Q1: At first, congratulation that your nice image won #ASIWEEK. Can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Arturo Buenrostro, I’m from Mexico, but I’ve been living here in Dallas for 15 years. My job is in the media, radio and TV, but my hobby is astrophotography and photography in general.
With my faithful companion Leia
Q2: Why do you love astronomy? What does it mean to you?
Astrophotography, for me, is like a magnet that catches you and you don’t let go. When I was very young, about 13 years old, my father bought a very homemade telescope, and from there I fell in love with looking at the sky day and night. At that time there was a great eclipse, and from there I was also caught when I could see this great phenomenon in magazines and news images, and of course, I said one day I would be taking photos too. And it has a special meaning for me because you realize the great gift that we have been given to be able to contemplate the wonders of the universe and not only contemplate it but capture it in photographs.
Q3: When did you start astrophotography? What was your feeling when you first saw the image showing on the screen?
For the first time I took astrophotography, it was 10 years ago, and obviously it was a blurred image and not well-focused, but for me it was love at first sight, it was an attraction, and then the challenges of wanting better and better began. We continue on the path to improve images as a team.
Q4: What gear do you use for astrophotography? Any pictures of them?
I have a Celestron Edge HD 11” and a Takahashi 106ed. The instruments that I use to take solar photos are a lunt 60ha and a lunt 10mm ha, with ZWO ASI178MM and ASI290MM. But I have other ZWO cameras like ASI183MC, ASI174MM, ASI2600MC Pro and ASI2600MM Pro.
Gear 1: Lunt 60mm Ha double stack Telescope + Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro + ASI178MM
Gear 2: Lunt 100mm Ha double stack Telescope + Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro + ASI290MM
Q5: Your ASIWEEK image “Solar activity” was outstanding! How did you capture it?
I love solar photography, and every day and at every moment it gives us a totally different landscape. I usually pay attention to when it is showing outstanding things, so take out my equipment and capture them, and this time it happened, I saw that there was a lot of solar activity. Then I began to capture. Sometimes it lasted more than an hour because the seeing was not good. But it is important to keep insisting until the objective is achieved.
Q6: It seems that you have spent a lot of time taking pictures of the sun. Why do you like Sun imaging so much? Does it have a special meaning for you?
The Sun is for me the most important star in our solar system. From the first time I saw images through a ZWO camera and the lunt telescope, it was impressive. It is an inexplicable attraction, and also because whenever you turn to observe it, you will have different and surprising views and images. But you have to be very careful all the time. Always make the disclaimer that if you don’t have the right equipment, taking risks to observe the sun can be very dangerous for your eyes.
Q7: What do you think is the most difficult part of Sun imaging?
Achieving precise focus and tuning the filters correctly are challengeable. Sometimes it’s too difficult to focus or tune, and I have to leave it for another day. I also use a cover for my computer as can be seen in the photos, to be able to better observe the images. Many solar astrophotography colleagues do it from inside the house, I could, but actually, to be able to achieve these images, I play a lot with the tuner of my telescopes, which I do manually, that is why I think that the images with other colleagues make such a difference, and sometimes the fortune of having good seeing.
I use a PC with a cover, and FireCapture
Q8: Do you have any other targets in 2022?
It would probably be possible to get a team with even greater scope (152mm), and improve in nebula photography too, which I also love and in the process.
North American Nebula, Bortle 9, 10h 10′.
Equipment: ZWO 2600MC Pro + Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro + Takahashi FSQ-106EDX IV + Radian Triad Ultra Narrowband Filter
Q9: Did anyone inspire you in the early stages of your astrophotography journey?
First of all, my father who was the one who bought me my first telescope, and then my brother Luis. They inspired me first and then to see so many images on the internet, and to have the challenge of being able to be at a similar level one day.
Q10: What kind of CMOS cameras do you want us to develop in the future?
Well, I would suggest cameras focused 100% on solar cameras, especially, for example, the ASI178MM or the ASI290MM but with cooling because it does get quite hot in solar photographs.
Equipment: Lunt 100mm H-Alpha Double Stack + ZWO ASI290MM + Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro
Q11: Does your family join you when you take the astrophotos?
No, my wife and my daughter have other activities, and they are not regularly in my astrophotographs. But they really like to see when there are planetary or lunar observations, they always accompany me that time.
Q12: How many ASI cameras do you have? Which one do you like most?
I have the ASI174MM, ASI178MM, ASI290MC, ASI290MM, ASI183MC Pro, ASI2600MM Pro and ASI2600MC Pro. The camera that I like the most is the ASI290 both mono and color. It is number 1 for planets and solar surface capturing.
Equipment: Lunt 60T/B1200 + ZWO ASI178MM + Sky-Watcher EQ6R-Pro
Q13: What achievement have you made on astrophotography during 2021? What goal do you have for 2022?
Well, in 2021 my photographs have been published in prestigious magazines, worldwide, as well as in recognition of NASA APOD, APOD GrAG in Italy, AAPOD 2. Anyway, I think they liked my photos in 2021. In 2022 that the solar cycle number 25 promises a great solar activity and we will be there to overcome what has been achieved this year.
Q14: What’s your impression of ZWO? Do you have any suggestions or feedback to us? Please feel free to tell us.
Just to thank the only brand that I think has grown enormously in recent years and thanks to the fact that it makes better equipment. And above all, the facilities for more and more people to approach astrophotography. Now thanks to ZWO, anyone from their cell phone or tablet, can control the astronomical equipment, congratulations and thanks for also taking into account solar photography.
These solar images are astonishing. I am truly amazed with them. You’ve deserved a remarkable recognition and congratulation. Excellent work.
Great detailed solar image on page 41 of June issue of Sky & Telescope