Michael A. Stecker


Kevin Smith,
Woodford Halse - Northamptonshire, UK

Contact information
http:// www.siriusobservatoriesuk.com
Locator Map
Level of accuracy:
town of Woodford, England

I have been interested in astronomy since my early school days. Initial curiosity was heightened with the manned space flights of the sixties which I followed with great interest. Afterwards, as I grew older I bought a small 60mm refractor from Dixons which though appalling did give me a chance to try a little astronomy. I became an active member of the Leicester Astronomical Society at the age of 15, and had access to larger instruments, and some assistance to forward my hobby.

As time progressed my interests changed from astronomy to beer, women, music & motorcycles. However, astronomy never left me. I spent many a festival lying on my back thinking: "I really ought to do a little more astronomy sometime".  I eventually got a small house and decided after initial years of hardship to purchase my first reflecting telescope -- a Meade 10" LX200. 

I am area sales manager and training officer for MetPrep Ltd -- a supplier of metallographic consumables equipment and image capture & analysis systems.  I was married and then divorced.  Since then I have built an observatory and channeled my energies into things that I like doing: solar astronomy and deep sky imaging. I am a member of the SPA, BAA (British Astronomical Association), NNHS astronomy section, Guildford Astronomical Society, and Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society (FRAS).  My other interests include photography for which I obtained my AIS, rocks & minerals (FRPS), beer, microscopy, Hawkwind (cult band), cheese, ancient sites, Egyptology, hi-fi, and my dog Sandy.

Astronomy Tales
No major tales, but have survived various storms, fallen over many a guide rope, split my skull open on counterweight shafts and the usual traumas.
I have experienced most of the pit falls of the careless astronomer in the field and still go back for more.

Areas of astrophotography interest
Solar astronomy and deep sky imaging

Astrophotography publications
BAA Journal, The Society for Popular Astronomy, Genesis 2 the search for the truth continues - Dr Les Howarth, The Sky & Night
Have had several images on the television.

Observing sites
Home site
The Sirius Home Dome Observatory
Remote site
Local Star Parties such as The Equinox Star Party on East Anglia.
Visual magnitude variable, weather very variable.

Astronomical Equipment
Telescopes include RCOS 12.5" Truss tube RC with instrument rotator & TCC,
a Takahashi FS128, and Takahashi FCT 76 all mounted on a Paramount ME mount.


SBIG ST10E with USB upgrade and True Technology filter wheel for deep sky.
A Basler A101firewire camera for Solar & Lunar imaging using
Aquinto A4I Docu software.
I also have a TouCam.

The SKY 6, Adobe Photoshop,
CCD Soft, Registax and A4I Docu software


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