Astronomy

AstroEQ: Telescope Controller With EQMOD Emulation

AstroEQ is another GOTO telescope controller from the UK.

Basically, the author was a university student when he started this project, to convert a non-GOTO motorized mount into a GOTO mount.

A ready made AstroEQ controller is available for purchase. It has USB on one side, and two connectors for steppers on the other.

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DIY GOTO Telescope Controller With Autoguiding and Periodic Error Correction

In these pages, I describe how to make a Do It Yourself (DIY) Telescope Controller. That is, a piece of electronics that would at a minimum drive motors on the telescope to track the sky.

The features should be:

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OnStep: A Full Featured Open Telescope Controller

OnStep Telescope is an open, very capable and feature rich telescope controller by Howard Dutton.

This page was created because it was very difficult for me to find information about OnStep. The main venue for exchanging information on it is a closed Yahoo Group. Getting information without registering and getting approved is impossible. Even after you do that, it is very hard to get the information needed. Hence, this page.

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Installing the latest KStars, Ekos and INDI Library on Ubuntu 16.04

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When I select a Linux version to run, I always use the latest stable long term release version. For example, for XFCE based Xubuntu, I am now on 16.04.

However, being with a long term release version means that for some software packages, you will have older versions. One such case is telescope automation platform, Ekos and the associated INDI Library.

To make sure that you are running the latest Ekos and INDI library, you can do the following:

First, purge all the KStars and INDI packages, if they are installed:

Frugal Astrophotography Presentation for the Stargazing 101 Meeting

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Astrophotography is usually an expensive hobby, and occasionally a very expensive one. But it does not have to be so.

I have been doing astrophotography using used equipment for around 11 months now, with a total of only 7 months experience (if you count the winter hiatus and another two month hiatus in autumn).

While a typical astrophotography setup would cost a minimum of C$2,500 (with the upper limit being as much as 10X that), I have been able to get acceptable results with a total cost of equipment (including a used DSLR camera) is less than C$1,000.

Querying the Saguaro Astronomy Club Deep Sky Database Using MySQL and SQLite

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The members of the Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) have a long history of producing useful data from observations, and making it available for download by amateur astronomers worldide at no cost.

One data set that they produce is SAC DeepSky list which is currently at version 8.1, from 2010.

The data is provided in a variety of formats, from Microsoft Excel to comma separated variables.

Using Canon EOS DSLR cameras bulb mode in gphoto2

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Taking pictures of the night sky almost always involves exposure times that are more than 30 seconds. This is often couple with taking many pictures for later stacking into better images.

For this, the camera has to be set to Bulb mode. You can automate taking multiple exposures by using an intervalometer, which is a remote release with a device with some electronic circuits and LCD screen to make all this possible.

You can also automate this using a Linux computer running gphoto2 software. The computer can be as small as a Raspberry Pi, or a laptop.

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