1990 Kenko NES Equatorial Mount

I use a 1990 Kenko NES equatorial mount with my refracting telescope. This mount features an RA motor drive with relatively accurate tracking, a polar scope for easy alignment with Polaris, altitude-azimuth adjustment knobs useful in performing precise polar alignment such as the declination drift alignment method, coarse and fine adjustment knobs, setting circles, and adjustable aluminum tripod. My mount has been modified to use a DIY controller to connect it with a laptop via USB and perform automated guiding needed in long-exposure photography of deep-sky objects.

To view sample images taken with the 1990 Kenko NES mount, click here.

Related links:
Sky-Watcher 100ED Refractor
DIY Telescope Controller

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Stargazing Sites near NCR

We’ve visited a number of stargazing sites just 50 km from Manila where one could camp out, stargaze, and do some astrophotography. Bring your own tent and telescope, and lots of food!

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Milky Way | Bacoor

Milky Way imaged from a heavily light-polluted skies of Bacoor, Cavite, just 18 km from Manila. Taken with a Canon 1100D DSLR with kit lens on a DIY tracker. This photo is a stack of 5 frames at 90 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 7.5 minutes, ISO 400, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.
Related link: How To Take Photos of the Milky Way

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M33 Pinwheel Galaxy

M33 Pinwheel Galaxy imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 2 frames at 90 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 3 minutes, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M81 Bode’s and M82 Cigar Galaxy

M81 Bode’s and M82 Cigar Galaxy imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 4 frames at 240 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 16 minutes exposure time, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M27 Dumbbell Nebula

M27 Dumbbell Nebula imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 5 frames at 90 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 7.5 minutes, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Flame and Horsehead Nebula

Flame and Horsehead Nebula in the constellation Orion, imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 6 frames at 180 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 18 minutes, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M1 Crab Nebula

M1 Crab Nebula, imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 6 frames at 100 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 10 minutes, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M31 Andromeda Galaxy

M31 Andromeda Galaxy, imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 6 frames at 180 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 18 minutes, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M42 Orion Nebula

M42 Orion Nebula, imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 10 frames at 360 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 60 minutes, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy

M51 Whirlpool Galaxy imaged with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Canon 450D DSLR on a motorized mount with DIY controller. This photo is a stack of 8 frames at 240 seconds sub-exposure, for a total of 32 minutes exposure time, processed in IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

DIY Plate for Telescopes

I’ve built an aluminum plate for my equatorial mount to allow it to carry the main telescope and the guide scope for autoguiding purposes. In autoguiding, it is important to minimize flexing between the imaging telescope and the guide scope, thus, a plate with suitable thickness helps address this problem. This DIY plate measures 12 cm by 20 cm by 1 cm and made from a solid aluminum plate from a local metals supply shop. Holes have been drilled on the plate to allow attachment of various loads such as DSLR cameras and different telescopes.

Kenko NES mount with a DIY aluminum plate

Related link: Sky-Watcher 100ED Refractor

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Saturn | April 2021

Saturn is now a little bit higher in the early morning sky. While still considerably dimmer than Jupiter, it registers quite well with a web camera. A hint of the ring’s Cassini division and Saturn’s cloud bands are visible in this photo captured with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and an SPC900NC web camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related links:
Web Camera for Imaging Planets
Dash Camera for Imaging Planets

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Mars Occultation

The moon is also known to eclipse planets, and one such event involving Mars occurred on April 17, 2021, a relatively rare astronomical event visible in the southern part of the country. I was able to observe and photograph Mars before it was eclipsed or hidden from view by the moon, from Bacoor City, Philippines. Mars’s red hue and some lunar craters are visible in this photo.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Lunar Occultation of Jupiter

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Europa’s Shadow on Jupiter

Europa casts a shadow on Jupiter, imaged on April 17, 2021 at 4:30 am local time (20:30 UTC, April 16) using a 4 in f/9 refractor and an SPC900NC web camera. This photo is a stack of 1000 frames from a 4-minute video of Jupiter, processed using IRIS.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related links:
Transit of Callisto
Transit of Io

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

DIY Telescope Tripod and Crate

I’ve built a wooden tripod for my Vixen 80 mm f/11 telescope on an altitude-azimuth mount. The tripod legs were built using 2 inch by 1 inch wood, with length that approximates the length of the optical tube assembly (1 meter). I’ve also built a crate that will hold the telescope and tripod as one unit, for easy transport and storage.

Related link: Vixen 80 mm f/11 refractor

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

International Space Station | April 2021

International Space Station (ISS) imaged in Bacoor, Cavite, on April 12, 2021, 6:24 pm local time (10:24 UTC), as it orbits at a height of 420 km above the Philippines. The main body, radiator fins, and the solar panels of the satellite are visible in this photo. Image taken with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a Polaroid N302 dash camera. To watch a video on how this image was taken, click here.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: International Space Station | March 2012

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Transit of Callisto | April 2011

Jupiter’s moon Callisto appearing as a dark dot against the bright planet’s disc, was seen transiting Jupiter on April 4, 2021, 5 am local time. Another Jupiter’s moon, Io, the cloud bands, and the great red spot, are also visible in this photo. Very bad seeing conditions made it difficult to capture sharper views of the planet. This image was captured with a 4 in f/9 refractor and a dash camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related links:
Transit of Io
Transit of Venus

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Saturn Imaged with a Dashcam

Saturn is also now visible in the early morning sky. It is considerably dimmer than Jupiter. A hint of the ring’s Cassini division is visible in this photo captured with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and a dash camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.

Related link: Dash Camera for Imaging Planets

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)

Jupiter | April 2021

Jupiter is now visible in the early morning sky. It is still low in the horizon making it very difficult to image. Jupiter’s cloud bands are visible in this photo captured with a 4 inch f/9 refractor and an SPC900NC web camera.

For a complete list of astrophoto images, click here.
Related link: Dash Camera for Imaging Planets

Night Sky in Focus
Astronomy and Amateur Radio
© Anthony Urbano (Manila, Philippines)