Coments on the special interest group meeting

posted Feb 22, 2009, 6:46 PM by Will Day   [ updated Aug 7, 2009, 2:11 PM by James Roe ]

I said during the workshop this past Saturday that I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day then jabbering about all this astrophotography stuff. Thanks to everyone who helped to put this together. In spite of not being able to get my laptop to cooperate with the projector I think I was able to shed some light on EQMOD and what all the fuss is about for us Atlas users.


As a rank amateur I certainly picked up a few tips. Greg’s work is familiar to all of us and I’m always amazed when I see the things Jim M. does whenever he starts fiddling around with a camera. Jim’s short exposure work is spectacular. After all the run-downs on the equipment we brought for show and tell we broke into small groups to cover processing software. I had a chance to go over all the basic steps on using Deep Sky Stacker with a few interested folks. I would have loved to sit down with the others to be on the receiving end of the Maxim DL tutorial.


In summary I spoke about a number of software packages that are available to us without charge or at minimal cost and are well supported.

EQMOD for Orion Atlas control, Deep Sky Stacker for image processing, PHD Guiding, DSLR Shutter for sequencing DSLR images, CCDcalc for calculations critical to good astrophotos, and Registax for stacking planetary images just to name a few.  


At days end I took a chance and set up my rig at home in spite of the high winds and clouds. At about 2:00 AM Sunday I was rewarded when I was able to put some of the new tips into practice on comet Lulin. I was able to capture an unusual jet feature coming off the nucleus.