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DIY Project

When I was a kid, dad bought a used Unitron refractor. We'd check out Saturn and Jupiter and stay up to watch meteor showers. Those were good times - thanks dad :-).

With the refractor - came this wooden camera contraption.
I was intrigued - and wrote Unitron for the long lost instructions but when they arrived they proved way too much for a 12 year old kid. But that started me on this path.....

There are a few different types of astrophotography. Some are pretty easy and produce nice images like the one at right. Basically, all you need is an old 35mm film camera and a tripod (see the full size image for details).

Early Astroimaging?
Indian Pictograph - Blair Valley, CA

Or...... it can get a lot more difficult. When I first started, I'd drive 350 miles round-trip and camp by myself in the middle of the California desert (see imaging site) for a sleep deprived weekend only to find out after developing my film that none of the images came out. But things are better now - most of the time.

Sierra Star Trails

One thing anyone thinking about the hobby should know - the images you see are heavily processed on computers. If you want good results, this will be a good part of the work. See the image of the Antares region in the image gallery for an example.

Take a look at the astrophoto gallery if you'd like. Or - if you could use a handy Losmandy G11 accessory tray check out the DIY project that kept me occupied for a few hours - it's cheap and works well.