Interstellar Light and Other Quantum Effects

Guan Sheng Optical, 12″ Carbon Fibre Truss Tube Ritchey-Chrétien

The Keck and the VLT observatories both use Ritchey-Chretien (RC) design telescopes.  While SkySlab is no Keck or VLT, for astrophotography the GSO RC12-A will produce good quality pictures.  It's a large aperture light telescope used by a high percentage of the amateur astrophotography population.  One has been sourced for SkySlab from Bintel in Sydney, [...] Read More

Decommissioning Celestron 9.25″ SCT

Up until August 2015, all the images that SkySlab produced were using a Celestron 9.25" Schmidt-Cassegrain optical tube (with one or two exceptions using a William Optics GT-81).  This optical tube assembly was chosen because of it's ease of use and as a good introduction into astrophotography.  There are a plethora of accessories available for [...] Read More

Paramount MX Maintenance

I've been planning this for about two, maybe three weeks.  After I received the correct grease from America, I figured that with the weekend shaping up to be wet, windy and pointless for viewing, this would be a good time to get-to and finish maintaining the Paramount MX inside SkySlab.  This sounds like a risky [...] Read More

ATIK EFW2 USB Electronic Filter Wheel

I've used the ATIK EFW2 USB Electronic filter wheel on a few occasions.  It's a great piece of engineering, simple but very effective.  It's easy to set up, easy to maintain, works very well and easy to adjust. I prefer one shot colour photography and will likely not get into mono photography for some time, [...] Read More

William Optics GT-81 Triplet Refractor

SkySlab has used this little beautiful refractor for a few photos in 2013 but is currently taking closer field of view shots of objects rather than wide field of view shots. The WO-GT81 will produce stunning wide-field shots, is very fast in terms of light gathering and has no negative coma or chroma effects. They [...] Read More

QHY8 Manual and Settings Advice

Posted for anyone who is interested in these.  SkySlab uses QHY8 cameras, they are in my opinion one of the best value cameras you can lay your hands on. Very low electronic noise, reasonable quantum efficiency, excellent resolution and the large pixel well size makes for great photos at long and short focal lengths. Here's [...] Read More

More Power Solutions

So…the WeMo was fun but per my previous posts not useful if the Pi freezes during an open SkySlab session.  What to do then?  Next solution which is holding up nicely (touch wood) is to create a bash script that is run from Cron every 5 minutes. I created a file called with the […]

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Astronomik CLS Light Pollution Filter

In addition to IDAS LPS filters from Hutech (in this post) SkySlab has used Astronomik CLS light pollution filters.  SkySlab’s site does not necessarily need a light pollution filter (yet!) but it has the excellent effect of colour-correcting images.  Here’s the link: It looks like this: I have read posts saying that a 3mm […]

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QHY8 CCD Tilt Adjustment

This little beauty is a fantastic addition to SkySlab’s imaging train. Although it’s a pain to get it right in the first place. A while back SkySlab acquired a CCD Tilt adjuster from OPT ( It looks like this:The idea is that a lot of large-format CCD chips will not necessarily be 100% square to […]

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