Welcome to Chuck's Online Astronomy Journal.
Greetings to everyone who has looked to the sky and been filled with wonder and curiosity.
Please forgive the beginner texts and limited astrophotographic ability.
I will make this brief because compared to the many years the majority of astrophotographers have on me my astro experiences are extremely limited.
I received my first telescope in the year 2002 as a Christmas gift from my wife...a Meade ETX-125. Great scope with wonderful optics. I still have it but only rarely take it out, usually just for a travel scope. I live in a light polluted area(Tampa Bay area) so when digital cameras came out I bought a Nikon 995 which was terrific because I could take afocal images of objects I could not see visually. I remember the first time I accidently saw the shadow of one of Jupiter's Moons transiting the planet. WOW, I didn't know that possible....I was hooked.
It only took a year or two before I decided to upgrade..... hmmmm what to get? How about a Meade 10" LX200 UHTC? My lovely wife thought that was a great idea but suggested I might get something called aperature envy and suggested to go ahead and get the 'NEW' 14" LX200 UHTC that had recently been produced, it took a little arm twisting before I agreed to her suggestion.
I carried "Big Blue' out to the back yard for about 6 months before I started to see how convenient an Observatory would be and have the scope setup all the time. I found a Boyd 7'6" fiberglass Observatory for sale on Astromart and after some wheeling and dealing, planning and saving,I flew to N.C. loaded it up in the biggest U-haul I could rent and drove it back to Florida the same day. Everything was wonderful for the next 4 years. That was when I had graduated to modified DSLR's and realized how important a nice GEM mount would be for my imaging.No climbing the ladder for a good mount this time. Once again with my wife's support I purchased an AstroPhysics 1200GTO...WOW, what a nice piece of equipment. Hmmmm, things are getting cramped in that Boyd 7'6' Observatory with an AP1200GTO carrying a 14" Meade SCT, a beautiful Tak FSQ-106ED and a Orion 80ED. We have a thing around here called Hurricanes that require building near the coast to meet the new wind codes. One Observatory would meet the building codes, size and our neighborhood deed restrictions.......that turned out to be a 3.5 meter Sirius School Observatory The price was a bit of sticker shock and $5K (ouch) for shipping took me over a year for saving and planning. It just arrived, January of this year and I just about have it completed inside and out.
So my friends, that is my lifetime of astronomy crammed into 9 years. So much to learn (especially processing). That brings me to this processing group. I have been a member of the yahoo digital_astro group for 6-7 years. I have a wonderful setup that should be in Arizona or New Mexico instead of the light polluted semi-tropical paradise in Florida. I must say however, there is something very nice about having a dream setup in my backyard.
Obviously I'm hooked on astronomy. My PC user name in many groups is 'divenuts'. I met my wife of almost 20 years on a scuba diving trip in Ft Lauderdale. We used to dive almost every week and still dive when we get a chance. My other vice is golf. I'm a Member of the Dunedin Golf Club. The thing that makes it special to love golf and live near the golf course is the fact that if I live within a mile of the golf course I can own my golf cart and use it to drive to the Club and play. Most the time I'm playing bleary eyed from being up most the night in the Observatory.
That's about it sports fans. I really look forward to learning to process my images. The images I see people taking are amazing. Hopefully I'll pick up many tips and tricks here.
'See ya around'
Favorite Sky Object
My favorite sky object is probably the same as most. M 42, The Great Orion Nebula is not only beautful itself, the entire area is filled with new discoveries everytime I study it. I'm also a fan of Galaxies, their size, distance and variety is amazi
Yes, I do take pictures through my telescope
Where I live
Comments about where I live
Beaches, palm trees, golf courses,warm water with every shade of blue imaginable, incredible wildlife and a warm climate. Our own little piece of paradise.
Biggest complaint........LIGHT POLLUTION!!!! Why oh WHY must we light up the planet like a Christmas tree.