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, January 22, 2011

Orion over Valley of Fire

Kim and I went to Vegas last week, so we took the opportunity to revisit the Valley of Fire state park. This park holds a special place for us because it is where Kim proposed to me 17 years ago (she used to complain "why must the guy always propose?", so I jokingly told her "fine I'm not going to, it is up to you!").

I had about an hour after sunset before we needed to head back to town -- just enough time to catch Orion peaking up over the rocks.

This is kind of an experiment. I purposely left the focus slightly soft to bloom the constellation stars a bit (focused past infinity). Unfortunately, it also made the foreground slightly soft. But still, I think it is kinda cool.

I was also experimenting with a flash -- firing 2-3 bursts to illuminate the foreground and distant rocks (there was no moon yet). We are planning a driving trip out west and I intend to do a lot of night landscape shooting, so I am just trying some different stuff. I think next time I will use good focus and add a soft filter to bloom the brighter stars.

Nikon D700 ISO 1600
Sigma 15mm f/5.6
45 sec

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Riddler

This dusty nebula is very seldom imaged. In fact, I could find no other examples on the internet (except for extremely wide shots that encompass the entire Orion/Eridanus area -- where this object shows as a tiny patch).

I have always noticed this nebula, being just west of the famous Witch Head, so last week I decided to see what it would look like up close. I could not find any catalog number for the nebula, so this object was a bit of a mystery to me. And when I saw the results, I was quite amused at the "?" shape -- so I call this the Riddler (as suggested to me by my pal Dave Pearson).

After posting this image, a fellow astrophotographer finally alerted me to the catalog name of this object. It is found in the Lynd's Bright Nebula catalog. It is actually 2 different nebulae -- LBN917 (bottom) and LBN906 (top).

After poking around a bit, I found more info on this area here http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxiv/pdf/0809/0809.0585v1.pdf

FSQ 106EDX f/3.63
STL-11000M -25C
LRGB 240,30,30,30
CCDStack, PixInsight, CS5