© paulsastrophotography 2018

About Me

My name is Paul and I got in to Astronomy at the advanced age of 37 (a bit late for my liking) and I then subsequently quickly advanced in to Astrophotography. I am based in the town of Worthing which is on the coast in the south east of England. Even though my garden is highly light polluted there are plenty of dark sky sites in my local area that I attend on a regular basis with the two Astronomy clubs that I am Associated with. I have always been in to Astronomy in one way or another since school, but I didn’t really pay much attention to the subject after leaving school due to the usual things that distract teenage boys then my career after that. Now that I am older and wiser (the latter used very loosely) I decided to buy a telescope after sitting in the garden one evening and looking at the stars while enjoying a small libation. On the 14th of April 2017 i bought my first scope. It was a Celestron 114 on an EQ-2 mount. I think it cost me about £150.00 and it gave me some lovely shots of Jupiter and 4 her Moons and Saturn. The images below are my first ever Astro-images and were taken via the camera on my mobile phone by hovering the camera over the eyepiece.
This method of taking images is not the easiest way to capture images but with a bit of practise I was snapping happily away in no time. These first crude images are the driving force behind my passion for Astrophotography. I made the “school boy error” in thinking that bigger is better when it came to telescopes and without any expert advice I got rid of the Celestron and purchased a second hand SkyWatcher 130p. This was still on an EQ-2 mount. Looking back it was a good thing that I used manual mounts as it meant that I could “learn” the sky by having to research what I wanted to look at first or by using the array of planetarium applications that I had downloaded to my phone. Either way, I got a basic knowledge of the sky just from moving the telescope about and working out where and what i was looking at. After a week or so of balancing my phone over the eyepiece I decided to work out how to attach a camera to a telescope. I had broken the zoom lens on a Samsung point & shoot camera that I had, so I decided to remove the front, take out the zoom lens mechanism and stick the lid from an eyepiece lid. It was a very crude home-made adaptor, but it worked and I was happily taking images of the Moon in no time. After a little while I bought the Meade 90 Starnavigator Refractor and borrowed a Nikon 70D from my Auntie. The first image I took through this scope was this picture of the Moon. I then bought myself some solar filter medium and made a solar filter for the Meade and the SkyWatcher and I took these pictures of some sunspots.
I then wanted to really get in to Astrophotography so I started to hunt around on eBay and I managed to pick up a second hand Canon EOS 1000D dslr camera for £40.00. I was now up and running. I spent some time getting used to the camera and the settings etc….I then decided to purchase a GoTo mount an I found the SkyWatcher AZ-GTi with SkyWatcher 102 Maksutov telescope (below left). This mount is affordable, portable and amazing for its price. It was simple to use and, once the two star align was completed, it will take you to any object in the sky that is in its extensive object database. It is fast to set up easy to control, via your smart phone or laptop.
I used this set-up for the next few months and because it is a GoTo mount that meant that I could spend less time hunting down my target and more time imaging. To be honest, the telescope that is in the picture is great for visual Astronomy but it’s not good for Astrophotography as it is not “fast” enough to image the faint deep sky objects I hunting down. even though the racking on the AZ-GTi mount is excellent, I needed the ability to take longer exposures than the 30 seconds that an Alt-Az mount gives you, so I bought the SkyWatcher Star Adventurer (below right).
The benefit of this mount is that it can be Polar aligned and it will then track in the right ascension axis to follow the path of the stars across the sky and it doesn’t suffer with field rotation keeping the object centered and at the correct rotation on the camera’s sensor. I then bought the Altair StarWave 70ED and a mini guidescope
to further extend my exposure time. the set-up below is what I currently use for all of my imaging. Every picture that I post on this website has a “specifications” section that explains how and with what I took that image. The picture at the top of the page is me with my current set up. As of November 2018 I now have an EQ3-2 mount with enhanced motors which allows fot guiding but doesnt have GoTo fucntionallity. This set-up was £300.00 brand new from 365astronomy. I then swapped my Star Adventurer for a Bresser Messier 102/1000 refractor, it is an absolute beast, and I will be using it for smaller galaxies and star clusters etc… so keep an eye out for the images taken with this scope in 2019
****UPDATE**** I no longer have this set-up as i sold it to purchase the Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight. The review of this can be seen by clicking here.
© paulsastrophotography 2018

