Michael A. Stecker


Antonio Fernandez, M.D.
Las Rozas, Madrid
For this self portrait a monochrome CCD astronomical camera and the same technique used for color imaging of deep sky objects were used. Three separate images -obtained through red, green and blue filters - were combined to obtain the color image.

Image data, Camera: SBIG STL11000M @ -10ºC, Lens: Nikon Nikkor 105 f/2.5 (stopped @ f/22),  Filters: Astrodon i-series, Exposures:  RGB 0,5 seconds each, no flats, no darks. DDP with Fits Liberator 2.0


Contact information
Locator Map
Level of accuracy: city of Madrid, Spain

I am a physician currently living with my wife, two children and our Labrador retriever in Las Rozas, Madrid where we relocated in 2002 after a three years living in the U.S.
I received medical training at the University Hospital in Pamplona (http://www.unav.es/cun/english/) and earned a M.D. degree in 1983 from the University of Navarra School of Medicine.

In 1987 I went to work for my current employer, a major pharmaceutical company, where most of my career, both in Europe and the U.S., has been devoted to R&D -developing new drugs for central nervous system disorders- and later to management.

My interest for space exploration, astronomy, and radio -I am a licensed amateur radio operator, KC2HAX and EA4LE- dates back to my early childhood but the spark that definitely ignited my curiosity and passion for astronomy was watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series during my teenage years.

In the early nineties I learn of amateur astronomers doing deep sky imaging with a new breed of CCD digital cameras. As my previous attempts to image with film had been so disappointing, I started toying around with the idea of making one of these very sensitive digital cameras. The solution came with the publication of “The CCD Camera Cookbook” by Berry, Kanto and Munger. My home brew Cookbook camera saw its first light in the summer of 1998 and for the first time I had digitally imaged Jupiter and the four Galilean satellites. From there I went to successfully modify webcams for long exposure. Later I was impressed by some of the images acquired with the new digital SLR cameras to the extent that I seriously considered the purchase of a Canon D60. I was on the verge of ordering the D60 when Canon announced the 10D model. Switched gears and went for the 10D. I had a lot of fun with this camera that was followed by another Canon, this time a 300D model with its infrared filter removed. In 2005 I went back to cooled CCD cameras with a marvelous piece of equipment, a SBIG STL11000M camera.

Astrophotography publications
Le Stelle, Rivista di Cultura Astronomica, Italy

Some of my DSLR images are featured in Robert Reeves book Introduction to Digital Astrophotography, Willmann-Bell Inc., 2005 (pages 120, 126, 290)

Observing site
Living in the suburbs of a big city means light pollution. That's why I only do narrow band imaging from my backyard and do most of my imaging from La Hita observatory (http://www.lahita.arrakis.es/) a location shared with other fellow astronomers.

Astronomical Equipment
Takahashi FSQ-106N, Vixen VC200L
Homebrew Dobson
Losmandy G-11
Vixen Super Polaris
Cookbook 245
Canon Digital Rebel XT


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