Sharpcap

There are a number of cost effective imaging software packages available and, in my opinion, Sharpcap is one of the best. The software is regularly updated and Robin, the developer, is continually adding new features to widen the scope (no pun intended) of the package.

Sharpcap is primarily an imaging solution that allows you to capture images from a wide range of cameras using both ASCOM or, if available, native drivers. You can capture as stills or video which makes it ideal for both DSO and planetary imaging, and a recent feature allows for real-time stacking which opens up the world of video astronomy should that be what you are interested in. Continue reading

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Weather apps

One thing I really need is the ability to predict clear nights. Planning targets and setting up takes time and I really don’t want to do it only to find that the night is written off due to overcast skies or, worse, rain showers.

My grandfather used to tell me that he could predict the weather by hanging seaweed outside. When it was wet, it was raining. Unfortunately, things haven’t moved much since then.┬áThere are a number of weather apps available for my iphone but, honestly, they’re all a bit crap. Continue reading

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Altair Hypercam 178C

This was the first camera I bought. If I am being honest, I didn’t do a lot of research into it, and I certainly didn’t know there was a difference in terms of planetary / lunar imaging and imaging DSOs. I also wasn’t aware too much about my future needs in terms of a mono camera and filters as opposed to an OSC (One Shot Camera).

Nevertheless, I learned to love this camera and I believe that, as a result of owning it and truly learning how to tame some of the issues, it made my transition across to mono imaging using LRGB and narrowband filters a lot easier. Continue reading

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