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Greetings from Canada

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Long time amateur astronomer, originally from Liverpool, UK.  My first telescope was a 4" f/8 reflector that my dad bought me in 1965 for the princely sum of £8.  The mirror was made from a piece of port hole glass and it used screw in RAS eyepieces.  


I've moved on a bit since then, and Seaway Observatory (on the shore of the St Lawrence River, and has a site called that in the Clear Sky Chart) contains a 12" Meade SCT that has been de-forked and placed on a CEM120 mount.  Beside this is a 6" Ritchey-Chretien.  I also have a Vixen VMC110L that is not used very much, and I'm thinking of using it for guiding and possibly for outreach.


I've seen 4 total and 1 annular solar eclipses, three transits of Mercury and two of Venus, and several Lunar eclipses.


I had a Zenit B 35mm camera for many years, but even though it was replaced with one from Fujica, I still kept it, eventually modifying it so that it would take an original Connectix QuickCam (6 bit monochrome).  


I played around with video and webcam astronomy for a while, and in 2003 captured both Martian moons with a Philips webcam and a 16" Meade LX200.


These days, I use a modified Canon 500d, an unmodified Canon 60D, a ZWO ASI462C, and a ZWO ASI1600mm, with a filter wheel.  I have a couple of telephoto lenses, too.


The mount, and the two main telescopes, are housed in a SkyShed POD, 8 or 9 meters above the river with the USA on the other side, giving me an excellent horizon.  There is a factory a couple of kilometers away to the south-west which gives off a fair bit of light.  So, while I'm officially in a Bortle 4 zone, the views of the northwest, to the north, east, and then to the south are closer to Bortle 3.  It's about 100 metres from my back door and I have to use a snow blower to create a path to it in the winter.


When my wife and I were planning for retirement, she asked me where we should move to.  I told her "someplace with dark skies", to which, she replied "you'll have to be a bit more specific than that.  I said "no...after that, it's about making you happy".  We found a place on 1.5 acres (0.6 hectares) of land, an hour south of Ottawa, two hours west of Montreal, and inside the path of the April 8th total solar eclipse!

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Hi, Carole...


Yes, I am.  At my previous house, I'd built myself a roll-off roof Observatory, and I tore it down before I moved last year. However, I'd already bought a used POD by that time and stored it at a friend's house.


Love the POD, but I do miss the open sky of a roll-off structure.  I'll be ordering the PZT parts next month and hoping to get it installed before the snow flies.


Canadian Roger

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Hi, John...

The skies where I live now are much better than where I was, just outside of Toronto, Canada.  That was a Bortle 8/9, and so not a lot of visual astronomy was done.  It was a standard suburban environment, so the seeing was poor, just from the neighbours rooves.


Now, the nearest big city is 70km away (Ottawa), the nearest person to the south of me is across the river , about 1.6km away in northern New York State in the USA.  It's mostly trees and farms around me so the seeing is much improved - I have actually seen Airy discs around stars!


Anyway, thanks for the warm welcome.  I'm looking forward to learning from many people here, and helping where I can.



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