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....

JOhn

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 25, 2010

Upside Down!

Got back a week ago from our trip to Australia and New Zealand. Needless to say we had a GREAT time (despite the 20 days of rain). This was my first view of the Southern skies, and although the weather was a killer I managed to find 2 clear nights in dark parts of the countries to observe and image.

This first shot is of the galactic core of Milky Way that is straight over head. This is special because in northern latitudes, the core barely gets above the horizon and is harder to see through all of the additional atmosphere. But straight up at zenith... WOW!

I was on Thornton Beach in New Zealand and just finishing an imaging run on the Large Magellanic Cloud (yet to be processed), when I noticed an odd "fuzzy patch" rising over the sea. A few minutes later it climbed up and over the dormant volcano Moutohora... it was the (upside down) Pleiades!

So I took this shot about 1 AM. You can also see the star Aldebaran and the Hyades cluster peeking into frame on the right.


On another clear night I found myself in Wangaratta, Australia. So I drove over the hills and into wine country, parking next to a vineyard. It was VERY dark, except for a little light dome from a nearby town (that you can see in the pic). This was the first time I ever saw the Magellanic Clouds (the 2 fuzzy patches to the left of the Milky Way). They were fantastic! These two galaxies orbit the Milky Way and are only 2 of 3 galaxies (the other being Andromeda) one can see "naked eye" from Earth.

Here is another quick shot of the Milky Way dropping down over some palms on a beach near Cairns, Australia. It was a bit cloudy that night (evidenced by the red clouds drifting by, illuminated by light pollution) but still a great night on the beach.

All images were taken with my Nikon D700.

7 comments:

NERT said...

In these types of photos, do you typically use photoshop to do some additional processing, or are they pretty much just the raw photos?


Thanks,
Paul

Neutronman said...

Hi Paul,

Except for the first image of the Milky Way Bulge, all the other landscape shots are single exposures that were developed using Adobe Camera Raw (color correcting, histogram & contrast, noise reduction, etc.)

These shots were actually pretty close to the finals.

Efren Cuaresma said...

my god i never knew you could see the actual milky way with the naked eye... must do this!

subtitulo said...

Wow... wow.. speechless. :)

Jakub Mathia said...

OMG! fantastic!!! I wanted to live there.
when there is the possibility to see this?!

Unknown said...

GREAT SHOTS! I'm new to astrophoggin'. Can you suggest a photo stacking program or know where I can read more about photo stacking? Of course I've Google'd it but cant seem to find a GOOD way to do it. Advice?

jazzysuz said...

I had the pleasure of seeing the Milky Way every night while in Cairns for 3 months visiting a friend. It's beautiful to behold. Hoping to go back and this time instead of just enjoying the view, I'll get pictures of it. And Jakub, I would love to live there too! It's beuatiful there in the wet tropics.