Michael A. Stecker


Tunc Tezel
Bursa, Turkey


Contact information
website reference
Locator Map
Level of accuracy: Bursa, Turkey

I was born on 2nd June, 1977 in Bursa, Turkey. I have always been interested in astronomy as far as I remember. One close conjunction memory burned in my brain turned out to be on 14th June 1983, a very high conjunction of the Moon and Venus; according to investigation on a desktop planetarium.  My first observation (recorded) was on 29th February 1992. First astrophotograpy came late 1992. I bought my first telescope, a 80 mm newtonian, in 1993.

I have always lived in Bursa apart from the years spent in Ankara for a college education. In that time, I and some friends in Middle East Technical University's AAS organized a trip to Kastamonu for 500 people to see the total Solar eclipse of 1999. After graduating as a civil engineer in 2002, I try to spend as much time as possible to observe the heavens, mostly from back home. But weekend escapes to Ankara, Uludag, Izmir or Antalya are always welcome.  My other hobbies
are Bird watching, nature photography, geology, skiing and trekking.

Areas of interest
After all these years, I think I like taking standard or wide angle pictures of sky with foreground, preferably with planets and the Moon.
Others: Eclipses (of course); close conjunctions or occultations of bright star/planet/bright cluster
with/by the Moon; all-sky photograpy; time-lapse composites or movies, especially retrograde motion; meteor showers.

Astrophotography publications
Astronomy Now, Sky & Telescope
Night Sky (Atlas,Turkish geography magazine)
"How To Identify The Night Sky" by Storm Dunlop
(3 photos)
        "Practical Astronomy" by Strom Dunlop (3 photos)
        "Night Wonders" by Jane Ann Peddicord
        "The Story of Science" by Joy Hakim
2002 calendar by American Museum of Natural History


Music CD

back cover photo; Fly From August, The
Distant Light Travels
2005 Amateur Astronomy Symposium in Istanbul, presentation
Permanent Exhibit, Denver Museum of Natural Science
Many daily newspapers and news websites in Turkey (articles) and a few international ones

Observing sites
My prime observing spot is the rooftop of my apartment block in Bursa, Turkey, with a fine (but
light-polluted) view in all directions, but south.
40d 11'N,  Longitude: 29d 2'E
Remote Sites
Due south and southeast of my home lies Uludag, the highest mountain in the region, rising 2543 meters above sea level. This mountain is a national park and a ski resort as well has a good road up to 1865 meters, my dark sky heaven (Ml~7).

I occasionally travel to Ankara, where I went to college (Middle East Technical University) to meet
friends and go to Beynam Forest (40 km south of Ankara). The place is around 1400 m above sea level (39d 40'N, 33d 5'E) (Ml~6.5, except for due North).  Another good place for observing for me is around  Antalya, by the Mediterranean Sea. A few degrees to the South really helpes. Best spot near Kas (36d 12'N, 29d 38'E) (Ml~6.8).

Astronomical Equipment
Meade 8" LX10 SCT
Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) SLR
Zenit 12XP SLR (for really cold conditions, my first camera since 1993)
Pentax Spotmatic SLR
home-made medium format all-sky camera,
home-made barn-door drive (since 1996).
Philips TouCam Pro 740 webcam
Adobe Photoshop 6,
Grasshopper's ImageAlign 1.2.1


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