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    Default CCD Astrophotography setup



    Hello everyone. I'm looking into setting up a system dedicated mainly for astrophotography (DSO, Solar system, cluster, nebulae, etc.). I'm undecided between Astro-Tech 6-inch f/9 Ritchey-Chretien Astrograph or Orion 8in. f/4.0 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector (both are within my budget). The mount I'm planning to buy for the setup is Celestron Advanced (CG-5) GoTo Telescope Mount and the camera is the Meade DSI PRO II Monochrome w/RGB Color Filter Set. Also I'm planning in the near future to buy the Orion Awesome Autoguider Refractor Package for the system. Any comments will be highly appreciated.

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    Welcome to the forum!

    Looks like your on the right track with either of the above if you are looking to start out doing astrophotography. The Newtonian may give you a better option if you would like to do some visual work occasionally. However either should work well with the DSI II or a future CCD.

    You didn't mention if you have a laptop computer. You will need one in addition to software to guide and capture. The DSI should come with the Autostar suite which will get you started. Both of the OTA's you mention will allow for short exposure times to get started so with even just a reasonable polar alignment you should be able to get some 30 to 45 second captures that you can stack to achieve some great results.

    Just a work of caution. You are jumping in with both feet! There is a significant learning curve to both the mount and the software for astrophotography. Take your time, you will have good and bad nights so don't get frustrated. It just takes time and be sure to ask lots of questions.

    Best of luck and let us know how it goes!
    Gordon
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    Thanks ghswen for the advice, so far the Newtonian looks like the winner. Yes I do have a laptop computer running Starry Night Pro Plus 6, plus MaxIm DL 5 which offer a window for multiple autoguiding capabilities. And as I mention down the road I would buy the Orion Awesome Autoguider Refractor Package solely for autoguiding purpose. As a right now I'm also looking at Astro-Tech 8" f/4 imaging Newtonian optical tube. I wonder which one will be better between this or the Orion.

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    Just a shot in the dark because I haven't seen both of them in person. But I wouldn't be surprised if they are both made by the same company. (very common in the telescope industry). If the specifications and dimensions are the same then they probably are. Then it just boils down to price, customer service reputation and personal preference. I have heard good things about the Orion guide scope package. Because of weight issues I modified a 9x50 skywatcher finder scope to accept the StarShoot Auto guider. It's a easy process to do and doesn't require any major modifications to either unit. Plus it really does a great job and is very light.
    One issue with the CG5 is total weight of the OTA, guide scope and imager. It's nice to try to keep the total weight to less than 75% or so of the manufactures recommended weight (don't see that Celestron has stated this in the manual) however it appears with what you are looking to use you should be fine.
    Software wise it looks like you have it covered. The Awesome Autoguider package will come with Stark Labs PHD software. If you want to play with it ahead of time its a freebee and can be downloaded from here. Stark Labs
    Gordon
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    Thanks again for the advice and the link to Stark Labs. The Celestron Advanced (CG-5) GoTo Telescope Mount is capable of holding 30 lbs. of payload. The set up I'm looking at all together including the autoguiding package is close to 20 lbs. I heard good review from both scope, the only difference is that Astro-Tech 8" f/4 imaging Newtonian has baffles inside which are suppose to help in reducing glare from outside light. Here are the links for both of them:
    Orion 8in. f/4.0 Newtonian Astrograph Reflector | Orion Telescopes

    Astronomy Technologies Astro-Tech 8" f/4 imaging Newtonian optical tube

 

 

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