Thanks for visiting! My name is Dan, and I’ve had a keen interest in the night sky since I was young. I think growing up watching The X Files was one of the things that made me interested in what else could be out there! I grew up in Frome, Somerset (UK), and moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014.
I bought my first telescope in about 2002 (a Meade ETX90) from a small telescope shop in my hometown of Frome, MC2 Telescope Shop. The ETX90 was used for occasional glancing at the moon, the rings of Saturn, and I later started attaching a digital camera to capture some lunar photos.
I’ve been capturing photos of the night sky and Milky Way with my camera for several years, and took a much stronger interest in astronomy a few years ago after moving to the Bay Area.
I bought a Celestron EdgeHD 8″ in 2017, initially just using it for visual astronomy, but became more interested in astrophotography when I attached my full-frame Sony camera.
Wanting to get more serious with my astrophotography, I started using a dedicated astronomy camera later in 2017, a ZWO ASI1600MM-C, along with a ZWO filter wheel and LRGB filters.
Then in 2018 I was finding I wanted to capture more narrowband targets so invested in narrowband filters. I started processing my data using PixInsight, which I found incredibly difficult to use to start with, but I highly recommend the tutorials and articles offered by Light Vortex Astronomy.
Wanting a faster, wider-field scope, I added a HyperStar setup to my EdgeHD later in 2018, but switched to a dedicated wide-field astrophotography scope in 2019 – a Celestron RASA 11″ with a one-shot color camera, which has been so enjoyable to use. At the same time though, 2019 has seen the most cloudy nights since moving to the Bay Area – typical!
But one of the huge benefits of imaging with the RASA 11″ (at f/2.2) is how much light it can capture in such short periods of time – so when the weather is nice, I can often image 2 or 3 targets in one evening. I typically spend more time processing and editing the data than I did capturing it!
Through this website, I’ll be sharing some of my experiences using the RASA, along with the processed photos and insights in to the other astronomy products I use.