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

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Perseus Wide Field from Okie-Tex

I went back to the Okie-Tex Star Party this year in the Black Mesa area of Oklahoma (were Oklahoma, Colorado, and New Mexico come together). I camped for 8 nights and had a blast, even though the skies were cloudy much of the time this year. Even so, I did manage a few good nights of imaging.

Here is the first photo from the trip -- a wide field in Perseus that stretches from IC348 in the upper left to NGC1333 in the lower right. LOTS of dust and nebulosity in between!


FSQ 106EDX f/3.64
STL-11000M -20c
LRGB (200,50,40,60)
CCDStack, CS4

It took several nights to image between the clouds, but I am happy with the results.

See? Just look how happy I am (or maybe that's the Scotch).

Kim even toughed it out and met me for the final 3 nights. She could not drive with her broken foot, so she flew to Amarillo and took a bus to Boise City (where I picked her up). What a trooper!

Thanks to my new buddy Clayton for the pics : )

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Soul Rises

This is IC 1848, otherwise known as the "Soul Nebula" since it is right next to the "Heart Nebula" (get it? Heart & Soul). Whereas the Heart Nebula does indeed look like a heart, the Soul Nebula looks more like a foetus to me. So I kinda think of this composition as the foetus rising from the mist in the lower right -- sort of like a prenatal genie.


This wonderful open cluster and huge emission nebula is located in Cassiopeia. I imaged this critter over 2 nights during my stay at the 3RF Astronomy Campus near Crowell, Texas (a fantastic facility).

FSQ-106EDX f/5
STL 11000M -10c
HaLRGB (180,140,60,50,60)
CCD Stack, CS4

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My first published photo

Okay, I admit I got a little excited when I found out Astronomy Magazine would be publishing one of my images in their October issue (on news stands now)! For me, this as kind of a milestone.

About a year and a half ago, I picked up a magazine called "Beautiful Universe". It is an annual magazine published by Sky & Telescope and features the best astrophotography of the year. The issue I bought was devoted primarily to "amateur" astrophotographers. I was stunned by the images. I was equally stunned to learn these images were indeed being taken by amateurs -- hobbyists. Amazing. At that moment I decided I HAD to try this.

After taking my first image (M42), I was instantly hooked. THIS was something I wanted to learn and try to get good at. If only I could take pictures like the ones I saw in that magazine...

Well, after a year and a half of spending MANY hours learning this art it is very rewarding to see a photograph I took being published on a full page in a magazine. A big deal? Not in the grand scheme of things. Big bucks? Are you kidding?! But it is always nice to receive some amount of recognition, but even BETTER to actually have a venue to share your work with others. That's one reason I started this Blog.. I've gotta do SOMETHING with my photos!

Here is the image of mine they chose -- Scorpius: