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, May 25, 2009

Space Claw! (aka Barnard 84)

A very cool dark nebula in Sagittarius! This is a dense star field, being near the hub of our Milky Way galaxy. The yellow Globular Cluster to the left is NGC 6440 and there is a small planetary nebula in the upper left (tiny pink "box") called NGC 6445. But the "star" of this show is the claw-like Barnard 84. I love how it appears to be reaching towards us from deep space -- yipes!

I imaged this last week from the ranch. The weather was beautiful last week in the Hill Country. I was shooting this target one night until about 5a.m.

FSQ 106ED f/5
QHY8 camera
9 x 15 min
Maxim, CS3

Friday, May 22, 2009

IRIS -- take 2

Here is this years attempt at the Iris nebula. I imaged this last year but was not too happy with it. I love this object and wanted to do better. I think I did (you can find my earlier attempt looking back at last July).

Although I am excited to see myself improving, I was humbled by another Astrophotographer who took my data and created an even better image in about an hour (it took me MANY hours to process mine).

Ah, well... that's actually exciting, too. It just means I still have a long way to go to get where I want to be. And as they say, it really is about the "journey"!

This image was taken at the Texas Star Party.

FSQ 106ED f/8
QHY8 camera
16 x 10 min.
Maxim DL, CS3

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Blue Horsey

Here is an image of a wonderful reflection nebula in Scorpius. It is called IC 4592, but I like to think of it as a horse. I really love this object. It is faint, but very large. In fact, I'm just catching a piece of it.

The clouds of dust are being illuminated by the star that makes up the horse's "eye". Reflection nebulae typically have a blue color because as light scatters through the dust it shifts to the blue end of the visual spectrum (the same reason our daytime sky is blue).

I took this image at the Texas Star Party (yes, I was busy at the TSP)!


FSQ 106ED f/5
QHY8 camera
9 x 15 min
Maxim, CS3

Thursday, May 7, 2009


This is IC 443, otherwise known as the "Jellyfish" nebula (but I think it looks more like a monocular brain creature). This object is a supernova remnant -- material ejected from an exploding star. It is almost entirely Hydrogen Alpha emission so I imaged this through an HA filter a couple of months ago at the ranch, but I did not image "normal color" for the star field until the recent Texas Star Party. So here at last is the final composite : )
FSQ 106ED f/5
QHY8 camera
9 x 20m HA
3 x 10m Color
Maxim, CS3

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Needle in a Haystack

Here is The Needle Galaxy -- another image taken at the recent Texas Star Party.

NGC 4565 (aka "the Needle") gets its nickname from the obvious needle-like appearance. This galaxy is actually a disc shaped spiral (not unlike our Milky Way), but since we see it "edge-on" it does indeed resemble a needle. You can easily see the dark dust lane of the spiral arms silhouetted against the larger glowing central core.

You can also see at least two other edge-on galaxies in this field.

Image stats:

LX200 10" f/6.7
QHY8 camera
14 x 10min
Maxim, CS3

More TSP images to come, plus pics from the star party : )