August 2022

Starting out with One Shot Color; AP Corner September 2022

by Don Selle

m42-early.jpgWhen you are starting out in astrophotography (AP) and selecting the components of your imaging rig there are a lot of decisions you need to make. In my opinion your first imaging rig should be adequate for the task, straight forward and easy to use. Rather than acquiring top of the line equipment that well known imagers are using, you should aim to select equipment that is easy to use which will make completing your first images as straight forward as possible. 

For many beginning astroimagers, there can be a steep curve with new technologies that need to be mastered. As a result, for many, the first images completed are the most important. Early success is the surest prevention for the frustration and burn which leads many beginning astroimagers to throw in the towel. Your choice of camera can help make that early success possible.

Back in the day, the standard advice to newbies was that they start out with a good mount, and an 80 mm (or shorter) focal length refractor, still good advice today. Back then, the choice of cameras on a beginner’s budget was very limited. In the Early 2000s, monochrome CCD cameras were the thing, as CMOS camera technology was still in its infancy, and was considered not to have the sensitivity required for AP. 

Messier Objects for September

Original article appears in GuideStar September, 2020.

by Jim King

M17 M18 M23.pngThis is a series of columns primarily revolving around observing the Messier Catalogue.  The intent is to provide the reader a sampling of the Messier objects each month that are most visible in the time frame the column is published.  Hence, these deep sky objects should be easily identifiable in and around the month of September.  Some months may have a special treat in addition to the Messier Objects.  Check the trailer. 

The Sagittarius Milky Way contains so many notable objects that it is easy to overlook some of the smaller treats.  M23, for example, all but hides in the southwest corner of a dark and inconspicuous valley that slices through the hub of our Galaxy.  Yet this open cluster of 150 or more stars spreads across 15 light years and is deceivingly dynamic.



The Summer Triangle’s Hidden Treasures

by David Prosper

Summer Triangle Treasures-web.jpg

Lie down on the ground with a comfortable blanket or mat, or grab a lawn or gravity chair and sit luxuriously while facing up. You’ll quickly spot the major constellations about the Summer Triangle’s three corner stars: Lyra with bright star Vega, Cygnus with brilliant star Deneb, and Aquila with its blazing star, Altair. As you get comfortable and your eyes adjust, you’ll soon find yourself able to spot a few constellations hidden in plain sight in the region around the Summer Triangle: Vulpecula the FoxSagitta the Arrow, and Delphinus the Dolphin! You could call these the Summer Triangle’s “hidden treasures” – and they are hidden in plain sight for those that know where to look!

This article is distributed by NASA’s Night Sky Network (NSN). The NSN program supports astronomy clubs across the USA dedicated to astronomy outreach. Visit to find local clubs, events, and more!

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