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The Unknown Cause of a Desired Behaviour

Making beautiful astronomical images of deep sky objects like nebulas and galaxies is not easy. One of the challenge lies in being able to ensure the telescope is precisely following the movement of the sky caused by earth’s rotation.  First, one need a telescope mount that is of sufficient precision. Secondly, the mount needs to be properly

Imaging Sessions, Troubleshooting | Leave a comment

Celestron CGEM HyperTune®…complete!

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It has been a long time since I’ve written on the blog. Quite busy with the family and other projects. In early august, I was able to complete the HyperTune of the Celestron CGEM. Re-greasing and re-assembly of the DEC axis went without a glitch. The videos from Ed Thomas at Deep Space Products are

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Celestron CGEM HyperTune®…started

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With the intention of improving the autoguiding performance (especially in RA) of my Celestron CGEM mount, I have initiated the process of “Hyper-Tuning” it. A few months ago, I purchased a partial kit from Ed Thomas at Deep Space Products to help the process. What I ordered was: – DVD step-by-step video on how to HyperTune® your mount

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Elongated Stars – a very complex problem to solve

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For those of you who have been following my blog, you know that have been experiencing difficulties with being able to capture images with nice round and tight stars (i.e. sharper images). There are many factors that can contribute to image quality. If one or more of these factors are present in your setup. You can end up

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New CCD camera…new & old challenges.

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On march 30th, 2013, after the acquisition of my new CCD camera (i.e. the SBIG ST-8300M, the filter wheel and filters), with the weather looking promising, I carefully planned an imaging session with the goal of capturing LRGB data of the Sunflower Galaxy (i.e. Messier 63). I used CCD Commander to automate the acquisition of the following frames: 20 X 6 minutes

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I received the accessories for the SBIG ST-8300M

Today, I received the accessories I ordered earlier this week to finalize my new CCD camera setup. Here is what I received…  20mm T-Mount extension tube from Edmund.  Extra filter carousel for the FW5-8300 filter wheel with 5 installation o-rings and a set of 4 Baader LRGB 36mm unmounted filters from SBIG. I started by installing the filters in the

Telescope & Equipment | Leave a comment

I bought an SBIG ST-8300M

After months of design, prototyping and modifications in order to transform my Canon 350D DSLR into a better astronomical instrument, I finally gave in and purchased a thermoelectrically cooled CCD imaging cameras (i.e. the SBIG ST-8300M). Here is the picture of the new toy… My modified Canon still work quite well but I felt it was time for me to step into the world of more

Telescope & Equipment | Leave a comment

Elongated Stars – Problem solved

Early last week, in my quest to find the source of my elongated stars problem, I was doing research on the internet when I came across a paper by Craig Stark titled: “What to do When PHD Guiding isn’t Push Here Dummy“. In his paper, Mr. Stark discusses the possible effect of gravity on stars

Troubleshooting | Leave a comment

Still suffering from elongated stars due to differential flexure

This week, the weather has been very good…it’s the fourth clear night in a row. Futhermore, I am attending a CCD conference on Saturday…what more could you ask to satisfy an astrophotographer? On October 25th, I contacted Moonlite Telescope Accessories about the broken bearing on my focuser, Ron Newman replied on the 27th telling me to ship the focuser to him and explaining

Troubleshooting | Leave a comment

Elongated Stars – Focuser problems

Last night, in order to try to reduce the differential flexure problem that have been plaguing me, I replaced the guiding camera 2″ extension tube I was using with the ED80T CF  with a 1.25″ diagonal with the hope to be able to move the draw-tube more into the focuser. With the 2″ extension tube, my draw-tube was

Troubleshooting | Leave a comment