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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A galaxy called M63

Well I finally have an new image to share. I have experienced some technical difficulties (my NEW laptop had a system crash) and flaky weather has been a problem, but I managed to get this galaxy imaged and processed.

So you are asking yourself, "what is the deal with those funky names for galaxies and such"? Well, the "M" stands Messier... Charles Messier. Who the heck is that?

Well ol' Chuck was an 18th century French astronomer who really dug comets. I mean this guy just looked and looked for comets. Sometimes he would find a bright fuzzy object in his telescope and get all excited, then he would would discover it was NOT a comet and get all pissed off, record its position, and give it a number -- that way nobody would be fooled again! After a while he had a whole catalogue of "not comets". This catalogue is now refered to as the Messier Catalogue of objects and contains some of the best and brightest deepsky objects (nebulae, galaxies, star clusters).

So here is my image of the "not comet" M63 -- a beautiful galaxy (also known as the Sunflower Galaxy).

Vital Stats:
FSQ 106ED f/8
EM 200 Autoguided
QHY8 camera
13 x 15min


Bob Eggleton (Zillabob) said...

Fantastic, as always, John...

NiteSkyGirl said...

WOW what an astounding Who am I description you wrote. Your so excited about the nite sky ! A reader of mine passed it along to me and very interesting to visit. Love the photo of the night sky, 2 people , telescope and computer screen, cozy picture.

Keep up the great sharing! Enjoying it.

I am JOhn said...

Thanks for the comment Bob!

And thank YOU NiteSkyGirl for your nice comments. Yup, I love this stuff. Whenever I feel myself getting "old and cynical", I get out in the country and do some star gazing. It really re-connects me to the big picture and makes me excited about the universe we live in.

There are so many mysteries and questions we will never be able to answer. But THAT is what makes life so enchanting -- the eternal quest for answers. We live in a fascinating universe!