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Welcome to  my  Amateur Astrophotography Site!

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 encounter.

  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 Hubble Space Telescope and 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.

In 2007 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!!

If your just  starting out you  may want to  go to  the getting started 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.

     TonightSKY Program 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 TonightSky HELP for more details )

  • Database contains over 10K DSO objects (NGC, M, IC, C, B) as well as 0ver 218K stars

  • Add, delete or change entries in the Database

  • 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 viewing locations.

  • You  can control you  ASCOM mount directly from the program and have it slew to the select object.

  • 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 hemisphere.


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 R3c data.

  • 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 Supernovae"

Go to the DOWNLOAD link at the left for more information.

I hope you  enjoy  perusing my web site and doing so perhaps come away with a few tidbits of knowledge.

Now it's on and forward in my endeavor as an amateur in astrophotography.

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 this art. 

Cheers from Nor Schramm. 


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745452.75W / 405025.88N
(74.91465W/ 40.84052 N)
Oxford, NJ USA

E-Mail to nbs "at" njstargazer "dot" org


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