Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November 14 2016 Supermoon taken in Cathedral City, CA

I hope you all enjoyed the Supermoon, here's a hi-res image I took of the Supermoon in Cathedral City! This is a 25 panel mosaic stitched together to create the final image. I will say that I didn't notice much of a difference in the overall apparent size of the full Moon, but it was a heck of a lot brighter than normal.



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Spot the Space Station over the Coachella Valley tonight




Spot the International Space Station over the Coachella Valley twice tonight! The first one is almost 7 minutes long and starts at 6:39pm. At 7 minutes long, this will appear to be a slow moving, but increasingly brightening star crossing the sky. It will appear in the Northwest at a 10 degree elevation and pass through the Little Dipper near the north star Polaris. Maximum elevation is 51 degrees, then it will start to fade away into the Southeastern sky. At a magnitude -3.6 it should be pretty bright, the Sun sets at 6:06pm so it will not be the darkest sky but I've personally seen the station pass by in daylight before, so no worries. 

The second chance tonight to spot the Space Station will be at 8:18pm, this one only last for 1 minute and will be low on the horizon at a max elevation of 11 degrees and reach a magnitude 1.0. If you have a unobstructed view of the Southwest, it will pass very near the planet Saturn. 





Saturday, October 1, 2016

Triangulum Galaxy M33 Backyard Astrophotography

The Triangulum Galaxy, or Messier 33, is a spiral galaxy in the constellation Triangulum, and is visible to the naked eye under dark sky conditions. Unfortunately, deep sky objects like this are not visible to the unaided eye here in the Coachella Valley due to city light pollution. I was able to capture this on 9-30-16 during the new moon phase, and am very happy with how it turned out.

3 hours total exposure time

37x150s lights
12x180s lights
13x240s lights
68 darks
40 bias
38 flats

Equipment:
Celestron Nexstar 6se + wedge
6.3 focal reducer
canon 450d
asi120mc-s guiding

Triangulum Galaxy M33 Backyard Astrophotography


UPDATE!

Reprocessed this data with an additional 4 hours of exposure time for a grand total of 7 hours

Triangulum Galaxy M33 Backyard Astrophotography


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Waxing Crescent Moon setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains 9-6-16

Last night, I set the telescope up in my backyard and snapped a few pictures of the Waxing Crescent Moon setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs. The silhouette of the pine trees in front of the setting Moon looked breathtaking inside the eyepiece of the telescope, but only lasted for a few short seconds before it dipped below the trees and blinked out of existence behind the mountain top. I was only able to capture a couple pictures, but I think they turned out as planned, enjoy!

Waxing Crescent Moon setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains 9-6-16


Waxing Crescent Moon setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains 9-6-16

Waxing Crescent Moon setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains 9-6-16

Waxing Crescent Moon setting behind the San Jacinto Mountains 9-6-16





Saturday, August 6, 2016

Moon and Jupiter Conjunction over San Jacinto Peak 8-5-16

A conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter over the beautiful San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs California, the last one of the year I believe. Jupiter is inching closer to the horizon as each day passes, and will soon disappear from view as it does its dance with the Sun. As the planetary season winds down, I will say I am going to miss Jupiter most of all. It put on one hell of a display during this years opposition, and easily dominated the night sky for months. As sad as I am seeing it go, I am also excited because the winter sky is starting to make an appearance in the pre-dawn hours. The great Orion Constellation (and nebula), the Pleiades, the Taurus Constellation with the mesmerizing star Aldebaran and The Hyades open cluster are all starting to make their way into the night sky. We all know what that means out here in the Coachella Valley...the best winter weather in the world! And the snowbirds...lots and lots of snowbirds lol

Technical Details:
Canon 450d
ISO 100
f/5.6 MF
1/3sec exp
Post processing done in CS6


Moon and Jupiter Conjunction over San Jacinto Peak

Friday, July 22, 2016

M11 Wild Duck Cluster 7-21-16 Coachella Valley, CA

The Wild Duck Cluster, or  M11, is an open cluster in the constellation Scutum. This cluster is a rich and compact open cluster, known to contain about 2900 stars. Its name is derived from the brighter stars forming a triangle which apparently resemble a flying flock of ducks (I don't see it, but that's just me).

This is a stack of 30x1 minute exposures + 12x2 minute exposures at ISO 1600, camera used is a Canon 450d, and a Celestron Nexstar 6se telescope + wedge and a 6.3 focal reducer, 60mm guidescope + asi120mc-s. Taken in Cathedral City, CA 7-12-16

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Moon Mosaic: Coachella Valley Astrophotography 7-17-16

This is not your typical Moon picture, but a mosaic of 11 pictures of the Moon stitched together to create a very large and detailed image. 

This was actually created using 11 short video clips: I pointed at one part of the Moon, took a short video at 64 frames per second, and then used stacking software which picked the best of those frames and added them together to produce a single image. I then moved the telescope to a different part of the Moon and repeated the procedure 11 times, until I had images of the entire surface of the Moon. These were then processed to sharpen the details, and finally stitched together to create the mosaic. 

Taken 7-17-16 in Cathedral City, CA
Nexstar 6se + 6.3 focal reducer
asi120mc-s camera
64fps 3000 frames per video
11 videos total
Dimensions 3300x3100



Friday, July 15, 2016

Eagle Nebula M16 Coachella Valley Astrophotography

The Eagle Nebula, also known as Messier 16 or M16, is a young open cluster of stars in the constellation Serpens. It’s the location of several famous structures including the Pillars of Creation.

One of the inspirations that led me down the road to astrophotography was the beautiful image the Hubble telescope sent back in 1995 of the Pillars of Creation inside the Eagle Nebula. It is truly a breathtaking image, one for the ages. I was blown away, as were many others I am sure.

This is a stack of 20x2 minute & 25x3 minute exposures at ISO 1600, camera used is a Canon 450d, and a Celestron Nexstar 6se telescope + wedge and a 6.3 focal reducer, 60mm guidescope + asi120mc-s. Taken in Cathedral City, CA 6-4-16