Welcome to my Astrophotography Blog!

This is a journal of my adventures in astrophotography -- taking images of distant celestial objects. Please look around and feel free to add your comments, questions, and critique to any of the entries by clicking the "comments" button on the bottom of each entry -- or just say "howdy!

And don't forget to click on the images for a larger view!

So choose either the Red pill or the Blue pill and follow me down the wormhole....


Comanche Springs Star Party

Comanche Springs Star Party
Doin' my thang at the Comanche Springs Astronomy Campus (where I often become a "red ghost")

Dallas Sky

Rancho Venado Sky

Atoka Sky

Camanche Springs Sky

Monday, February 23, 2009

Comet Lulin

This is Comet Lulin which is currently passing close to the Earth as it makes a lap around the Sun. I was down at the Ranch last weekend and Lulin was bright enough to see naked eye, including a faint tail. While not as spectacular as 2007's Comet Holmes or 1997's Hale-Bopp (that one was incredible), Lulin was fun to find and is the first comet I have tried to image.

I took several images, using various exposures and techniques, but this image sequence blew me away! I took 8 x 10 min exposures while guiding on the comet head (so the FSQ telescope tracked the comet's movement, thus the streaking stars). Once I saw the sequence animated I flipped -- you can easily see great plumes of material ejecting from the head of the comet, opposite the tail. Man, I wish you could see my hi-res version : )

More Lulin images on the way. In the meantime, go catch it if you can. It is at its brightest point right now and the moon is dark.


Here is a link to a B&W crop that I believe gives a better view of the ejecta...


Monday, February 9, 2009

A Seagull for Pauline

A good friend of mine, Bob Eggleton, lost his mother last week. Bob called to tell me the news and as we spoke he mentioned in passing that his mother always loved seagulls. It was a theme with her. Ironically, I had just returned from an imaging trip where I shot IC 2177 -- the "Seagull" nebula. Hmmm...

Although I shot 4 hours worth of exposure, I intended to record more image data through a Ha filter to grab much more hydrogen emission detail and really do this object justice. But Kim and I were going to go to Providence for Pauline Eggleton's memorial service (which was actually one of the best memorial services I've seen) and I wanted to take something to Bob I felt he would appreciate more than just flowers or the usual tokens. See, Bob is a professional artist who has painted many fantastic space scenes and, well, this just felt "right". So I tried my best to process what I had and create a print to honor Bob's mother.

This one is for Pauline -- Godspeed.