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 22, 2010

Cepheus Mosaic

Here is a 2 panel mosaic from the constellation Cepheus. I wanted to frame both the Bubble Nebula (far left) and the Cave Nebula (far right) into one composition, so this forced me to shoot two different fields and blend them together into this mosaic. It was a lot of work, since I shot separate passes for L, Ha, R, G, B, and then not only did these pieces need to be registered, but also matched in terms of exposure (which can vary because of angle in sky and high clouds, etc.). But I am very happy with the end result.

There is so much to see in this field -- red emission nebulae, dark nebulae, reflection nebulae, dust, etc. Sometimes these images remind me of abstract surreal art by artists such as Tonguy, Matta, or Richard Powers (I am a huge fan of these artists).

This image represents about 9 hours of exposure last week at the 3RF astronomy campus.

FSQ 106EDX f/3.64
STL 11000M -10C
LHaRGB 225x135x65x35x75
CCDStack, PixInsight, CS5

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Dusty Serpent

This huge dust field resides in the constellation Cepheus. It stretches from reflection nebulae VDB 150 to VDB 152. This represents one of my favorite types of objects -- dusty reflection nebulosity.

Reflection nebula reflect light from nearby stars (duh) as opposed to emission type nebulae that glow like a neon sign. As such, reflection nebulae have a naturally cool 3D appearance.

I imaged this last week at the 3RF astronomy campus and had 3 excellent nights of clear dark skies! Not only that, but the Perseid meteors put on quite a show. It was a fantastic trip.

FSQ 106EDX f/3.64
STL 11000M -10C
LRGB 195x40x40x40
CCDStack, PixInsight, CS5

(imaged flipped for presentation)

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Blast from the Past

Here is a shot of the Cygnus & Cepheus region of the Milky Way I took last fall at the Okie-Tex Star Party. I never processed it because I never thought the data was very good. But a week ago I started testing a new (to me) piece of software called PixInsight designed specifically for processing astro images. I decided to go back to old data to see if I could resurrect anything. I'm pretty happy with this test run!

Not only is this data a "blast from the past", but you can see the remnants of a literal blast from the past -- the Veil Nebula (a supernova remnant). Look closely and you can see some tiny semi-circular "arc" type structures at the far left.

Canon XSI at ISO 800
AstroTrac mount
Nikon 85mm lens (I think)
15 x 3min
DeepSkyStacker, PixInsight, CS5