How to photograph at night

Astronomy, Astrophotography, wordpress













The purpose of this article is to help me document what I am learning about photography and maybe help someone else.  I am also learning my Cannon T5i camera. I am trying to learn how to photograph at night so I can take pictures of stars.  I am also trying to learn WordPress so I can write better articles for the Raleigh Astronomy Club  in my position as content manager.  The first thing I learned is I need to use a remote control.  That is it the second thing I need to learn how to use.   Fathers Day 2020 I woke up around 4:00 AM and discovered it was clear.  I was staying in the guest house of my friends rental unit, his family was in the main house. I had left my tripod over there and decided not to retrieve it. So I found a chair to set the camera on and tried to get a picture of Jupiter and Saturn.  


So my question is how do you focus at night.  I guess I am need to learn how to find a far off light in the middle of the night. Another question is why does the camera’s shutter release not work when I am out at night sometimes.  I found out the answer to that question. I changed the setting to Al Servo and it seemed to work better but I don’t want auto focus.So in word press how do I insert a photo. This picture is a picture of Venus near sunrise.


I will be adding to this article shortly.  

Do you dream?

My Testimony

2020/06/15 Weird dream last night.  The post office found some lost packages and called me to inspect them.  The label looked fine and it was addressed properly no reason they would have been lost all those years.   Sometimes relationships can be that way.  We let little things get in the way.  Look at the big picture do you know where you will be spending eternity?  Are you worried about things on this earth that will rust and decay? Check out my testimony page.

How to pray

My Testimony, Prayer


2020/06/12 So today I decided to start listening to spiritual things on my podcast in addition to astronomy.  My search terms included the word evangelist.  And the first thing that came up was a podcast on   How to prey perhaps for the first time.  No it is not my first time but it sure feels like it sometimes.  I found this podcast interesting.  The dynamics of the three speakers, the questions they came up with. I hope it helps someone.  I had asked this question at a zoom service that my church was having Tuesday night,  I found it a coincidence that this item came up first. Be sure to navigate over to My Testimony Page to learn more about my spiritual life and to learn how you can walk with Jesus.

In memory of Dayton Hamvention 2020

Amateur Radio, Astronomy


It’s all set.  I have received permission to hold the net Saturday.

In memory of Dayton Hamvention 2020 Astronomy Meets Amateur Radio will conduct a Amateur Radio net Saturday May 23 5:00 PM EDT/2:00 PM PDT

The net will be on the AllStar System 42235 TGIF Network and Echolink System 42704.

I would eventually like to work out a HF frequency 

The Carolina 440 URL Feed is

Astronomy Meets Amateur Radio wishes to thank The Carolina 440 UHF Link System for the use of the link repeater system. 

Thanks to member Andy Clegg (W4JE) for suggesting the net.

The group was featured on The show Ham Nation Amateur Radio News Line last night. Chick it out

I monitor amateur radio frequencies that include  EchoLink on Carolina 440 System Node number 42704. I also monitor the Amsat talk group on DMR, 98006. I  Hope to hear you on the air and clear skies!  DE N4MQU

I was there for the First Space Shuttle Launch

Space Travel, STS

It took a lot of planning to see the first Shuttle Launch in 1981.  I did everything by the book. I was living in Norfolk, VA and I had to write for a launch pass I believe it was through our congressman but not quite sure. I received my pass and it was on the Atlantic Causeway.  Well what do you know we had delay after delay they discovered the tiles on the underside of the Space Shuttle Columbia were coming off.  The tiles were used to dissipate the heat as the shuttle came in for re-entry. Luckily my employer was supportive of my need for them to be flexible in my vacation schedule.

At some point I had two friends from the Richmond area indicated an interest to go for the launch also.  I know them from our common interest in the astronomy hobby. This was an excellent match and we were able to share the drive and expenses and celebrate the event after it happened. So not sure where to go from here. I missed seeing all the Apollo launches in person but for some reason I didn’t want to miss the first space shuttle launch.  I have a scrap book full of articles about various space events.  The way the US has done its transition since Apollo has been short sighted. We should have continued building our manned space program and not cut it off after the moon landings were cancelled.  The last Apollo mission was the ASTP in 1974.  This was the reason I really wanted to attend the first Space Shuttle launch.  It had been six years since the last manned launch.

Now I don’t remember much of the trip down to Florida but I do remember the day of the scheduled launch day.  It was a beautiful day.  All the launch preparations were going smoothly.  As we got into the space center started getting crowded. Well that is when the things started to go wrong.  The crowd control was non-existent and parking at our designated area was unorganized. We did find a spot and once we got settled it seemed to be ok.  We must have been hearing mission control audio and other than that we had to wait. My father had taught me to get to events early. We were following the launch activities and the count got down to t-9 minutes and holding.  Well the launch didn’t proceed as needed.

Apparently the computers were not talking to each other.

So we had to leave our parking area and ended up going to Disney World along with everyone else. That day was the most attended day at that time.  Florida refused to waive the toll road fee to help elevate the congestion.

Our activity for the balance of the time is not remembered by me but on the re-scheduled launch day we were there once again early and it was anther beautiful day. I don’t know the inside story but something happened between the original scheduled launch and the re-scheduled launch the organization of the parking and traffic control at the cape was fantastic. We were once again parked but this time everything was in a neat line and organized.  This time everything for the launch went smoothly.  It was my first launch. I believe it was my friends first launch too. Anyway I remember seeing the launch feeling the power and I watched the spacecraft as it changed into a star like object as it got into the upper atmosphere.

