I have a very keen interest in imaging the night sky and for some years have been providing presentations on astrophotography to a variety of clubs and groups up and down the country and more recently overseas showing what can be achieved with very little investment and some knowledge.
Throughout these talks it is wonderful to see excited faces realising that you do not need shares in the Hubble Telescope and equally pleasing photographs are actually possible from your own garden.
I have very recently bought a house in a semi rural location with lovely dark skies to take this interest to the next level. In the months ahead I will be building my own observatory and setting up a group to concentrate on Astrophotography with the goal of learning and sharing knowledge together. I will also be documenting the progress as we progress.
I am currently at the stage of planning on the best place to site the observatory and have already made a start removing trees but it will be a slow process to begin with.
The next stage will be the observatory build, electrics and a permanent pier.
Following this I will be remoting the whole process over WiFi back to the warm annex. This will include mount/scope control, image capture, focus control and possibly observatory dome control.
The mount will have a dual saddle so it will be possible to image using two telescopes or two DSLR cameras (widefield astrophotography) or a combination of the two which will allow other members of the group to capture images. There is also a piggyback mount for the guidescope.
I must emphasise that this will not be an astronomy club as such, there are already at least three in the immediate area that do observing. The main focus for this group will always be imaging.