Welcome to my
The main purpose of the site is to detail my
adventures into the realm of Astrophotography and along the way
pass on information about the various triumphs and pitfalls I
I have always been awestruck by the beauty of planets, nebulae , galaxies and other deep space objects
as photographed by amateurs, large terrestrial telescopes as well as the
thought that I might try my hand at it.
The first thing you need, obviously, is a
telescope. There are many manufacturers such as Meade, Celestron, Vixen,
Orion, and Zhumell to mention just a few and have a price
range from a few hundred dollars to over ten thousand dollars.
I started out using a Meade DS114 f8 reflector telescope ( starter
scope) and, by no means, an expert in this field
having just started (Dec. '06) myself. However, I have been doing a
lot of research into astrophotography on the web and hope to pass on
what I have learned so far.
I upgraded my equipment adding a Mead DSI color CCD camera and
purchasing a used Mead LXD75 SN8 equatorial mount and 8" Schmidt-Newtonian
f4 scope. In 2008 I added a 80mm Orion guide scope and a used Meade DSI
Pro for guiding. ( There is always something that needs to
be bought -- LOL) See Equipment link.
As I said above, there is always something I need to
further the hobby, So in 2008 I decided that I needed to add
guiding to my set up. As luck would have it I found a used
80mm Orion f11 refractor on the web and also a DSI-PRO camera for just
around $100. Now I'm set, I thought. Yeah right, there is
always an upgrade to a better mount newer camera and, oh yes, a
dome would be nice. There is always something.
In 2009 that something showed up. I finally get
frustrated enough with the LXD75 mount that I purchased an
Orion Atlas EQ-G mount. Man what a difference! I think that
the combined weight of the SN8, 80mm guide scope and two DSI cameras was
rapidly approaching the weight carrying limit of the LXD75 mount and
was causing Goto problems as well as guiding issues. Now I'm a happy
camper, I think.
2010 I ended up buying a Orion Starshoot pro camera to
replace the Meade DSI. It turned out to be a great camera till one day
it stopped talking to the computer. In 2013 I replaced the SSP with a
used SBIG STF8300C camera. So far so good!!
just starting out you may want to go to the
page or the page on
telescope basics. There you will
also find links to other sites that can provide a lot of
good information on telescope setups, imaging, and web-cams among other
things. As I have found It's real easy to start
sinking money into this hobby.
Along with taking lots of pictures ( Stop by the Gallery and check
out the images I've been able to shoot. ), I've written a few programs that might be of interest.
provides you with an easy way to find what objects will be
visible at your location at what time of the day. It runs on
windows only from XP to W8.
you can specify the time period
you are interested in along with many other search criteria ( see
HELP for more
Database contains over 10K DSO
objects (NGC, M, IC, C, B) as well as 0ver 218K stars
Add, delete or change entries in the
Place key words in the DB to mark any
object on which you can search later, such as NEXT
or REDO or anything you want.
You can enter numerous alternate
You can control you ASCOM
mount directly from the program and have it slew to the select
Direct links to NED for technical
details or Sky-Map web sites to see what the object looks like
on the SDSS image for the selected object.
Save search results in text files as
an observation report, EQTour output or AA Manager output to
easily import the data into those applications.
Helps you select an alignment
star pair for two star alignment
Contains a calculator that will
allow you to compute the magnitude of an object as well as do some
conversions (ie.: Degrees to DEG:MIN:SEC or vise versa )
Works in the northern and southern
AND IT IS FREE !
If you are into hunting Supernovae the
SDA program might be of interest to you.
Some of the features include:
Works off a database of over 23K galaxies using the
Uses algorithms that attempt to select the most
probable galaxies that may spawn a supernova
Like TonightSky it shows you which
galaxies are visible at your location, when.
Search by galaxy type.
Contains a database of Supernovae that you
can update from Dave Bishop's web site "Bright
Go to the DOWNLOAD link at the left for more
I hope you enjoy
perusing my web site and doing so perhaps come away with a few tidbits
Now it's on and forward in my endeavor as an amateur in
While you're here, click on the
VISITOR COMMENT tab and let me know what
you think of the site.
Stay tuned for more info and pictures as I attempt perfect
Cheers from Nor Schramm.
Illustris Simulation: Most detailed simulation of our Universe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjSFR40SY58&feature=player_embedded