Michael A. Stecker


Dennis Persyk

Contact information
Locator Map
Level of accuracy: town of Hampshire, Illinois
I am a Physicist, retired from Siemens Medical Solutions where I was  Staff Scientist.  I have drifted away from science a bit in my imaging pursuits as I am now content to merely produce pretty pictures rather than engaging in astrometry and photometry.

 I owe my progress in amateur astronomy to my two mentors. Jack Schmidling patiently taught me all I know about image acquisition and processing.  Doc Clay Sherrod was my cybermentor, helping me to understand the mysteries of the skies and the workings of my scopes.  I owe them a tremendous debt and I endeavor to repay it by serving as a cybermentor to budding imagers on various astronomy groups on the Internet.

Areas of interest
I enjoy imaging comets because they are a dynamic target, fast moving and always changing.
Of late I’ve specialized in H-a imaging because it levels the playing field when it comes to light pollution. My H-a imagery is just as good from my 4.0 VLM site as it would be from a truly
dark site.  Such is the advantage of narrow-band imaging.

Observing site
The Igloo observatory is so named because when I first erected it, neighbors commented on the “ igloo” in my back yard.  It is located on a residential airpark in Hampshire, IL.  It is a ten-foot ProDome. I am about 45 miles east of Chicago, with considerable light pollution.  The VLM varies from 3.0 to the east to as good as 4.5 at the zenith on exceptional nights.  Unfortunately my Midwest seeing is seldom better than Pickering 4, limiting me to shorter focal lengths.

Astronomical Equipment
Takahashi Epsilon-160
Televue NP-101

Celestron C-11

Astro-Physics 1200 GOTO


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