Orion-March 20, 2018

Since the sky was cloudless, I decided to try taking some photos of the constellations and Orion was overhead.  The image was a good first attempt at taking night sky photos from the backyard.  Two issues were planes flying through the image and the light pollution with the longer exposures.

A better image is available at https://clearskytonight.com/wiki/Orion_-_March_20,_2018.

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Orion SteadyPix Quick Smartphone Adapter Review

I noticed a new product was being released called the Orion SteadyPix Quick Smartphone Adapter.  I had been researching the options for afocal astrophotography.  I have purchased a Carson HookUpz 2.0 and a different model of the SteadyPix Deluxe

One of the first thing interesting about the SteadyPix Quick was the price which was around $23 at the time I purchased.  So, I decided to give it a try.

The instructions were straightforward.  It easily expanded to hold the smartphone and then the eyepiece clamp move diagonally to align with the camera lens.  The eyepiece clamp then twist-locked around an eyepiece.  This provided for a very secure connection.

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Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount review

I was reading about how to get started in astrophotography and that afocal photography was a good place to start.  I purchased the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount.

I did a test inside the house and the results were fine.  I had to turn off the flash on my camera along with setting the delayed shutter to avoid any movement from pushing the shutter.  I did some experimenting with camera modes but ended up just staying with the automatic mode.

I will need to do more testing outside.

Binocular review

I decided to go with the Orion 10×50 Binocular Stargazing Kit.

I liked this product for a couple of reason.  First, it was the recommended size of binocular.  Second, it came with a software program which was nice because I wanted to research astronomy software also.  Lastly it had a small red flashlight and a planisphere.

When my package arrived, one of the lens on the binocular wasn’t screwed in all the ways.  Orion handled the exchange with great customer service.  The replacement binocular worked great.  I read through the one-page manual and got them all setup for my eyesight.  I did some terrestrial viewing and the results were excellent.  I still haven’t looked up at the stars yet.

Overall, I would recommend this product as a great introduction to astronomy.

Camera holder purchase

In my research into the Orion binoculars, I watched some videos on astrophotography.  I was aware of the options for SLR adapters and CCD cameras.  But what I wasn’t aware of was the concept of afocal photography.  This is the process of pointing a camera through the eyepiece.  Orion had options for point-and-shot, SLR and iPhone cameras.  I went with the point-and-shot option since I had a Canon camera.  I selected the Orion SteadyPix Deluxe Camera Mount.

Binocular purchase

I started doing my research into the next telescope I should purchase.  I currently have the Meade ETX90 but wanted to get something bigger.  But, my initial research said that binoculars were actually a good first step.

Orion Telescopes have a great set of videos.  I watched their Getting Started video first which lead into the How to Choose a Binocular video.

The video pointed to a 10×50 binocular has a good option for astronomy.

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