This digest has two aims.  

The first is to cover in depth, without being too technical, advances in our knowledge, equipment and techniques that I hope will be of interest to all amateur astronomers.

The second is to add to the content of the books recently published by Cambridge University Press and so keep them up fully up to date.

Monthly Night Sky Guide

The author also writes a guide to each month’s northern hemisphere night sky.  Just click here:  Monthly Night Sky Guide

Recent Pages added to the Digest

Most recent:  Atmosphere – its effects on planetary observing and imaging

Autoguiding or not – some thoughts

The Ritchey-Chrétien Telescope for amateurs (1): Introduction

Experiences with collimating a Ritchey-Chrétien Telescope

Untracked Imaging from a dark site

The Celestron 9.25 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope

Collimating a Schmidt-Cassegrain using an imaging camera and ‘AlsCollimationAid’

Advice to newcomers to astroimaging regarding astro camera type and autoguiding

Altair Astro Nikon/Canon DSLR lens adapters

Tri-band and other narrow band imaging of emission nebulae with a colour camera

Imaging a 10-day old Moon

SharpCap’s use of Plate Solving to locate celestial objects

Thoughts about Telescope Mounts: 4 – Premium Mounts

Plate Solving with a handset controlled ‘goto’ telescope mount – imaging M81  – Now updated with a useful computer program.

Star Hopping with a ‘goto’ Telescope mount – M87 and Markarian’s Chain

Lunar Imaging with the Altair Astro Hypercam 294c PRO TEC camera

Springtime Galaxies imaged with a Schmidt-Newtonian

Imaging an H-alpha Nebula with a CMOS astro camera or astro modified DSLR or mirrorless camera

Choosing a CMOS ‘Astro’ camera for deep sky imaging


I would like to dedicate this website to Rod Mollise whose posts in ‘Uncle Rod’s Astro Blog’  have, for many years, been a source of great inspiration for me.

Ian Morison FRAS is an astronomer and astrophysicist who served as the 35th Gresham Professor of Astronomy.   Though a radio astronomer by profession, now in his 56th year at the Jodrell Bank Observatory of the University of Manchester, he has been a keen amateur optical astronomer since making his first simple telescope with lenses given to him by his optician when 11 or 12.  In 1990 he helped found the Macclesfield Astronomy Society of which he is now patron and he is a past president of the UK’s Society for Popular Astronomy,  now acting as its Instrument and Imaging Advisor.   He writes a regular ‘Telescope Topics’ column for ‘Popular Astronomy’ and has made many contributions to the ‘Sky at Night’ and ‘Astronomy Now’ magazines.

His recent books published by Cambridge University Press are shown below and all can be purchased from Blackwell’s, just search for ‘Ian Morison’. 

A book aimed to bridge the gap between books for beginners and the specialised books about individual practical astronomy topics.

A book based on the author’s Gresham lectures on Astronomy.

A book covering all aspects of Astrophotography.

[The opening image is of the galaxy M33 in Triangulum.   It was taken remotely using an ASA 8-inch Newtonian Astrograph located in Spain.  The data acquisition and image processing used to achieve this image are described both in ‘An Amateurs Guide…’ and ‘The Art of Astrophotography’.]