No longer are heavy, sturdy, expensive mounts and tripods required to photograph deep space. With today's advances in technology, all that is required is an entry-DSLR and an entry level GoTo telescope. Here is all of the information needed to start photographing the night sky without buying expensive tracking mounts. By using multiple short exposures and combining them with mostly `freeware' computer programs, the effect of image rotation can be minimized to a point where it is undetectable in normal astrophotography, even for a deep-sky object such as a galaxy or nebula. All the processes, techniques, and equipment needed to use inexpensive, lightweight altazimuth and equatorial mounts and very short exposures photography to image deep space objects are explained, step-by-step, in full detail, supported by clear, easy to understand graphics and photographs.
Currently available lightweight mounts and tripods are identified and examined from an economic versus capability perspective to help users determine what camera, telescope, and mount is the best fit for them. A similar analysis is presented for entry-level telescopes and mounts sold as bundled packages by the telescope manufacturers. This book lifts the veil of mystery from the creation of deep space photographs and makes astrophotography affordable and accessible to most amateur astronomers.
An American by birth, Joe Ashley currently lives in Greece. His career in the U. S. Navy included the recovery of astronauts Conrad and Cooper and their Gemini V spaceship from the sea; from there he began an engineering and research career (probably only possible at that time in history) involving submarine noise, chemical warfare defense, and energy conservation. Along the way, he obtained a doctorate in Public Administration. Now retired, he completed his career as the Program Manager for the U. S. Department of the Navy and Marine Corps Energy Conservation Program. Recently, Ashley has participated in on-line astronomy forums, primarily the Stargazers Lounge and The Astronomy Forum. In late 2009 he became a moderator on The Astronomy Forum, the world's largest (based upon membership). Parallel with that, he pitched into what he calls "the dark side of astronomy" - astrophotography - concentrating on getting the best possible images from simple lightweight equipment.
Introduction.- Short Review of Astronomy Basics.- Planetary and Lunar Imaging.- Very Short Exposure Astrophotography.- Computers.- Lightweight Altzimuth and Equatorial Mount Economics.- Altazimuth Astrophotography System.- Chapter 8: Astrophotography with a Lightweight Equatorial Mount.- Piggy-back Photography.- Astrophotography in Light-polluted Urban Areas.- DeepSky Stacker.- Processing Very Short Exposures.- Objects in the Night Sky to Photograph.- Portable Observatories.- How to Get 45 to 90 Second Exposures with a 4/5SE Mount.- How to Strengthen Tripods.- Index.