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

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Bird and the Sisters

I recently attended the Eldorado Star Party in Southwest Texas. I had a terrific 4 nights of crystal clear skies. It was my first time attending and I had a great time.

Before heading out to dark skies to do my photography, I always plan what objects I want to shoot and make careful notes regarding composition, etc. When I was looking at some image data I shot at Okie-Tex back in October, I noticed my M45 and Vdb27 targets were very close and if I were to shoot a couple more panels, I could create a very large mosaic of this area in Taurus.

And so on my recent trip to ESP, I did : )

So here is a 5 panel mosaic. This area is just FILLED with dust! I love the dusty tendrils that seem to reach towards M45 (the Seven Sisters) in the upper left. In fact, the Sisters are so attractive it appears they have caught the attention of a dusty bird that shoots a glance their way (LBN777 in the center).

FSQ 106EDX f/3.6
STL11000M -25C
approx 18 hrs of exposure
CCDStack, PixInsight, CS5

Looking back over my last few objects I have lot of dust and reflection targets (okay, they ARE my faves). So next I'll try to do something a bit different... maybe.


Polaris B said...

Oh, don't stop with these. They are amazing. Eighteen hours from a dark site! No wonder these are great. Very cool. Do you know of anyone else producing such wide fields of dust?

Neutronman said...

Thanks PB!

Thanks! Yeah, I love the work of
Thomas "Dust Buster" Davis


Rogelio (not strictly dust, but great wide field stuff)

Check'em out!

K7JEB said...

Congrats on having this image selected for the APOD of 11/18. It's now part of my desktop wallpaper collection.

Cristina said...

@K7JEB Same here! I saved it twice so it'll circulate more often!
Congrats John! Its so interesting to hear the behind the scene of an APOD photo.

NigelB said...

Superb John

I'm a big fan of the wide field dusty images.

Well done!


Mr. TSP said...

Very stunning, John! Congrats on the APOD selection. I'll never be able to look at the Pleaides the same again. This image is simply beautiful. Hope to see you at TSP and Okie-Tex next year. Tom L. South Bend, IN

John said...

Howdy and Congrats on APOD
Awesome wide field combo my friend!
Was great to see you guys @ OkieTex
Say hi for me too. See ya next year.
John W from Colorado.

John said...

Howdy and Congrats on APOD
Awesome wide field combo my friend!
Was great to see you guys @ OkieTex
Say hi for me too. See ya next year.
John W from Colorado.

Neutronman said...

Thanks all! And I am pleased to be able to contribute to anybody's desktop : )

wanderer said...

Excellent photo! Astonishing wealth of nebulae!!!

Biddie said...

Fine work! I love seeing broader field photos since they show more of how a feature like the Pleiades fit into their surroundings.

Hoping to see more of your work on APOD!!

Jens said...

This is very beautiful --- and useful! Would you mind if we use this for some serious research into star formation? Actually, if would be great if you could get back to me... I am the first hit when you combine my name with "JPL". Thanks!


Jens Kauffmann

Neutronman said...

Thanks again, folks!

@ Jens -- Happy to help in any way. I sent you an email via the form on the JPL site.

G said...

Stunning work! I stumbled upon your website via the APOD website, and started browsing around. I'm amazed at what can be captured at ground level. This particular shot is simply amazing. What kind of telescope do you hook up to your camera?

Neutronman said...

Thanks Gary!

I used a Takahashi FSQ 106EDX refractor for this image (my wide field scope). I also use a TEC 140 refractor for medium field work, as well as several camera lenses for extreme wide field and night landscape work.


What's that weird tubular looking thing in the middle and should I be afraid of it?