Horsehead nebula

While the weather in Scotland and the North has been terrible today, that wasn’t the case in Somerset last night. It was still, clear and moonless, so I decided to head out for some astronomy. On my previous excursion I looked at as many bright and interesting objects as possible, but the photos didn’t do […]

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Finally – round stars!

This was my telescope’s first outing since I fixed up its mirror cell. A quick glance at a bright star in the city seemed to indicate that the problem was fixed, but there’s no way of knowing for sure without trying some proper photography. Recently the three circles in this Venn diagram have been conspiring […]

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Pinched optics – the cure

If you’ve been following my geeky astronomical posts lately, you’ll see that my new telescope suffers from triangular stars, caused by pinched optics. I’ve also been posting about the problem on Astronomy Forum. Just to recap, the telescope currently produces pictures like this. The effect is subtle, but if you click on the picture to […]

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Milky Way

While I was mostly working with my telescope and full-spectrum camera doing “proper” astronomy earlier in the week, I also left my other camera on a regular tripod pointing at the sky, trying to photography the Milky Way with a fisheye lens. This picture covers pretty much the whole sky, almost horizon to horizon. The Milky […]

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More deep space

I’m still suffering with triangular stars caused by pinched optics, but last night I decided to head out and enjoy some astronomy anyway. I’m still a relative beginner at astrophotogrpahy and there’s always something to learn even if the telescope is misbehaving. The weather was clear and very cold. Frost formed on the car and […]

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Pinched optics

I’ve been having an ongoing problem since buying my telescope a couple of months ago. Stars appear triangular, as you can see in this picture of Pleiades. I’ve done some research and it seems the most common cause of triangular stars is a defect called “pinched optics”. The primary mirror in is held in place […]

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