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First imaging year nearly complete

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April marks the 1st Anniversary of me diving into imaging.

Although I've been doing astronomy on and off for many years, I always thought imaging was beyond my abilities.  

My first image was shot through my 200P-DS and was a pretty bad M101.  I used a stock EOS50D with no filters, no coma corrector and very loose polar alignment.  I could get to around a minute before drift and light pollution bit me.

It's been a year of progress and setbacks - most recently a now resolved mount issue. 


A year on from that dodgy M101 I'm shooting 5 minute subs, plate solving and guiding (last year I thought plate solving was something the dish washer did)

The winter season was a washout - I got  a few windows, but spent most of my time under cloud. I was able to work on my 4th book, so I wasn't bored and still had something to get frustrated by.  Learning how to manage long periods of poor skies, while staying motivated is a challenge in its own right.

What am I hoping for in year 2? Well I have a new (to me) scope to first light and a second mount on order.  I'm planning a 3-4 year build on an observatory.  I have a list of targets. Some I shot last year, some will be new.  I plan to go mobile - there is a field not far from me that will open up some northern aspects of the sky.  Overall it's going to be a case of do everything I did last year, but do it better!

Favourite targets of last year - M42, Rosette, M31, Western Veil in widefield and the California Nebula.

Some of my favourite mistakes? Not knowing about meridian flips and finding the scope nudging the mount. Synching the mount badly and shooting a load of sky instead of the Flaming Star Nebula. Shooting with the Bhatinov mask in place. My all time favourite was discovering it gets light at 2am in July while trying to shoot m31.

Most cool bit of kit - really tough, but probably my Altair filter draw (sad I know, but convenience...). Worst buy - Synscan WiFi Adapter.


Would I change any of it? Not a thing!

I'm super glad I found this forum. I'm a bit of a solo observer - I know no one locally who does this crazy stuff, so this is a great asset!

Here's to year 2!


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Much the same timing for me - started early last year having sworn that I would not get involved in AP! The bug bit just before C19 struck, so when the good weather arrived in late March, I promptly blew the motherboard in my HEQ5. I might have accidentally shorted some wires in a DIY eqmod connector. So I spent all of the good weather in April/May with a broken mount, waiting for a replacement. It's been very hit and miss since then, and €000's spend on the best kit, and am  just now finally starting to get results to be proud of. Looking forward to the good weather arriving this year, and an end to lock-down!

Agreed on plate solving - it's a marvelous technology and saves so much time and effort. Have just recently switched to multi-star guiding in PHD2 and it's another big step up.

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Brilliant write up from your first year, glad that you are realy enjoying the road of discovery - must say if you can accelerate that 3-4 year obsy build it will make a huge difference - I took a short cut and bought a Skyshed POD back in 2013 and being able to get out and imaging in <20mins is game changer especially when UK weather is the opposition - getting 30-40mins here and there and perhaps an hour all bulds up and before you know it you have enough subs for an integration run...

Look forward to your image over the next year,


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