About me

My interest to astronomy started in 1975, when being 10 years old I have found the so called "Encyclopedia for children", fundamental set of 10 big books with the basic information about most of the scinces, and the most imteresting for me was astronomy. The biggest discovery was that there are a lot of things in the scies that can be seen only with telescope, and this idea has captured my mind for decades.

Then there was Moscow Planetarium with a special astronomy club for schoolchildren, 3 years of this club gave a lot for those who wanted to study the sky and astronomy. A small 130mm refractor was used for daytime observations, as some smaller scopes could be used for night observations, although even in 70-s light pollution in the center of 8 million city was too big.

At the age of 16 I started to build my first Newton, but my attempt to polish a primary mirror (100mm F/10) failed due to the cracked blank... The second attempt was more successful and I could see Halley comet in my hand made 165mm Newton. The mirror was not perfect, but the experience was good and interesting. I used it till the first half of 90-s mostly for visual use and some occasional attempts of Moon imaging using b.w. films.

80-s also gave me a very interesting experience of several observing sessions in Moscow State University Astronomy Institute, where I could visit big, 70cm Cassegrain and the view of M15 through this aperture is still in front of me. To be honest, 80-s were not full of astronomy to me, mainly due to a very heavy 6-years course of physics and other sciences in Moscow Institute of Physics and Technique, from wich I graduated in 1988. My further work in the Institute of Atomic Energy in low temperature solid state physics experimental lab was the best time in my life.

The real astrophotography started in 2000-s, when digital cameras became available. First Moon panoramas were taken through afocal projection and compact camera Nikon Coolpiox 4300. Then I found rather good VAC-135 camera, after it I switched to DMK31 and still use it for my Moon panoramas.

I continue my Moon imaging, it is hardly possible to do something else from the center of 12 million city, although I started to visit my father's summer cottage for imaging sessions (see picture above), and I hope to get my first deepsky image one day.

Dmitry Makolkin.

dvmak (at) mail.ru

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