Welcome!

This page is about my on again, off again hobby of amateur astronomy. Most normal people just do their hobby and don't post about it. But most of the time I am not actually "doing" astronomy so this is my busy-wait. I can't imagine anyone would find this page accidentally so you probably know me. Let's grab a beer sometime!

I have lost track of when I bought my first telescope. It was probably around 2007 when I lived in Manalapan NJ, and it was the Orion SkyQuest XT8, a classic DOB. Bigger is better in toys, so the next scope was an Orion XT10 with Intelliscope. It was a monster: I needed a handcart to take it out to the backyard. I used that for a couple years, but for various reasons I stopped a few years later and sold everything. Fast forward to 2017. My nerdiness told me I had to own a telescope. This time I opted for the small Orion ST120. It turned out to be ill suited and I didn't use it much, but I was officially into astronomy again.

In 2020, we moved to Edison NJ. (Ironically, this was so that my partner could be closer to her workplace but post-Covid, we will both be working from home!) I had complained about the light pollution in Manalapan but I had no idea that I was actually fortunate there. I went from a decent sky there to a Bortle 8 (one level from the worst) here. You can barely see a few of the brightest stars. Astronomy for me was done.

Or was it? I stumbled across material that showed astrophotography from Bortle 8 skies: it takes a lot more time and some image post-processing skills, but there it was. This looked promising. I had a telescope. I had a DSLR. I had spare time. How hard could it be? (Yes, a little foreshadowing.) And so it started...

Thanks for reading and cheers for now,
Shaun

Gallery

Equipment

Process

Links

Planner

Practice Data