Amateur Picture Submission

For those who have yet to look at a celestial object through a telescope, believe that a proper telescope is a worthy investment, especially if you’re a star gazer. The images shown here were taken by amateur astronomer, Steve Loy, in the Winter of 2013. Steve’s telescope is a Skywatcher Explorer 150p which he has mounted on an EQ5 Pro Go-To mount.

Steve was able to capture three brilliant images using his telescope and imaging equiment, one of the Moon, one of Jupiter, and one of the M82 Galaxy. The image of the Moon was simple enough, taken using his iPhone camera. However, the other two were taken using a Philips SPC900 webcam. In the image of Jupiter, you can see three of the four Galilean moons, Callisto, Europa, and Io. After using an imaging software called Registax, Steve was able to produce this great image of Jupiter.

The complicated part was capturing M82. Where the image of Jupiter was captured with the SPC900 in normal mode, to capture a good image of M82 Steve had to use the camera’s long exposure mode. It wasn’t just one image though. Steve had to take 20 images, each with an exposure of 55 seconds, and stack them on top of each other using the DeepSkyStacker software.

According to Steve, the skies in Bradford, UK are ‘rubbish’, but we think he took some excellent pictures.