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In these pages I plan to pass on my experiences with various pieces of kit, techniques and pictures that I have taken. As far as astrophotography is concerned, I know that I still have a lot to learn, however, even poor photos often show things that you can not see with your eyes. I have never seen the Horse Head with my own eyes, however, I have detected it with my digital camera.

Firstly, on equipment. For 12 years or so I had a Meade Classic 8" LX200. While it was being used for visual observing it was fine, however, astrophotography proved more challenging. As is common with this sort of instrument, image shift and mirror flop were issues to deal with, but with care I managed to get passible images.

I have a number of other telescopes now, an ETX-80 for example which is optically OK for a low cost instrument, a good telescope to put in the back of the car when going away, or to lend to people who are interested in seeing a few objects for themselves.

I bought a Celestron CGE1400 in December 2007, and some of these pages describe my experiences with this instrument as I learnt to use it. This is an ongoing process! This instument is used for detailed views of objects and spectroscopy.

For wide field work I have a William Optics FLT98 which gives some really stunning views of the sky, both visually and photographically.

To the left is an image of some of the stars in the Pleiades. Clearly this is not as good as other images on the web, however, it was a real effort to get stars that were not extended blobs.....

This picture was taken with the Classic 8" LX200, a f6.3 focal reducer and an unmodified Canon 350D.

Light pollution is a problem where I am and I have taken a background photo and subtracted it, which also removed alot of the vignetting you get with the focal reducer. More on this later.

Index for further Cynosure Astronomy web pages:

Astrophotography with an old Classic.

CGE1400, first thoughts.

Setting up the CGE1400, it really can be done by yourself.

The f6.3 focal reducer.

DslrStar Controller

TeleGizmos series 365 covers for CGE1400

Meade ETX 80

Astrophotography with the CGE1400, first steps

Spectroscopy, first steps

Nomenclature for ions in astronomy and chemistry

Removal of the CGE1400 corrector plate

Astrophotography with the CGE1400, refinement

LHIRES III spectroscope motorised focuser

More to follow.

Some pictures taken with:

Classic 8" LX200

Celestron CGE1400 page one Pictures taken between 2007 and March 2009

Page 1 contents: M3, M81, M51, M63, M33, M42, M109

Page 1 links: M51 further info, M42 wide field, more info on barred spirals

Celestron CGE1400 page two Pictures taken from March 2009 onwards

Page 2 contents: M86 (comment on seeing/resolution), NGC4435 & 4438, NGC2903, NGC3184, M91, M106, M57, Crescent Nebula (NGC6888), NGC7331

Celestron CGE1400 page three Pictures taken from September 2009 onwards

Page 3 contents: M27, M106, NGC4631, NGC3395 and NGC3396,

Celestron CGE1400 Moon and planet images

Canon 350D (unmodified) with 18-55 lens

William Optics FLT98 CF

Spectroscopy results index