My interest in astronomy was not completely
dulled though and I read books and followed all the NASA missions however
over time other interests and distractions took me away from the subject
(except for the odd Horizon documentary) for nearly 40 years.
So now I am the father and a couple of years ago my wife suggested (like
many other I suspect) that it might be fun for me to have a telescope as a
fathers day gift, sure, why not I said but not for me really, mostly it
would be fun to have a little scope to share with my daughter, I'll have a
look into it. Well I did that and we ended up choosing a Meade ETX90
mostly for the goto capability as I was pretty sure a manual scope would
be as frustrating for my daughter as it had been for me.
Well I was blown away. I had absolutely no idea what you could see
through such a scope, M42, Eta Carina (I had moved to Australia somewhere
in between scopes!) Omega Centurai, Jupiter, Saturn....I was amazed, less
so my wife and daughter but what a revelation. I bought a few astro
magazines and was even more amazed by the images people were creating with
backyard scopes. I wanted to share my enthusiasm with friends and family
so pretty quickly my thoughts turned to taking pictures myself...I
searched the web to see what could be done with an ETX, joined an
astronomy forum (Ice In Space), bought a Meade LPI and started up the
endless learning curve that is Astrophotography.
I do not have an observatory so my equipment all has to be portable, at
least in so far as I can carry it out to the patio. These days I like to
image DSOs mostly and use my 127mm APO plus either an Opticstar DS-145M ICE
CCD or Canon 20d mounted on a Vixen SXW guided via a WO 66 SD and QHY5
camera with Guidemaster.
I still like to keep it simple (and silent) sometimes - just put down a
blanket and use mk1 eyeballs or a pair of binos to cruise the night sky.