Mark Shea Home

Welcome to my astronomy webpage.
I became interested in astronomy when I was 11 or 12 (mid 70s).  I subscribed to Sky & Telescope and eventually convinced my parents to buy a Criterion RV-6 Dynascope.  In addition to great views of the moon and planets, I was able to find all the easier DSOs.  Of course, the skies were a lot darker then.
All my activity from 2004 to 2009 was related to visual observing.  I've always been especially interested in astro equipment and had a preference for DSOs.  So I put those two things together in some of my DIY projects.  Check them out on my DIY page.  These projects were mostly aimed at bino viewing since I had grown intolerant of monocular viewing.
In 2009, I decided to abandon visual observing for photography.  Yes, there are plenty of advantages of visual observing: simple equipment, fast, and relatively cheap.  Also, no photo could possibly duplicate the experience of directly viewing an object with both eyes in a decent size scope with wide field eyepieces.  It's like being there.  But the drawbacks of visual observing became too much to bear.  First and foremost was light pollution.  I knew I would never routinely pack up my scope and drive a long distance to a dark site.  CCD photography is so much more capable for getting through the LP.  The second drawback of visual observing was that it became somewhat monotonous.  At observing sessions with novices, I found myself always telling people to look for "the gray fuzzball in the middle".  I decided I wanted details and I wanted color.  What's more, photography gives me the ability to play with my hobby during the day.
Subpages (2): Astrophotography DIY