Welcome to Brian's Online Astronomy Journal.
Welcome to my page. I hope you return from time to time to see how my experience with Astrophotography evolves. I am pretty much starting out in this area in the spring of 2007 but have been doing a lot of background reading on this topic and am beginning to acquire some equipment to tackle this fascinating but technically challenging area.
I don't have the budget or inclination to plunge full depth into an astroimaging setup that could set me back many thousands of dollars. Instead I am going to ease myself in, starting with some web-cam work, doing some work with my DSLR (Nikon D70) using afocal and prime mounting and of course learning about the post processing. I think it will be an adventure and I plan to post what I learn, good and bad, as I move through this area.
I'm a middle-aged project manager working for a major global IT company. The nature of my work involves quite a bit of travel as projects evolve, therefore I have to take my observing oportunities where I can. As a result my activity level is likely to take place in fits and spurts that will coincide with periods back at home base and dictated by weather.
I like 'high tech' and am certainly well acquainted with computer technology as I have been in the desktop computer business pretty much since the beginning. I operate my telescope remotely via Bluetooth from within my planetarium/planner program. I would not consider myself a 'star hopper' but I can do it if I have to. I don't usually, however, choose to.
I do make a point, on my travels, to visit the astronomy dealers I come across. I've met some great people and everyone has enthusiasm and ideas to share. I think this openness is what appeals to me in this hobby.
Astronomy, Video, Reading, Movies
Favorite Sky Object
It has to be the Great Nebula in Orion. I have the Hubble shot of it as my wallpaper on several of my computers. I swear I can discern recognizable facial images in that cloud and find it eerily fascinating and beautiful.
Yes, I do take pictures through my telescope
Where I live
Comments about where I live
Calgary, a city of a million people is located in Western Canada, on the prairies about 90 miles east of the Rocky Mountains. It is high in elevation @ 3400 feet and is one of the driest areas in North America as far as humidity is concerned. As Calgary is in the 'shadow' of the Rockies it's weather is heavily influenced by those mountains. Winds coming from the west can be turbulent but in the winter we also get days of unexpectedly warm weather systems call 'Chinooks' that act as a mini warm spot in the middle of a long and cold Canadian winter.
Calgary is one of the cities that has done some work to abate light pollution. It is far from perfect but the city government has gone a long way in converting the old street lights into shielded low pressure sodium lighting as it is time to replace the existing lighting in older neighborhoods.
The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada has a chapter in Calgary (to which I belong) and has played a major role in getting the light abatement message out effectively to the local government.
The best viewing around Calgary, however, still involves getting out of the city, preferably to the south or the east. The RASC has an observatory at Wilson Coulee, south of the city and much of the prairie 25 miles to the east of the city gets very dark as there are still a lot of wide open spaces in this part of Canada.