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Astronomy and Astrophotography

I've been doing a great deal of research lately on backyard astrophotagraphy and astronomy.  If you have any interest, but are at a beginner, I can recommend several excellent books priced between $16 and $30.  You can see the moons of Jupiter, see that Mars is, indeed, red, and if you are lucky, see the largest structural details of the Int'l Space Station, using a $50-$60 pair of binoculars as recommended in that $16 book!  Read the book before you buy the binocular.  The book says so, too, tho' not in time to stop me from buying both at once. 

This advice goes double for telescopes, as they cost so much more!  I will make recommendations in my Astro section for starter scopes from $600 to $1200 which will absolutely blow your mind the first time you look at the milky way through it.  I will also offer opinions on some robotic scopes from $1000 to $3000. 

The biggest suggestion of all, tho', is to read a book before you buy any hardware (but, please read my suggestions, too, before or after the book; I will cover the difference between must have accessories and stuff that looks way cooler than it is!-)

Fair warning, however, even if you start for under $100, once you see how many stars appear that were never there before through a 50mm light collector, yer really gonna wanna see how many new ones there are when you look through a hole 5 or 6 times bigger. 

Personally, I went with 250mm, because the 300mm is 6 feet long and would be a very tight fit in my Impala.  Details and pics of my 10 inch diamater "light bucket" will also be in the Astro section. 

I have also found some nice planetarium software, to help you know in advance what you might see when you go out.  I am reviewing a free one, will post screen shots from a $39 program which I highly recommend, and I'll mention some nice features from some of the higher end stuff.
Go To Zookland Astro

I recently bought a new digital camera.  My old one was almost 10 years old, and WOW have they made a lot of progress in that technology!  For the first time I have a true pocket size camera, and it takes higher quality pictures than anything I have ever owned.
Most of what I will post on this site will be scaled down to around a quarter of the original width, which is about 6% of the total number of pixels!  Better yet, I paid a lot less for this little 8 megapixel gem than I did for my old 2 megapixel mammoth...less than $200!

The best thing about it, though, is the size.  How many times have you wished you had your camera handy?  It used to happen to me all the time, countless images now stored only in dusty corners of my memory.  The only shots I miss now are the ones that happen so fast that I can't get the camera out of my pocket in time (I'm working on my quick draw!)

Visit my photo gallery for some of my photographic "found poems", and my astrophotography gallery for some amazing shots of the stars.