Astrophotography by Dave Weixelman

August, 2015

Astrophotography Equipment

I image the night sky near Nevada City, CA, on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I generally image from two sites, a low elevation (1,000 feet) site in the winter months and a higher elevation (4,500 feet) site in the summer months. The dark sky rating on the Bortle Dark Sky Scale is Class 4 on both sites on average. The higher elevation site will reach Class 3 on the best of nights. My eyes can see magnitude +6.4 stars on the best of nights at the high elevation site.

Below, is a photo of my typical imaging setup. I image with either a Stellarvue 102 mm aperture, f/6 triplet refractor or a Stellarvue 80 mm, f/6 triplet refractor. The photo shows the camera with the 80 mm Stellarvue refractor. The camera is a QSI 660WSG. The photo also shows an SBIG ST-i guide camera attached to the QSI camera. The mount is a Takahashi EM200 USD III. The tripod is a Berlebach Planet. The software I use for camera control and autoguiding is Maxim DL.

Below is a close-up of the 80 mm Stellarvue scope and camera setup. I use a red dot finder for locating and rough framing of an object. The 80 mm scope working at f/4.8 covers 1.5 degrees of sky across the frame of the QSI 660 CCD camera.

Below is a photo of the imaging train. This photo shows the 80 mm scope with the Feathertouch focuser and Robofocus attached, field flattener, 10mm spacer from QSI, and QSI camera.