I had too much problems getting everything to work, had to buy this and that just to be able to make some photos. In the end I got tired of it and traded it in for a new Apochromatic refractor (Robtics 115mm F7 triplet apo).

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And here it is! The CGE & C9.25 EdgeHD

by on May.14, 2011, under My Equipment

This thing is heavy, really heavy. The total weight is around 65 kg.

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A “little” change of hardware

by on Apr.26, 2011, under My Story

I replaced the Skywatcher 120/900mm ED Pro with a Celestron C9.25 EdgeHD.

What a difference! Incredible, so much more to see, so much more difficult to get the same quality photos!
My NEQ-6 Pro can’t handle the C9.25 EdgeHD in combination with the 80/600mm ED, it’s taking too long to stop vibrating after a slew… and it’s not steady enough, with a little wind the stars are already moving slightly.
This is bad, really bad, I can’t make any decent photos with this mount 🙁

Luckily, I may be able to sell my NEQ-6 Pro and get an older model Celestron CGE, which can almost handle double the weight, compared to the NEQ-6 Pro.
More on this later…

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by on Oct.10, 2010, under My Equipment

Main telescope: Skywatcher 120/900mm ED Apo
Guidescope: Skywatcher 80/600mm ED Apo
Mount: Skywatcher NEQ-6 Pro Synscan
Camera 1: Atik 314L OSC (One-Shot Color)
Camera 2: Canon EOS 550D (unmodified)
Autoguide camera: Alccd5 monochrome
Accessories: 0.85x Focal reducer for the Skywatcher 120/900, 2″ 2x ED Barlow

Capture software: Nebulosity 2, Cartes Du Ciel, PHD
Processing software: DeepSkyStacker, Nebulosity 2
Post-processing software: Adobe Photoshop CS4

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A little about me

by on Jan.02, 2010, under My Story

Long ago, in my early teens, I was a member of the Dutch JWG, short for “JongerenWerkGroep voor Sterrenkunde”.
It’s an association for young people who are interested in astronomy.

I don’t really remember for how long, but I think I was kind of active for a couple of years only.
All those years afterwards I was still fascinated by the night sky, the constellations, distant galaxies and awe inspiring nebulae, like the Orion Nebula, but I wasn’t doing anything with it anymore.
On clear nights I still gazed at the stars and fantasized about possible life somewhere in another galaxy, far far away 😉
Seriously though, I tried to imagine how enormous the universe actually is, trying to put into perspective how far even the closest star is and use that as a comparison to galaxies much much farther away.
Obviously, the sheer size of the universe, the distance between us and other galaxies is unimaginable, but it still peeks my interest.

Early 2010 I moved to another apartment, no large buildings are blocking my view and even better, I live on the top level.
That’s when I decided to get myself a telescope and take up my old hobby again.
Soon enough I figured I wanted to share the beauty of the night sky with others, so I started using a simple compact camera, taking pictures of the moon through the eyepiece.

Long story short, I replaced that first telescope (a Newtonian) with a refractor, I bought a DSLR (and later I added an astro cam) and started shooting pictures with that.
Again, not satisfied, so I got myself another refractor and a simple monochrome camera for autoguiding.
There, now I can take longer exposures, now things are getting interesting!

So, with this new setup, I decided I wanted to take pictures of all the Messier objects, and as many other interesting things as well (NGC, Caldwell, Sharpless, etc).

That’s the short version with a rather long introduction.

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