I've decided to share my experiences of observing and imaging the incredible jewels of the night sky.
Please have a look around, and keep checking back as this site will be updated regularly, with images, new DIY projects and astronomy-related news.
My goal is to perhaps inspire others to get out there, look up and get to know the night sky.
There's so much out there, and so much to learn.
Follow me as I learn about the sky, astronomy, and astrophotography.
I've been into astronomy (observing) for over 25 years, having started out with a 1960's era refractor from Sears. It was a little shaky to say the least, but it got me started in this amazing hobby when I first saw the rings of Saturn.
Next, I purchased a used 8" Dobsonian reflector telescope around 2001, and since then I've been hooked.
I finally made the move to an equatorial mount in the spring of 2016, and my life hasn't been the same since...
There's so much to see in the night sky on a clear night...even with the naked eye, or better yet, with binoculars...
you just have to know where (and how) to look...
I began the journey of learning the dark art of astrophotography in 2017.
Having owned a Pentax DSLR for over 15 years, I decided to merge the 2 hobbies, photography and astronomy. Little did I know what I was getting into...
I started out with a used, astro-modified (internal infrared filter removed) Canon DSLR for astrophotography. While it did the job, it wasn't long before I had to upgrade to a better camera to get the pictures that I wanted.
In the summer of 2020, I began the quest of using a mono (black and white) camera, a cooled ASI1600MM Pro, ZWO filter wheel and LRGB/ Ha, Sii and Oiii filters. A bit of a learning curve, especially processing, but I'm already seeing the rewards.
I have plans and will build a "SkyShed" roll-off roof observatory this spring.
My plans involve solar-powering everything, including telescope, camera(s), filter wheel and motorized focuser, as well as all LED lighting.
Also in the plans are a DIY solar furnace, which will heat the well-insulated control/warm room during the day, so it should be a little more comfortable on those clear, cold winter nights under the stars...
Loosely based on this image of a similar design from somewhere in England, combined with the 8' X 8' SkyShed design
Ground breaking Easter Weekend, 2019. Digging and pouring the concrete pier for the future observatory beginning April 19. Shortly thereafter, pouring a 10' X 20' pad to begin construction of the roll-off-roof observatory...can't wait
Here's a video of the various telescopes I've used, from a flimsy department store telescope to a computerized, go-to mount
A quick walk-through of the interior and control room of my personal ROR SkyShed observatory.
An introduction to mono astrophotography and the steps involved, so far...