Firstly, if you are reading this......WELCOME!!!
I am a relative newbie to Astronomy and a total newbie to blogging.
The aim of this blog is to record my journey into my new hobby.
I have always looked up to the stars with interest and had a cheap Tasco refractor telescope bought for me many years ago. Although it was poor quality, it did afford me half decent views of the Moon and planets.
This year, 2012, I purchased my first proper telescope, a Skywatcher 150PL on an EQ3 mount. This was partly purchased due to a genuine interest and also partly due to the Professor Brian Cox effect after watching BBC's Stargazing Live.
The Skywatcher 150PL:
This is a great visual observing scope but is limited for imaging due to the mount i.e. SW EQ3/2. Whilst the mount is more than adequate for a small basic scope it struggles with bigger scopes.
The 150PL is great for observing Lunar and Planetary being a 6" Newtonian telescope with a focal length of 1200mm.
I modified the end cap with Baader Solar Film in order that I can use it as a Solar scope.
WARNING: Never look directly at the Sun through a telescope unless you have a correctly fitted, serviceable solar filter. Improper and unsafe use can cause instant Blindness
I fitted the mount with an RA Motordrive to help track my chosen subjects better and used an SPC900 webcam for basic Lunar, Planetary imaging.
Although this Scope has served my well, even taking into account the poor British weather, I really wanted to get into proper imaging of DSO's (Deep Sky Objects).
My latest purchase is a full imaging rig which includes a Skywatcher HEQ5 pro Goto mount, SW ED100 DS Pro refractor Telescope, SW ST80 Guidescope and a Canon 50D (already had the camera).
This setup is going to be added to utilising some PC Software called EQmod which will allow me to directly connect the scope to my laptop so that i can control it via Some free Planetarium Software called Stellarium.
Once setup, I should be able to set up outside then control and see the stars via the comfort of my armchair.
The aim of this Blog will be to allow you to join me on what will no doubt be a huge learning curve and also to hopefully show you some of my images of the Universe and all its wonders. It will also be used as a personal record so that I can see how I progress with experience.