Michael A. Stecker


Steven Juchnowski
Balliang East, Victoria


Contact information

Locator Map
Level of accuracy: Territory of Victoria, Australia

I recall my interest in astronomy being kindled as a young boy in the early 70s. I was reading a National Geographic magazine which had a fold out supplement of a star map of the heavens. I never heard of the Magellanic Clouds, what clouds had to do with the universe intrigued me. From that moment I was hooked.

My first telescope was the standard 2" dime store refractor. By the mid seventies I had migrated to a 10" Newtonian reflector. The Newtonian was used for visual astronomy for the next 10 years from the light polluted city of Melbourne Australia.  For a while in the mid eighties I gave up visual astronomy due to the unfavourable location. I started however to take a keener interest in astrophotography. I had always been interested but was put off by the complexities and high cost of the activity.  Finally in 1991, I bit the bullet and started my foray into astrophotography. I purchased a Celestron C-11. I made the transition from emulsion to digital astro imaging in 1997.

Outside of astro-imaging, I am a Material Scientist in the automotive industry (Toyota), basically a trouble shooter for vehicles during the production stage, and in the field.  My other interests include martial arts, bush walking, computer chess, archaeology and music. 

Astronomy Tales
What should be sedate hobby can be quite dangerous! Never use an observatory with a flip top roof in windy conditions. I had the misfortune of being brained by a closing roof has it had been swept up by the wind. Also make sure the observatory is closed at all times, it has been a favourite haunt to the extremely poisonous Tiger Snake.

Areas of astrophotography interest
Mainly astro-imaging and general visual observing.

Astrophotography publications
Sky and Telescope, Astronomy, Astronomie Magazine, Sky and Space

Observing site

Balliang East in the state of Victoria Australia.  Limiting visual magnitude >6.0.

Astronomical Equipment
11" SCT to be upgrade shortly to a 14" corrected Dall Kirkham.
  5" SCT.

Alhena GEM

CCD Camera
Santa Barbara Instrument Group  ST-8E

AIP for windows, Quantum Image,  PhotoImpact


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