Another hobby that I picked up during the lockdown was stargazing. When I was young, my parents took me to the Hong Kong Space Museum and bought me a book on the planets (which I still have!) That piqued my interest, and I later joined the astronomy club in junior high. On an overnight trip to a camp far away from the Hong Kong city center, I saw the Orion nebula with small binoculars for the first time. Yet, with busy schoolwork and persistently light-polluted sky wherever I lived, I put astronomy away until the lockdown. I came across Astrobackyard’s Youtube videos and was intrigued by using Light Pollution filters to do amazing astrophotography. 

My first foray into astrophotography was with a RedCat51 and a Skywatcher Star Adventurer on the Deep-sky objects in the constellation of Cygnus. While waiting for the hours collecting subs, I was scanning the sky with binoculars and learning the names and constellations until I realized it was more fun to observe than stressing over doing astrophotography. Since then, I have put away the AP equipment and focused more on visual observation and EAA. I still remember the awe I felt seeing the Andromeda Galaxy for the first time and realizing my eyes were capturing photons that had traveled 2.6 million years. Currently, I am lending my equipment to students, doing small outreach on campus, and trying to share with others the awe I felt when looking at the starry night.

References I use:
  1. Nightwatch by Terence Dickinson
  2. Binocular Astronomy by Crossen & Tirion
  3. Binocular Highlights by Gary Seronik
  4. Touring the Universe through Binoculars by Philip Harrington
  5. Burnham’s Celestial Handbook (Vol 1-3) by Robert Burnham Jr.
  6. The Stars by H.A. Rey
  7. Deep-Sky Wonders by Sue French
  8. Celestial Sampler: 60 Small-Scope Tours for Starlit Nights by Sue French

Scope I lend to students:
Vixen Shuttlescope 80, D=80mm f=480mm, 0.965″ diagonal and EP
Vixen VMC-110L Maksutov-Cassegrain, D=110mm f=1035mm
Orion Astroview 90EQ, D=90mm f=910mm

Scopes I gave away:
Celestron Cometron 60 on a Vixen Polaris mount
Zeiss Teleminor, D=60mm f=830mm, helical focuser, Celestron diagonal, William Optics EP
Celestron Omni AZ102, D=102mm f=660mm, Agena EP
Pentax J60, D=60mm f=700mm, 0.965-1.25″ diagonal on an Alt-Az mount
Celestron Starsense 130AZ, D=130mm f=650mm, Celestron EP
Celestron LandScout 12-36x60mm

Scopes I observe with