EverStaR

About

This website will track my new journeys into astronomy and Astro Imaging.   I have always been fond of the stars however, at times in life I have gotten in and out of it.  This is my third or forth run on it!

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Equipment: I am still assembling my AP platform:

Mount

Losmandy G11 W/Gemini 2 - Mods included DEC Spacer and Thrust Bearing

Tripod

Losmandy HD Tripod and Pier Extension - Bobs Knobs

Main OTA

Meade LXD 55 F/4 8” Schmidt Newtonian with Moonlite Focuser Mod

Second OTA

William Optics 10th Anniversary ZenithStar 80mm F/6.7 Fluorite Doublet OTA

Other OTA

Meade LXD75 F/4.0 10’ Schmidt Newtonian OTA

CCD Camera 1

SBIG STT 8300M with FW8 Selguiding Filter Wheel

CCD Camera 2

SBIG STT 3200ME - High Quantum Efficiency

CCD Camera 3

SBIG ST-i mono

Filters

36mm Baader H-alpha, OIII, and SII filters 36mm Baader LRGB

GPS

Garmin GPS 2

Software

The Sky Professional - Maxim DL 6 Pro

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The Plan: The Plan is not too complicated this time around, even though it might look that way.  Through some really savvy trading I have managed to acquire a nice base platform to build upon.

Fast Wide F4 imaging will be where I start, then with the 80MM Refractor and we’ll see where things go from there.  With the base of gear I have I may be able to make a few more strategic trades if needed.  One might be for a Losmandy Titan mount if my payload is just too much or my older scope is not right for imaging.

For now I must get it all balanced and get my software talking to all the hardware.  Next up will be learning fast accurate polar alignment and easy setup.  Next will be PEC to smooth out the error in the drive system and match it to my OTAs.

Then I will try some monochrome imaging slowly moving into color and narrow band.  There are bound to be challenges along the way and a few more acquisitions on software and a moto-focuser,

At some point I have some Nikon lens adapters and manual lenses I would like to try on the cameras piggy back and of course there is my Nikon DF to try as well.

Back Story: I think my first taste of it was from a Computer friend in Italy who showed me his telescope and computer software on his original Apple Mac. Still it would take years and a return back to the USA before I would actually pursue it at any level.

I bought a small refractor telescope at one time, it was the really cheap Meade basic scope with 2 eyepieces and would look at the moon.  It was mesmerizing, however, my limited knowledge made it difficult for me to find and see anything else at the time.

The next chapter occurred some years later and are actually fuzzy to me.  I am not sure how it came to be, however, I do know I bought a Celestron StarHopper 8 and new worlds opened to me with start charts and darker skies.  I can remember driving to a local park here some nights and exploring.  I also got involved with the local astronomy club.  This led to aperture fever and I soon had a Meade 16” Dob.

One night I came across two gentleman out at the club dark site working on an asteroid chasing setup with CCD camera.  I don't usually get curious and walk up to people in the dark, however, that night I did and it turned out to be the event that led to a full fledged dive into CCD Imaging towards the goal of chasing asteroids. 

Much money was spent on building a backyard observatory and chasing asteroids, it led to 6 discoveries and some of my more prominent times in amateur astronomy.   The two men later had asteroids named after them from the 6 discoveries I made.

I eventually went on to automate the observatory, burn out and sell it all for a 24” Starmaster.  I built an astro trailer, had two great years with that scope and life changed as such that I had time for nothing as I was working 80 hour weeks for the next 5 years.  It all really came to a hault and eventually I Purchased a 14” CGE GEM and occasionally went out to observe.  Later I sold it and got a new 16” Starmaster GOTO and had that for a few years before life changed again on me and I found it too difficult to go out and observe.  This time when I sold it all I really cleaned out my gear.  Eypieces, Filters, Scopes, it all basically went and I got a small Nexstar 6” that I hardly ever used.

I did keep one magical OTA though!  Its the one am building up a new astro imaging system around.  And this is where the story picks up!  You can glimpse more into the old story on the archive EverStaR website here. 

As far as the website goes, it’s being developed in Netobjects Fusion which is a departure from my last few years of developing off Content Management systems and a return to old school WYSIWG HTML based website development. 

Thanks for visiting my site and I want to pass on my sincere wishes for as many clear skys as you want!

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A F/4 10” Schmidt Newtonian sits on the shelf awaiting it time beneath the stars!  Actually, this will be my visual OTA that I will take out time to time as well. Maybe its own mount so I can use it while I am imaging on the other mount.