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

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Dirty Snake

The little "S" shaped dark nebula is Barnard 72, otherwise known as the Snake Nebula. It is located towards the heart of our galaxy. As such, there are TONS of stars in this field! These Dark Nebulae are very dense areas of dust and gas that are silhouetted by the dense star fields. The Milky Way is filled with these objects.

I took this image last week at the Three Rivers Foundation, an astronomy campus located near Crowell, Texas (about 4 hours NW of Dallas). That place is AMAZING! It literally looks like a state park, but is filled with state-of-the-art astronomy gear for public use. I spent two nights there and helped out with a Star Party that 3RF sponsored -- about 100 people showed up (mostly boy and girl scouts). I demonstrated Astrophotography (what else?)

The skies at 3RF were very dark indeed, and the desert-like climate is very dry. I certainly plan on going back!

FSQ-106EDX f/5
STL-11000M -10c
LRGB (70x20x20x20) color binned 2x2
CCD Stack, CS4

Friday, August 7, 2009

Spinning in Dust

This colorful "Cocoon Nebula" is spun from dust and gas in the Constellation Cygnus. The pink/red/blue cloud is a star forming region, while a huge dark nebula can be seen stretching away from it.

Since this object resides along the Milky Way, the field is populated by BUNCHES of stars!

This object was imaged last month at the ranch:

FSQ 106EDX f/5
STL-11000M -10C (still up against the Texas heat)
CCD Stack, CS4

And here is another dark and dusty object, Barnard 142 & 143, otherwise known as Barnard's "E".

This interesting dark nebula resides in the constellation Aquila. But who is this cat "Barnard" you ask? And why is he making a list of these things?

E. E. Barnard was a turn of the century amateur astronomer who loved imaging the wide fields of the Milky Way. He became so good, he was offered a job at the Lick Observatory as a "real" astronomer. Even though he had access to powerful scopes, he still loved the wide fields that smaller apertures gave, and he commissioned his own photographic telescopes to continue his wide field studies. Read more (and see his plates) here: http://www.library.gatech.edu/barnard/index.html

Stats for the "E"

FSQ 106EDX f/5
STL-11000M -10C
(lume binned 1x1, color binned 2x2)
Maxim, CCD Stack, CS4