I had always intended to attend other launches and did attempt to see one with my nephew but they had an extended delay due to an oxygen leak in the cabin. Fast forward when the shuttle program was cancelled I decided to attend the last shuttle launch. At that time they weren’t sure if they would launch the launch on need vehicle after the last scheduled launch of STS-134. Atlantis was prepped on the pad for STS-134 for a launch on need vehicle.  So at the time of STS-134 was launched I was there. For the launch of Atlantis my nephew Nick decided he wanted to go so we were there for that. Please see my future story about the last shuttle launch.

Tarheel Scanner and Shortwave Listening Group


This area has a unique organization for individuals interested in Short Wave Listening and Scanner listening. The group is a special interest group of The Raleigh Amateur Radio Society club. They are on facebook at Tarheel Scanner/SWL Group. We have toured multiple 911 centers as a group and I have been privileged to attend many of them. A couple of years ago we had a tour of the ABC11 TV Studio in Durham, NC.  Here is the YouTube link or you may look at below. 

Amateur Radio Satellites

Amateur Radio, Astronomy

All my hobbies seem to involve detecting the invisible that happens to be the name of my YouTube channel. I have some videos on there.

It is difficult for one person to operate the radio and the camera. But getting the audio is important. Equipment used is the arrow satellite antenna and my Icom 7100 VHF/UHF/HF Radio.

Even kids can do it here is a special event station

N4T Dry Turtugas Youth DXpedition

I did not actually work this station but you can hear them.


Establishing a Telescope Parking Position


In my current circumstance at home, I have a lot of trees. But I decided to establish a Telescope Parking Position anyway.  We got a couple of clear nights in a row so on Friday April 10, 2020, I sought establishing my parking position. I purchased 6 stakes to hammer into the ground for the three legs of my Celestron Advanced VX Mount.  I aligned the telescope to Polaris using the Polaris Pointer and adjusting the position.  I checked the level of the three legs and adjusted to the level position accordingly. I hammered the three stakes into the ground and proceeded to do a star alignment with my StarSense accordingly.  I couldn’t do an auto alignment due to the trees so I did a star alignment.  I chose Arcturus as my alignment star.  Well, I went back to the telescopes home position and tried to see if I could get back to Arcturus and it I was succesful in finding the star in my finder scope but not in my ocular.  I tried calobrating StarSense but I am not sure if I followed all the instructions correctly and once again found Arcturus in the finder scope. I didn’t think I was perfectly aligned but I saw the moon rising in the trees and decided to have StarSense go to the moon.  I was happy that it traveled to the correct direction but ended up just below the moon but not within finder field view.  

At the suggestion of members in my astronomy club, The Raleigh Astronomy ClubI purchased the Celestron SkySync GPS Accessory.  I think it actually helps give you a correct starting point.

I have been struggling to get my StarSense to find targets as easy as Celestron shows in the video but have not been successful but I will not give up. I now see that in the past I did not level my tripod. I also think the date had been wrong.

The other day I was listening to the ALPO podcast and they pledged if they mentioned the Covid-19 virus in the podcast they would drink a shot of whisky. I didn’t mention that in my whole article….oops 


Stake 1

Stake 2 Tripod 2

Stake 3 Tripod 3

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Celestron 8″ Edge HD Telescope

My Testimony

My Testimony


ACTS 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

I was baptized by my pastor at the Rock Church of Virginia Beach, VA, but I was also later baptized by the Holy Ghost.  I remember that day it happened and when I fell down, I came back singing unto the Lord.   You can believe what you want but this happened to me.

I wish I could say I am a perfect person but I am not.  In my early years we went to church and as I became a teen we strayed away from going to church and then we went into the world. I didn’t hang around with the bad crowd or get into trouble but did stray away from church.  I joined  a multilevel marketing plan (Amway) and we had meetings out of town and in those meetings they had church on Sunday. I went to that church and they invited me to their local church in Virginia Beach, VA, The Rock Church.   They were an independent pentecostal style church and the pastor was a recovered drug addict and gave the glory to God for his recovery.  I went to church every time the door opened and served in the ministry by taking turns recording the sermons in the back room. Old fashion tape recorder.  I was the only one in my family going to church. One day I got an offer for a promotion with  my company to move to Raleigh, NC.  I accepted that offer and it took me to Raleigh, NC and I tried to find a new church home but strayed away for 30 years until I found The Passage Church in Knightdale, NC. (After I moved to North Carolina my whole family had started going to church again.) 

I’ve told my current pastor that I had never witnessed to anyone about Jesus but I hope this posting encourages anyone in this area.  In my fathers hometown Rockingham, NC, there is a story about Preacher Davis.  Everyone he met he would ask them if they knew Jesus. I want to be more like him.

At our weekly bible study the subject of spiritual gifts came up and a reference was given to me of 1 Corinthians 12. I am trying to figure out my spiritual gifts and what I can use to glorify God. I use an app on my iPad called  Blue Letter Bible . As you can tell by my webpage I enjoy astronomy, amateur radio and more. I felt I needed to somehow have a gift of knowing the scriptures from cover to cover and then I could get involved in my own mission telling people about Jesus.  But in reading One Corinthians 12 this morning

1 Corinthians 12:4 (ESV)
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit;
and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord;
and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.

In further studying using the lookup feature of the app for variety I see varieties mean The quality of being different or diverse; the absence of uniformity, sameness or monotony.

I am subject to changing my thoughts but  I guess what I am seeing I am using my gifts when I am showing friends the planet Saturn for the first time or the moon, I am using my unique gifts same way a preacher uses his gifts to teach scripture to his flock. 

I am still studying so if you wish to send me comments please do so.

As a service to my readers, I invite you to submit prayer request using the following forms.  I will not share your personal data with anyone but may share your prayer request with other believers.  As your prayer requests are answered feel free to contact me at