Some pictures of the Tiede Observatory as seen from Puerto De la Cruz (about an hour’s drive away). Mars was obscured by the Moon for about an hour (approx between 4 am and 5 am) on Thursday, 8th December. Mostly cloudy but here are some pictures. Click for a larger version. All taken using a Canon DSLR.
The best location for an astronomical telescope is on the top of a mountain. Remote, cold and a pain to get to. But with an internet connection – you can “work from home”.
During the summer, I signed up for a free Open University course called Astronomy with an online Telescope. With it you get access to a telescope on mount Tiede on the Island of Tenerife for 6 months.
This professional grade telescope COAST (COmpletely Autonomous Survey Telescope) consists of a 17 inch f/6.8 Corrected Dall-Kirkham Astrograph telescope (a PlaneWave CDK17), is equipped with an FLI ProLine KAF-0900 CCD camera, broadband and narrow-band filters, also mounted on a GM4000. You pick which objects you want to image and select filters. A few days later, you receive an email that the image is ready for download.
The OU course is free and explains how to use the telescope as well as the many aspects of basic astronomy. The course is online, free and available right now. Some of my images are below. Click for a larger version.
Nik Syzamnek is one of the UK’s leading astrophotographers and one who has been doing it for almost four decades.
In this episode, Nik shares his unique perspective on how the hobby of astronomy and especially astrophotography has evolved since the 1980s when he first started.
We cover a lot of ground including modern software used for image processing and telescope control, increasing use of robotic telescopes e.g. Telescope Live by amateurs and the obstacles introduced by Climate Change and the mega-constellations of satellites. We conclude this episode on his lesser-known skills as a drummer in a band.
2005 – Infinity Rising: A Personal View of the Universe
2018 – Co-author of – Spacerocks: A collectors’ guide to meteorites, tektites and impactites
2020 – Shooting Stars – 2nd Edition (AstronomyNow website)
Nik’s images on Flickr.
A video of this interview is also available here on Youtube and includes many of his images.
As the lock-down begins to end – Nik is getting out and doing some talks live. If you are in the area – catch him live in 2021 here
If you have ever been to London and used the underground Tube service, it may well have been driven by the speaker in this episode. That is his day job but Nik Szymanek is one of Britain’s best known astrophotographers.
This interview was recorded during National Astronomy Meeting at the University of Manchester in 2012. Nik collaborates with Ian King and in this episode discusses how he got started, issues to consider for those moving in to astrophotograpy and how things have changed in this developing field. He also talks about another growing area of interest to amateur astronomers – a personal remote telescope.
David Ratledge another accomplished astrophotographer based in the north west of England has some very useful links for astrophotography on his website http://www.deep-sky.co.uk/links.htm.