Astronomy Fashion – Staying Warm

I’m going to touch on this subject with a few things I’ve found to keep me warm.  Well, more accurately, things that help lower the volume of my teeth chattering.  Please chime in with any things you’ve found that help you stay comfortable through cold winter nights. First, some guidelines: Don’t wear cotton next to … Read more

PE Measurement

Oh geeze….   PE.   Now this is a horrid subject.  Here’s an introductory guide. This discussion will refer to errors in the drive systems of  German Equatorial Mounts (GEMs) and particularly to those that are driven by a worm gear arrangement.  The basics and principles will of course also apply to other drive systems, … Read more

Location, Location, Location

What a difference dark skies make. Living in the great Pacific Northwest, opportunities to image under clear skies are rare.  Under dark skies, even rarer. Lately, whenever the weather permits, I grab my gear and head up into the Olympic Mountains.  I enter up by Port Angeles and head up to Hurricane Ridge, which has … Read more

Polar Alignment Scope – Should you have one?

This is an interesting question. Lately, with the recently relesed “AllStar” alignment routine for the Celestron GEM mounts, many would say NO. In fact, emphatically NO. I have a different opinion, but I’ll agree that a polar alignment scope (PAS) is not necessary. Further, that a PAS does not typically provide accuracy equivalent to the … Read more