Astrophotography is not easy. It takes a lot of time to start to get some decent pictures. There is a learning curve
beginning with the correct equipment to have. To get good pictures, a very good tracking mount, a good telescope and
a good camera are essential. The most important is probably the mount, because if the telescope cannot track the stars,
then whatever the quality of the telescope and the camera, the picture will be trailed and can go right in the trash.
Then the astrophotographer needs to master focusing, polar alignment and tracking.
Here is my first picture of stars, M42, in January 2003, when I was beginning :
Charles Messier was a French astronomer in the eighteen century. He was looking for comets. With his equipment, he saw
some objects that could pass for comets, but because they were not moving, they could not be comets. He didn't know what
they were, but wrote them down in a list so that other astronomers would know that they were not comets. He came with
a list of 110 objects, from nebulae to galaxies, open clusters, globular clusters. Today, going through this list is a
classic challenge for amateur astronomers, either visually or photographically, before going to other objects. It's a
good way to learn the sky and astrophotography. My challenge here is to get a picture of each object, but I don't really
care sometimes about the quality of the picture. I have another section for good pictures.
As of the beginning of 2007, I have at least one picture for each object. I am now revisiting the list to take a much better quality picture. New pictures are recognizable by a blue background in the list below, a gold title name and a thumbnail giving the link to the picture.