Tag Archives: Astrophotography

For Sale In CNY – Meade Instruments 8″ LX90 EMC – $1000 or Best Offer

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

This in from the CNYO Classifieds section. To provide a level of privacy to the seller, please send me an email directly to info@cnyo.org and I’ll make the connecting email to the seller in a reply email.

The Meade 8″ LX90 is the first full capability, computer-controlled 8″ Schmidt-Cassegrain ever offered in its price range. The LX90 Schmidt-Cassegrain is not only a high-resolution visual observing instrument but also is fully qualified for the more advanced areas of astronomy, including long-exposure CCD-imaging and astrophotography.

Special features of the 8″ LX90 include: (a) a die-cast-aluminum double-tine fork mount that rigidly supports the optical tube in all sky orientations; (b) worm gears of 4.9″-diameter on both telescope axes that permit smooth sidereal-rate tracking of celestial objects as well as precise guiding corrections during longexposure imaging; (c) a chromed-steel variable-height tripod that provides all the rigidity required in sensitive field applications — in fact, the same tripod as provided with the Meade 8″ LX200GPS.

Autostar Computer Controller: The LX90’s standard-equipment Autostar controller connects to the telescope’s control panel and permits an incredible array of telescope options:

• Automatic GO TO capability at 6.5°/sec on both axes, simultaneously, to 30,223 database objects, including: 13,235 deep-sky objects sorted by named objects; galaxies; diffuse nebulae; planetary nebulae; star clusters; including the complete Messier, Caldwell, IC, and NGC catalogs; 16,800 stars sorted by name, SAO catalog numbers, double and variable stars; the centroids of the 88 constellations; plus 200 memory locations for user-defined objects. 50 objects in the solar system: 8 major planets from Mercury to Pluto; the Moon; 26 asteroids; 15 comets; 50 Earth satellites, including the International Space Station and Hubble telescope

• Automatic GO TO capability to any object of known RA and Declination. Nine selectable slew speeds: 6.5°/sec, 3°/sec, and 1.5°/sec, plus 128x, 64x, 16x, 8x, 2x, and 1x sidereal. • Control of the telescope through your personal computer, using the RS-232 serial interface. (Requires optional #505 Connector Cable Set.)*

• Fast alignment of the telescope in either equatorial or altazimuth modes using any of three alignment functions, including the Meade-proprietary Easy Align.

• Unlike the hand controllers included with competing 5″ and 8″ SCT’s (and which require disassembly of the telescope electronics for memory upgrade), Autostar is fully upgradeable over the Internet: add the positions of new comets, update the positions of Earth satellites,even add new software as it becomes available.

Astrophotography Workshop At The Adirondack Public Observatory In Tupper Lake, 19-22 October 2017

Greeting, fellow astrophiles!

This in from several sources recently – announcing the APO 2017 Astrophotography Workshop in Tupper Lake, NY. This year features at least one (and, hopefully, two) of our friends in the Kopernik Astronomical Society. Registration can be done on the official website:


Thursday, October 19, 2017 – 12:30pm to Saturday, October 21, 2017 – 12:30pm

An opportunity to meet, trade secrets and perform astrophotography under the darkest skies in the Eastern USA.

Who should attend?

Simply put: Everyone. Very few astrophotographers, regardless of their level, have access to dark skies. We invite you to take advantage of our location to capture images at your own level. Avoid light pollution with us. Come with your own equipment or use ours to shine with your best images.

The registration fee for the four-day Astrophotography Workshop 2017 is $120.00 per participant, with a 10% discount for APO Members.

Events will occur from October 19 – 22, and will be held at the Roll Off Roof Observatory (178 Big Wolf Rd., Tupper Lake). More details coming soon!

Visit www.TupperLake.com for lodging and dining information.

Call the APO office at (518) 359-3538 for further information about the workshop. The registration fee can be paid using PayPal (which also accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards for payment).

Registration instructions:

* Select your registration fee below: APO Members: $108, non-Members: $120
* Log in to your PayPal account
* After your transaction is complete, you’ll be sent to a registration form to enter your contact information

To register: adirondackpublicobservatory.org/events/Astrophotography-Workshop

Distro Astro 3.0 Is Out – Just In Time For CNY’s Hibernating Observers

Greetings fellow astrophiles,

Wintertime CNY amateur astronomy is not for the faint of heart, and certainly no good for those with bad circulation. While many of the very best objects grace the nighttime skies from roughly November to March (I’m talking the primo sights for the Northern hemisphere, including the Andromeda Galaxy, the Pleiades, and the Orion Nebula), bouts of precipitation mix with often bone-chilling temperatures to keep even the most dedicated observes indoors. I’ve found myself pondering on more than one occasion the price of an atomically-flat all-diamond window that would let me scan the heavens from the comfort of my own living room. An important take-home from Bob Piekiel’s wintertime Baltimore Woods sessions is that, after sunset, the thing heating Marcellus is YOU – if you’re not dressed for an ascent of Mt. Everest, chances are good you’re going to leave early with the knowledge that standing still at night requires a few additional layers of insulation. And even the pros forget – Ryan and I can recall at least one especially frosty session at Baltimore Woods that had us both moving slowly for 3 days after.

That said, you don’t have to spend the Winter months just cleaning your eyepiece case, replacing all your batteries, arguing in a cloudynights.com thread with someone named “Myopic from Minnesota,” and googling for interesting astronomical events in the upcoming year. Instead, you could be learning a bit about computer operating systems, updating your GOTO scope’s database with the absolute latest in near-Earth objects and exoplanets, greatly advancing your astrophotography skills, and making your own darned star charts.

2014nov17_astrodistrowelcomeDistro Astro (www.distroastro.org) is a Linux distribution specifically designed for astronomers of all abilities – and I do mean all abilities. Astronomy is one of those fields where someone needs a program to do A, they write a program for A, and they often make it freely available for anyone else to do A or test B. These developers might be hobbyists wanting to turn Newton’s equations of motion into a learning tool, or might be serious programmers and professional astronomers wanting to process the latest Keck and Hubble data for analysis. The Distro Astro Team has collected some of the best free software across all areas of amateur astronomy and wrapped it up into a Linux distribution that you can install on your “outdoors” computer, giving you a suite of tools that will keep your astro-gears spinning all winter until you step outside for the next Messier Marathon.

Version 3.0 of Distro Astro just came out (November 9th, to be exact) and is available for free download from the distroastro.org website. Instead of re-listing all of the features here, I refer you to the official item list on the distroastro.org website, then a few good intro reviews describing the operating system and suite of programs. If we’ve enough local interest in a walkthrough of Distro Astro, a full *indoors* demonstration might make for a chance to introduce some of the CNY amateur astronomy community to some of the Linux gurus in the Syracuse Innovators Guild (full disclosure – I’m a member of SIG as well and suspect the facilities would be perfect for such a lecture).

And speaking of Distro Astro presentations, CNYO’s own Christopher Schuck just happened to take over one of Stellafane’s lecture spots this past August in order to introduce Distro Astro to just the kind of audience it was developed for. For a quick tour of some of the pick-hits in Distro Astro, I invite you to check out the youtube video of his presentation above.

For another discussion of Astro Distro, check out this video from a Linux group in Perth, Western Australia: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvC5vj74lGE.

If you’ve any questions about getting it all up-and-running, I direct you to either the Distro Astro Facebook Page or to CNYO’s own Facebook Page (the collective know-how on our Facebook Page is probably enough to get new users over any initial humps).