Joanne Tucker's photos
18 November 2019
One of the things I especially like writing about is the development of skills in this hobby. More than any other pastime, the demands of astrophotography - precision, care, understanding and patience - create a pathway where beginners develop into skilled users of the equipment. In particular, and I've mentioned this for others before - you don't need to have high-end equipment if your skill level is high.
I met Joanne the other day when she came into the shop to upgrade an equatorial mount. She had a Sky-Watcher Star Discovery mount on which she could put either a 127 Maksutov or an Evoguide 50ED scope. This was what she was using for deep sky objects.
I was impressed when Joanne told me she was getting photos using a goto alt-az mount, but you remember Josh Carnovale proved it was possible this year. But then she showed me the photos and I was stunned. These are next level stuff. She sent me some, and I said I'd publish three. I've attached five because I just couldn't knock any others out. That Sombrero is brilliant.
For the technical, Joanne uses an ASI224MC astronomical camera and stacks images using Deep Sky Stacker. Because of the alt-az mount, exposures can't be long so she turns up the gain and compensates with lots of exposures for the stack. She uses a couple of different filters to counter star bloat and light pollution.