December 26, 2020


I love it. I bought it more as an experiment: I wanted to go lucky imaging/unguided so I went for a telescope that maximises aperture/($$$ x weight) and it is just that. I also plugged a cheap Omegon 0.5 reducer and the tiny 178MC camera. Initially I was driven away. The optics were not as sharp as with an apochromatic and the focuser takes a lot of getting used to because it is not symmetric (if you roate it a degree clockwise and then a degree counter clockwise you do NOT end up in the same focus you were initially). Read more

November 22, 2019


I jumped onto the dedicated astrocam bandwagon and got myself a ZWO ASI 178 MC. It was a partial mistake. The main reason I bought the ASI was its advertised high sensitivity but the sensor is inferior to D7500 in almost every regard. Dark frames from the ZWO are like paintings, complete with a solar-like feature at the top-right corner while Nikon’s dark frames are, well, dark. Statistics support this conclusion: a 120second master dark from subs taken in approximately 26 degrees has a median value of 400 for the Nikon and 2300 for the ZWO. Read more

October 2, 2019


I bought an ASIAIR, an ASI 120MM mini mono cam and the tiny ZWO 30⁄120 guiderscope. Here is the #1 tip: You need to connect to the ASIAIR wi-fi FIRST. From scrarch (use “Forget network” if you have connected in the past). Then say “Yes, remain connected” to the Android notification. Then, and only then will the ASIAIR app see the network and be able to connect to the little ASIAIR. Read more

September 1, 2019

On using in-camera dark frame subtraction

Dark locations are hard to come by these days. I used to be very happy about my home in suburban Athens, GR because it was sufficiently dark to be able to image the Rosette, M31, M78, Barnard’s loop and even some dark nebulas with a lot of effort. Then the degraded hillbilly across the block installed fucking football-field grade LEDs on his front door to discourage burglars and you can maybe see the Full Moon on a good day. Read more