About Me

My name is Paul and I got in to Astronomy at the advanced age of 37 (a bit late for my liking) and I then subsequently quickly advanced in to Astrophotography. I am based in the town of Worthing which is on the coast in the south east of England. Even though my garden is highly light polluted there are plenty of dark sky sites in my local area that I attend on a regular basis with the two Astronomy clubs that I am Associated with. I have always been in to Astronomy in one way or another since school, but I didn’t really pay much attention to the subject after leaving school due to the usual things that distract teenage boys then my career after that. Now that I am older and wiser (the latter used very loosely) I decided to buy a telescope after sitting in the garden one evening and looking at the stars while enjoying a small libation. On the 14th of April 2017 i bought my first scope. It was a Celestron 114 on an EQ-2 mount. I think it cost me about £150.00 and it gave me some lovely shots of Jupiter and 4 her Moons and Saturn. The images below are my first ever Astro-images and were taken via the camera on my mobile phone by hovering the camera over the eyepiece.
This method of taking images is not the easiest way to capture images but with a bit of practise I was snapping happily away in no time. These first crude images are the driving force behind my passion for Astrophotography. I made the “school boy error” in thinking that bigger is better when it came to telescopes and without any expert advice I got rid of the Celestron and purchased a second hand SkyWatcher 130p. This was still on an EQ-2 mount. Looking back it was a good thing that I used manual mounts as it meant that I could “learn” the sky by having to research what I wanted to look at first or by using the array of planetarium applications that I had downloaded to my phone. Either way, I got a basic knowledge of the sky just from moving the telescope about and working out where and what i was looking at. After a week or so of balancing my phone over the eyepiece I decided to work out how to attach a camera to a telescope. I had broken the zoom lens on a Samsung point & shoot camera that I had, so I decided to remove the front, take out the zoom lens mechanism and stick the lid from an eyepiece lid. It was a very crude home-made adaptor, but it worked and I was happily taking images of the Moon in no time. After a little while I bought the Meade 90 Starnavigator Refractor and borrowed a Nikon 70D from my Auntie. The first image I took through this scope was this picture of the Moon. I then bought myself some solar filter medium and made a solar filter for the Meade and the SkyWatcher and I took these pictures of some sunspots.
I then wanted to really get in to Astrophotography so I started to hunt around on eBay and I managed to pick up a second hand Canon EOS 1000D dslr camera for £40.00. I was now up and running. I spent some time getting used to the camera and the settings etc….I then decided to purchase a GoTo mount an I found the SkyWatcher AZ-GTi with SkyWatcher 102 Maksutov telescope. This mount is affordable, portable and amazing for its price. It was simple to use and, once the two star align was completed, it will take you to any object in the sky that is in its extensive object database. It is fast to set up easy to control, via your smart phone or laptop.
I used this set-up for the next few months and because it is a GoTo mount that meant that I could spend less time hunting down my target and more time imaging. To be honest, the telescope that is in the picture is great for visual Astronomy but it’s not good for Astrophotography as it is not “fast” enough to image the faint deep sky objects I hunting down. even though the racking on the AZ-GTi mount is excellent, I needed the ability to take longer exposures than the 30 seconds that an Alt-Az mount gives you, so I bought the SkyWatcher Star Adventurer.
The benefit of this mount is that it can be Polar aligned and it will then track in the right ascension axis to follow the path of the stars across the sky and it doesn’t suffer with field rotation keeping the object centered and at the correct rotation on the camera’s sensor. I then bought the Altair StarWave 70ED and a mini guidescope
to further extend my exposure time. the set-up below is what I currently use for all of my imaging. Every picture that I post on this website has a “specifications” section that explains how and with what I took that image. The picture at the top of the page is me with my current set up. As of November 2018 I now have an EQ3-2 mount with enhanced motors which allows fot guiding but doesnt have GoTo fucntionallity. This set-up was £300.00 brand new from 365astronomy. I then swapped my Star Adventurer for a Bresser Messier 102/1000 refractor, it is an absolute beast, and I will be using it for smaller galaxies and star clusters etc… so keep an eye out for the images taken with this scope in 2019
****UPDATE**** I no longer have this set-up as i sold it to purchase the Explore Scientific iEXOS 100 PMC-Eight. The review of this can be seen by clicking here.