iOptron SkyGuider Pro Test 2

August 25, 2019 - Reading time: ~1 minute

Cygnus region of the Milky Way, with NGC 7000 North America nebula at the bottom left, the Sadr Region in the center, and it's crazy how much of the Veil Nebula showed up--that's the ring of wispy, mostly white nebulosity on the right toward the bottom. The reddish/pinkish areas are mostly clouds of hydrogen gas, while the pale cloudy areas are mostly stars--so many stars. Our galaxy contains somewhere between 150 and 250 BILLION stars. 3 x 120 sec exposures, Nikon D750 85mm f/5.6, on an iOptron SkyGuider Pro tracker.

The SkyGuider Pro has iOptron's standard polar scope and reticle, and by "standard" I mean so much easier to use than just about any other polar scope on the market--that I've used anyway. With just a simple alignment, using the SkyGuider's polar scope, I was shooting 2 and 3 minute exposures. This little tracker is amazingly simple and powerful. At some point I will start testing my color wide-field rig with the William Optics ZS61 and ZWO ASI071MC camera, but for now I want to get used to the SkyGuider, and I'm using my good old Nikon D750 full frame DSLR (unmodified). And you can see this setup produced some decent images to stack.

AstroTracker Test Shot with the D750

June 23, 2019 - Reading time: ~1 minute

I didn't spend much time on testing last night. The sky was was clear, but seeing was poor. I put the Nikon D750 on the tracker and took a batch of 30 second exposures around 11pm--48 of them, with the tree in the frame. (I cropped some of it out, as well as the edges). Stacked them in DeepSkyStacker and did some processing in PhotoshopCC.

Here's the test in progress, with the Nikon D750 on the tracker and the electronics--arduino and A4988 controller--on the board below, taken with my iPhone.