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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Canadian Skies

Last week I went on a fishing trip to Pine Island Lodge. The lodge is located on a small island on the Winnipeg River in Canada. Although the main focus was fishing with the family (it was great fishing, I caught a 39" Northern Pike and Kim earned a Master Angler certificate for Smallmouth Bass), I also realized the skies were going to be dark and with no moon. So naturally I brought my "grab & go" astrophoto rig -- the Canon XSI and AstroTrac mount.

My travel rig fits neatly into a backpack and into the overhead bin on the plane, while the tripod stows in the checked bag. Fortunately, I was not given any grief by security (the AstroTrac might take some explaining).

One thing I learned about being this far north in the summer -- it only gets dark between about 12:30am to 3:30am. So I woke up around 1:30 and shot for about an hour. I wanted to get the Milky Way over the Winnipeg River, so I fought mosquitoes to get this single exposure (2 min) shot.

I then noticed the Big Dipper parked nicely over one of the cabins, so I shot another 2 min exposure.

Once I got home I got a big surprise...

Notice anything interesting about these shots? Although they were too faint to see naked eye, I picked-up the Northern Lights! They were faint but definitely there. I processed the Milky Way image first and thought the odd green cloud might be the aurora but was unsure. But when I saw the cabin image it was obvious.

Anyway, a really great trip and a nice surprise upon returning home!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Here is my image of the Cave Nebula in the constellation Cepheus. Why is it called the Cave? Hell if I know. Apparently somebody saw a "cave" in here somewhere. I'm expecting there to be a whole slew of Michael Jackson nebulae catalogued soon.

Anyway, I shot this image last month (the same trip as my previous 2 images). I did not really have quite enough data to pull all of the detail I wanted, but it is still pretty. I must adopt a bit more patience and spread my imaging of these faint targets over several nights. But it is hard! The sky is filled with so many cool objects I want to see more! Ah, but just looking at some other images of this target with 8 hours of data (compared to my measly 4) is motivation for patience -- they are very impressive.

My stats:

FSQ 106EDX f/5
STL-11000M -10C
Maxim, CCD Stack, CS3

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Inside Rho

The Rho Ophiuchus area is HUGE, and this is only a "small" piece of it that fits in my field of view. As such, it almost feels like we are inside of it.

You may recall (or not) that I imaged an extremely WIDE field of this area along with the entire Scorpius constellation back in April -- my "Scorpius Rising" image. Anyway, this is a much tighter shot that focuses on some of the incredible dark and dusty nebulosity found there.

I had some issues collecting the data for this image (clouds, trees, gradients, tequila) but after a bit of processing I was able to arrive at something I like. Heck, I love it! Space is just so damned neato (feel free to quote me on that).

For fans of stats...

FSQ 106 EX f/5
STL 11000M -10C
Maxim, CCD Stack, CS3