I am jumping back into observational and astrophotography astronomy after a ten-year hiatus and I am looking for a little advice to especially prepare me for the 2017 solar eclipse, in addition to deep sky photography.
To begin, part 1 purchase was relatively easy:
- Celestron CGEM II 800 HD
- Celestron Eclipsmart Solar Filter for 8" SCT & EdgeHD
- Celestron PowerTank Lithium
- Celestron Lens Shade 6" / 8"
So, now I have the telescope and some basic essentials. Now I need guiding (for deep sky), essential eyepieces, and astrophotography accessories. This is where I need some advice:
Here is my shopping list (I have about $1500 remaining in my budget):
- ZWO ASI120MM-S camera to use for auto-guiding and imaging. (Will use PHD and Firecapture for guiding)
- Adapter to connect the ZWO to the Celestron finderscope 9x50 OR should I consider a larger guidescope?
- Celestron Polar Scope Advanced VX / CGEM (later - will consider Celestron StarSense AutoAlign )
- 1.25" flip mirror diagonal (i.e. http://agenaastro.com/agena-1-25-flip-mirror.html)
- Essential eyepieces:
> Barlow 3x (i.e. Celestron 93428 X-Cel LX 1.25-Inch 3x Barlow Lens)
> Zoom eyepiece (i.e. Celestron 93230 8 to 24mm 1.25 Zoom Eyepiece)
> Other recommended eyepieces?
Lower priority accessories:
- 1.25" filter wheel (i.e. low-cost Gosky 5-position 1.25inch Manual Filter Wheel)
- LRGB 1.25" filter set (i.e. Astromania Telescope Lrgb)
DSLR Astrophotography Questions
1. What accessories do I require in order to image the full sphere of the sun using my DSLR with the telescope? (i.e. prime focus)
> Ideally, I would love that I have the option to quickly switch between viewing and astrophotography via flip mirror diagonal.
2. Similar to above... what is required to do astrophotography via eyepiece?
3. I would also like to piggy-back my DSLR with a telephoto on the telescope for long-exposures. What accessories will I require? i.e. dovetail (like William Optics Vixen-Style 8") and a DSLR mount?
4. Any tips on travelling (by vehicle) cases for the OTA and the mount? I am considering saving a bit of money by building a custom case with large wheels and a pull handle.
Unknown unknowns? What else should I consider now and later on (when I can build up a new budget)?
Thanks so much for your valued advice.