Welcome to BKS Astronomy!
Kingswinford is a small town situated 5 miles west south- west of Dudley in the English West Midlands and not far from the Shropshire border. Kingswinford has historical links to the 1605 Gun Powder plot, Holbeche House. The conspirators forged their plan here to blow up Parliament and when their plan failed they fled back to this small country home. They were later either killed here or captured and executed in London.
I have lived in Kingswinford since 1997 and have always had a passion for astronomy, however, this took a back seat for many years due to other projects.
With all the events of 2020, astronomy came back into focus, dusting off my old Skywatcher 5″ Maksutov Cassegrain and buying a phone adapter to take pictures of the moon. From there, I progressed to a more dedicated camera, a ZWO385, and got some decent images of the Planets. However, deep sky objects still evaded me as I had no way of locating or tracking them, unless they were visible to the naked eye.
In 2021, I moved to a more up-to-date telescope with a larger mirror, a Celestron Evolution 8″HDEdge with Starsense. Utilising new one-shot colour cooled cameras, ZWO533 and ZWO2600, I was able to photograph both at standard F10 and with a Hyperstar V4 at F2. Using dedicated light pollution and nebula boost filters, I was able to capture images in a light polluted area (Bortle 6).
At F10, using the software Firecapture to image the Planets and F2, Sharpcap to image the deep sky objects. Finally, utilising processing programmes Autostakkert / Registax for Planets and Pixinsight for the Deep Sky objects.
In 2022, I was delighted to have two of my images accepted and published by magazines. The Swan Nebula by Astronomy Now and the Lion Nebula by the BBC Sky at Night.
In September, 2022, I decided to compile a calendar for 2023. This project went extremely well, selling 150 calendars reaching as far as Perth Australia, Texas USA, North Carolina, Canada and Northern Spain. “Beyond Kingswinford Streetlights” was born.
I was then asked to produce prints of my images. A selection of these have now been made available on this website together with other merchandise.
Please take a look at the images. If you want to become a true Space Cadet and join the BKS Astronomy team why not grab next year’s calendar here.