How to Observe the Caldwell Objects Digitally
Imaging deep sky objects is a subject in itself. Indeed, entire books have been written on the art and science of digital astrophotography. However, most of these books contain far more information than the Caldwell imager will ever need, and, in practice, mastering your own equipment and software (not someone else’s) is the key to success. Of course, everyone has different equipment, and the biggest bugbears are always those that involve hardware and software incompatibilities. Fortunately, the Internet has spawned a whole host of technical user groups that you can tap into to obtain a wealth of hard-earned knowledge from other amateurs who have learned the hard way and are keen to help beginners using the same equipment. To tap into this enormous knowledge base you first need to visit: http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query = astronomy, which will give you a massive list of technical astronomy user group sites that will almost certainly include some relevant to your equipment. For example, one of the most popular CCD manufacturers, SBIG, has a user group at: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/SBIG/ The UK CCD camera manufacturer Starlight Xpress have a similar group at: http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/starlightxpress/ Consulting with such groups should enable you to cope with those infuriating USB, Windows, and hardware hassles that form the first hurdles to taking great images.