My Astronomy

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My New Book May 2018My previous e-book
 

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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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The telescope mount is a Paramount Me - a brilliant piece of engineering that provides the accuracy that is needed in good telescope pointing.  It is mounted on a pillar that originally held the Meade LX200 mount and telescope from which I removed the OTA to use with the Paramount.

The ability to thread the cables through the mount removes all trailing wires so that the worry of snagged wires is removed when operating the telescope remotely.  

 

 

 

 

 

The mount is connected via a USB cable to the laptop in the dome and is controlled by The Sky software from Software Bisque. Power to the dome is maintained continually and the laptop is never switched off. Although many observatories leave their Paramount permanently on I prefer to switch it on remotely from the house using a simple RF socket based remote controller, Often weeks will pass without a clear sky so I prefer to switch it on as required. I use similar devices to switch a white or red light on inside the dome when needed. An inexpensive monochrome security camera allows me to monitor the telescope position from my study. The laptop can be accessed from computers inside the house by using VNC (free) software which allows me to use the laptop as though I was in the dome meaning that I can set up the imaging scripts, connect the telescope to The Sky, switch on the camera and set up files etc as well as actually taking images remotely.