I replaced the Skywatcher 120/900mm ED Pro with a Celestron C9.25 EdgeHD.
What a difference! Incredible, so much more to see, so much more difficult to get the same quality photos!
My NEQ-6 Pro can’t handle the C9.25 EdgeHD in combination with the 80/600mm ED, it’s taking too long to stop vibrating after a slew… and it’s not steady enough, with a little wind the stars are already moving slightly.
This is bad, really bad, I can’t make any decent photos with this mount 🙁
Luckily, I may be able to sell my NEQ-6 Pro and get an older model Celestron CGE, which can almost handle double the weight, compared to the NEQ-6 Pro.
More on this later…
Long ago, in my early teens, I was a member of the Dutch JWG, short for “JongerenWerkGroep voor Sterrenkunde”.
It’s an association for young people who are interested in astronomy.
I don’t really remember for how long, but I think I was kind of active for a couple of years only.
All those years afterwards I was still fascinated by the night sky, the constellations, distant galaxies and awe inspiring nebulae, like the Orion Nebula, but I wasn’t doing anything with it anymore.
On clear nights I still gazed at the stars and fantasized about possible life somewhere in another galaxy, far far away 😉
Seriously though, I tried to imagine how enormous the universe actually is, trying to put into perspective how far even the closest star is and use that as a comparison to galaxies much much farther away.
Obviously, the sheer size of the universe, the distance between us and other galaxies is unimaginable, but it still peeks my interest.
Early 2010 I moved to another apartment, no large buildings are blocking my view and even better, I live on the top level.
That’s when I decided to get myself a telescope and take up my old hobby again.
Soon enough I figured I wanted to share the beauty of the night sky with others, so I started using a simple compact camera, taking pictures of the moon through the eyepiece.
Long story short, I replaced that first telescope (a Newtonian) with a refractor, I bought a DSLR (and later I added an astro cam) and started shooting pictures with that.
Again, not satisfied, so I got myself another refractor and a simple monochrome camera for autoguiding.
There, now I can take longer exposures, now things are getting interesting!
So, with this new setup, I decided I wanted to take pictures of all the Messier objects, and as many other interesting things as well (NGC, Caldwell, Sharpless, etc).
That’s the short version with a rather long introduction.