First night at GHRO

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I am now a member of the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club, which has an observatory near Kershaw, South Carolina. The Gayle H. Riggsbee Observatory (GHRO for short) has several member pads, along with a good variety of telescopes for club members.

GHRO from above, taken with a Phantom 4 Pro

The skies here aren’t Arizona or New Mexico dark, but it is considerably darker than my yard. I can actually see the Milky Way band with my “getting older” eyes. I took a trek out there with my tripod, Nikon D5500, and my iOptron SkyTracker Pro. Mine was red, not sure when it changed to black.

It was pretty funny sitting out there at their biggest star party of the year. There I was, with my card table, tripod, and teeny little tracker. Surrounded by various mounts, including a Celestron AVX, an Orion Atlas, and a Paramount MyT. The club also has a very nice selection of telescopes- I will throw a few in the gallery, below.

My first night out there with this was very productive for me- I got my first decent image which you can see below

My first Milky Way Pic
My first Milky Way Pic [click it to see it on astrobin]

I went back a couple of weeks later and tried something that I could never accomplish imaging from home: Capture Andromeda (M31) (widefield and cropped):

Very widefield view, including Andromeda (m31)
Very widefield view, including Andromeda (m31) [click it to see it on astrobin]
Cropped to just M31
Cropped to just M31

I was very pleased. In all actuality, these couple of nights showed me that I was actually capable of doing this!

Some of the equipment at GHRO