Friday, June 24, 2016

Mars 6-23-16 Cathedral City CA - Nexstar 6se asi120MC-S

Here is a shot of Mars taken last night 6-23-16. Mars is shining brightly at the moment, due to its recent opposition last month. The desert heat has limited my deep sky imaging lately due to tons of image noise, but the planets are still shining brightly, as is the moon. This was taken with my new ZWO asi120mc-s planetary camera attached to a Nexstar 6se. This camera blows my old Phillips spc900 webcam out of the water! The surface details really stick out in this one, and you can see cloud formations. This is my best image of far!

Mars 6-23-16 Cathedral City CA - Nexstar 6se asi120MC-S

Mars 6-23-16 Cathedral City CA - Nexstar 6se asi120MC-S
Here is another one from 6-25-16, way better seeing this night!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Lagoon Nebula M8 taken in Cathedral City, CA

The Lagoon Nebula, or M8, is an emission nebula in the constellation Sagittarius. This nebula is a giant interstellar cloud some 4,000-6,000 light-years from us here on Earth. Currently, the best time to view the Lagoon Nebula in the Coachella Valley is around 2am looking south. It lies near the Milky Way core, and has plenty of beautiful neighboring eye candy such as the Trifid and Eagle Nebula. As with most nebula, this one is best viewed with a high powered telescope and nebula filter.

Equipment used: Celestron Nexstar 6se with wedge + 6.3 focal reducer, Canon 450d

22x180s lights
22 darks
22 bias
22 flats

Processed in DSS

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Space station flyby over the Coachella Valley, CA 5-27-16

I always have such a fun time tracking the International Space Station, and this time I was at least halfway ready for it. I was in my backyard and spotted the station rising in the southwest and made a mad dash inside to grab the tripod and camera. I had only a moment or two, and was only able to capture its trail in a 5 second exposure, but boy was it bright! By the time I had taken the picture and previewed it, the space station was already heading out of sight in the northeastern sky.

Taken in Cathedral City, CA

Equipment used: Canon 450d

Space station flyby over the Coachella Valley