Daniel Carrillo

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  • Astrophotography

    About three years ago, my neighbor was having a garage sale and he had a rather beat up reflector type Telescope. I have always loved and have always been interested optics and I had always wanted a telescope of my own. I bought the thing for 5 bucks and took it home. It needed some serious TLC so I took the thing apart and carefully cleaned the primary mirror. The poor thing had been neglected and was home to a few spiders.  Regardless to say, it was not exactly a choice model to begin with.

    It was still of piece of shit no matter how much I tried to clean it up but that night I was completely blown away at the view I got of Jupiter and Saturn.  I was not expecting much of anything and when I pointed it at the moon it was love at first sight!

    I was hooked! After doing some research, I decided to get a much larger and powerful scope and promptly got on craigslist and found the biggest telescope that I could afford. The scope was an Apertura 12inch Dobsonion telescope. When I brought that thing home my wife flipped out at the sheer size of the thing and wondered what the hell I was thinking. The thing was powerful and it gave me some breathtaking views of Jupiter, Saturn, and of course, the Moon.

    This was not the most portable telescope and it weighed over 60 pounds so I purchased a dolly specifically made for this type of scope. Being a purely visual instrument, it was at the mercy of the horrendous light pollution in Seattle that kills all the possibility of seeing anything but the brightest objects. I remember the night that I finally found the Andromeda Galaxy and running inside to grab my wife only to get a mild “hmm” out of her. It was but the faintest, most unimpressive little white fuzzy spot barely visible in the eyepiece.

    This is when I decided to switch to imaging. So here we are now. My equipment is a Monochromatic 16bit ASI2600 cooled astronomy camera with filter wheel. My scopes are the Edge 8 at 2000mm f/10, the OPT Radian Raptor at 275mm f/4 and the Skywatcher Esprit 100. I primarily shoot Narrowband but have done some RGBL with some success. My current mount is the Losmandy G118 and use Sequence Generator Pro for acquisition and Pixinsight and Photoshop for processing.