Michael A. Stecker
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
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.
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.