My Astronomy


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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book



My Telescopes

My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

My new Paramount MyT and 8-inch Ritchey-Chretien Telescope

MyT Hand Controller

My Meade 12 inch SCT on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

My 4 inch Meade Refractor with Sky Watcher Guidescope and ZWO camera on a CGEM (Classic) Mount

Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

Astronomy Blog Index
About the Site

 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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« Day 21 Visited Bedar and The Solar Explorer and Imaging through the ETX90 with the Canon 40D | Main | Day 19 Sierra Cabrera Views, Canon 40D images of the California Nebula and the Rosette Nebula. »

Day 20 APT - Astrophotography Tool software setup and images.

Similar to yesterday - breezy and sunny with light cloud. I decided to set up APT  - Astro Photography Tool to use with my Canon 40D instead of the EOS software that began to behave erratically apparently - in reality it was due to the almost full hard disk on my computer. However APT is specifically astronomy oriented so worth making the transition.

A description of the software is here.

 This shows a previously taken image opened in the image browser. There is a live view option that can be selected to check pointing and focus. A key thing to know at this stage is the brightness adjustment that allows adjustments up to 200%. Objects hardly visible at normal brightness become much brighter. A very useful feature.

A particularly good feature is the way in which the software will calculate the Field of View and Image Scale if you tell it the focal length of the lens or telescope. The camera details are added by the software once it knows which camera you are using.

The magnifier allows you to see the images in detail. For example the Flame Nebula can be seen on this short exposure 38mm lens image.


 Selecting the Camera Tab allows you to connect the camera and select a Plan from a predetermined list. The plans editor is where you set up the plans for flats, darks ,lights etc.

 NOTE: The brightness adjustment button!! Very useful.