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.


Recent Pages added to the Digest

Most recent:  Harmonic Drive Mounts and the Pegasus NYX-101

Thoughts about Newtonians

Large Compact Telecopes for amateurst

Deep Sky Stacker Sigma-Kappa stacking mode

Imaging the Leo Triplet

Imaging the Sun in H-alpha

Starfixer 0.2 Alpha – an AI star correction program

A user built EAA astrophotography telescope

 Astrophotography using an Alt/Az mount

Untracked Imaging from a dark site

GSO Ritchey-Chrétien Baffle problem and simple solution.

Background Extraction

Neat Image – a free (with limitation) noise reduction program

Astrosharp Astronomical Sharpening Tool

The iOptron Alt-Az mounts.

The Tri-Batinov Mask

The Vixen VC200L

Imaging M31, the Andromeda Galaxy

The best free astronomical data image processing software: ASTAP and Siril

Photometric Colour Calibration using Siril: the Messier 67 open cluster

Processing an image of M13 using free software – a complete step by step through article  (updated) 

Thoughts on Calibration Frames

Siril – an excellent free astro-imaging tool.

A Guide to Stacking, Background Extraction and Stretching

Imaging the Sword of Orion – a complete work through

The Cff Telescopes 127 mm, f/7, refractor – a world class telescope

 Choosing the sensor size of a deep sky imaging astro camera

Imaging the Moon in daylight

Thoughts about my refractor telescopes

ASTAP – An excellent stacking program

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 58th 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 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’.]