I first got into astronomy in 1973 when a high school friend showed me Jupiter and its moons through his small refractor. I was instantly hooked! Since then, my love of astronomy has been a constant throughout my life. In the late 1990s, I got my first really good telescope, a Meade 10-inch LX200. Initially I used it strictly for visual observing, but as time went on, I felt I wanted to be able to “see” faint galaxies and nebulae in all their glory, so I got myself a 35mm film camera to use with the telescope. I was into film imaging for a few years, with some good results (and a lot of not-so-good). Finally I had to put it aside for a few years due to the demands of my “day job”. Full size images are available on my Astrobin page.
I retired in 2018, and that gave me the time to get back into astro-imaging (and also the ability to stay up all night without having to drag myself into work the next day). I treated myself to a couple of new refractor telescopes, a new mount, and good astro-imaging cameras. (My current cameras are a ZWO ASI183MC-Pro and a ZWO ASI6200MC-Pro.) Getting good equipment was a huge step forward for the quality of images I was able to capture. I also learned how to use PixInsight to process my images, which wasn’t easy but was worth the effort in the long run.
In the summer of 2022, my wife and I moved from the suburbs of Pittsburgh to Onondaga Hill, to be closer to family. I also took the opportunity to find a home with a large backyard with lots of open sky. (At my home near Pittsburgh, the sky was blocked by trees.) With plenty of open sky available from my own backyard, I can now set up my equipment in the evening to run automatically all night, then go to bed and collect my images in the morning. I find myself more willing to do imaging when it doesn’t mean staying up all night long and freezing. Since moving to the Syracuse area, I’m starting to get to know members of the SAS, many of whom obviously have a lot of experience and knowledge to share. I’m looking forward to getting to know more area lovers of the night sky!