My first astronomical memory and the one that started me on this hobby is from my teenage years, being out one winter’s evening and seeing a striking pattern of stars in the sky. Although I had no conscious knowledge at this time something stirred in my brain, a distant recollection of the name Orion. Back in the house I unearthed a pile of I-Spy books I had been given years before. One of these was about the constellations and sure enough my striking pattern was indeed Orion. From there it was a short step to Patrick Moore’s “Observer’s Book Of Astronomy” and a lifelong interest.
I joined the BAA in 1972 and for a few years contributed observations mostly drawings of Venus firstly with a 150mm reflector and later a 257mm built around a Fullerscopes mirror. Somewhere along the line life interfered and there did not seem the time for this level of activity although I retained my interest and BAA membership.
Now with more time I want to pick up regular observing once more. My main telescope is a 358mm f/5 Newtonian on a homebuilt Dobsonian mount fitted with a “Dob-Driver II” motor drive system.
Like a lot of people I would like to try deep sky imaging but with the telescope being alt-azimuth mounted that route is somewhat restricted. However I do have a Vixen Polarie tracker and it is surprising just how much detail a stand alone DSLR can pick out.
In the spring of 2020 I acquired an Altair 178M3 camera for high resolution planetary work just in time for the fine Mars opposition that year.
In 2017 I discovered, quite by accident, that I enjoy writing about Astronomy and since then I have produced a number of articles for the tutorial section of the BAA website.
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