Early Images - Saturn, Jupter and The Great Otion Nebula (M42)
These are my first attempts at planetary imaging - along with the Great Orion Nebula. All of them were taken in 2007 from my back deck which is about twenty feet high and jiggles just enough to really goof up any image. Also, these are all unguided images of only 1 or 3 minutes. An Alt/Az mount is notoriously difficult to polar align well enough for unguided imaging as is evident here :)
My Very First Images - The Moon
I started imaging way back in 2007 with my Meade 10" f/10 SCT. These are some of the first images I did with my brand new SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC camera with the 10" scope on my new Losmandy G-11 equatorial mount.
Comet Hartley Animation - 103P/Hartley
This was a fun project as part the astro photography class I was taking at Cabrillo College.
Dr. Rick Nolthenius had taken a series of images of Comet Hartley. The comet's faint tail is just barely visible at the 2 o'clock position. I used five of the subs to create this .gif animation.
Location: La Selva Beach, CA
Date: December 2007
Mount: Meade Alt/Az
Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
Camera: Meade OSC
Exposure: 0.25 sec
Location: La Selva Beach, CA
Date: April 2008
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC
Exposure: 1 or 3 minutes.
Location: Big Sur, CA
Date: October 08, 2010
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -25c
Exposure: 5x5min. subs = 25min.
Messier 13 The Moon hartleyanimation




Messier 5
Messier 5 is a globular cluster discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1702. It is about 24 million light years away. It has a diameter of 165 light years, and is 13 billion years old with between 100,000 and 500,000 stars. It is one of the oldest globular clusters yet discovered.
Messier 11 - The Wild Duck Cluster
Messier 11, also known as the Wild Duck Cluster is an open cluster discovered by Gottfried Kirch in 1681. It is about 220 million years old and contains around 2900 stars.
Messier 13 - The Great Hercules Cluster
Messier 13 is a globular cluster with approximately 500,000+ stars. It is 25,000 light years away and 145 light years in diameter. In 1974 a radio message was sent to M13 from the radio telescope at Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The message contains information on different aspects of the human race.
Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
Date: May 13, 2012
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -18
Exposure: 18x3min. subs = 54min.
Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
Date: September 30, 2009
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -23c
Exposure: 4x5min. subs = 20min.
Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
Date: October 2, 2010
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -16c
Exposure: 1x10min. = 10min.
m5 m11 m13




Messier 34
Messier 34 is an open cluster that lies 7200 light years from us. it was first discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna sometime before 1654 and was later added to Messier's list in 1764. This cluster holds around 400 stars, and at least 19 of these are white dwarfs.
Messier 45 - The Pleiades
Messier 45, sometimes known as The Seven Sisters, is an open cluster. It's made up of a number very hot blue stars that formed within the last 100 million years. The cluster is moving through an interstellar dust cloud and illuminating the dust which makes the dust cloud a reflection nebula.
Messier 71
Messier 71 is a globular cluster that was discovered by Philippe Loys de Cheseaux in 1746. It is about 13,000 light years away and is at least 25 light years across. It is about 9 billion years old.
Location: Borrego Springs, CA
Date: October 29, 2011
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -12c
Exposure: 20x1min. subs = 20min.
Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
Date: October 23, 2011
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm @ -14
Exposure: 6x10min. subs = 1hr.
Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
Date: October 22, 2011
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Orion 190mm f/5.3 Mak/Newt
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -14c
Exposure: 20x1min. subs = 20min.
m34 m45 m71




Comet Lulin - C/2007 N3 (Lulin)
Comet Lulin is a long period comet - which means that it has an orbital period of at least 200 years or more. Long period comets have near-parabolic orbits and generally will not return to the inner solar system for hundreds or even thousands of years. It's possible that they may visit the inner solar system just once. This comet was first imaged at the Lulin Observatory in Taiwan in 2007, but was only identified by a 19-year old Chinese student from the photos taken in Taiwan. This image was taken on a field trip with my astro photography class near Big Sur in March of 2009.
Jupiter Impact
This image is a stacked series of approximately 1300 video frames taken by Dr. Rick Nolthenius in 2009. The dark spot in the upper right of Jupiter is the scar left in the atmoshere from a comet impact also in 2009. The white spot to the upper left is one of Jupiter's several moons. Jupiter is so large that it would hold over 1300 Earths. I stacked the video frames with Registax and then processed it in Photoshop. Jupiter's South Pole is in the upper right.
Moon and Boeing 757
This one of my favorite images. It was the first time I tried to image the Moon at Bonny Doon Airport. I had set up to take a series of 10 images at .015 seconds exposure time. The Moon was low in the West (looking toward the north/south high altitude airline routes just off the coast) and about to go behind some trees. When I got home late that night I checked out the pictures and initially thought that a bug had landed on the telescope. As I zoomed in a bit I realized that I had accidentally captured a Boeing 757 crossing the Moon. I never would have been able to capture this if I had been trying. :)
Location: Big Sur, CA
Date: March 2009
Mount: Losmandy GM-8
Telescope: Meade LDX-75 8" f/4
Camera: SBIG ST-2000xcm OSC @ -25c
Exposure: 1x10min. = 10min.
Location: Unkown
Date: 2009
Mount: Unknown
Telescope: Unkown
Camera: Unknown
Exposure: Unknown
Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
Date: August 14, 2010
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -18c
Exposure: 1x .015sec. = .015sec.
cometlulin jupimpact moon-1




Moon
This image was the first I ever took. it was taken during my first astro photography class at Cabrillo College with Dr. Rick Nolthenius. The area in the middle is Mare Imbruim.
Moon
This is the original image of the image to the left.
Moon
Taken at Bonny Doon Airport in August of 2010.
Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
Date: September 10, 2008
Mount: Meade Alt/Az Mount
Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -20c
Exposure: 1x .01sec. = .01sec.
Location: Cabrillo College Observatory, CA
Date: September 10, 2008
Mount: Meade Alt/Az Mount
Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -20c
Exposure: 1x .01sec. = .01sec.
Location: Bonny Doon Airport, CA
Date: August 14, 2010
Mount: Losmandy G11 Go-To
Telescope: Meade 10" f/10 SCT
Camera: SBIG ST-4000xcm OSC @ -18c
Exposure: 1x .015sec. = .015sec.
moon-2 moon-3 moon-4




NGC 457 - The Owl Cluster
In the spring of 2016 I purchased a new camera - an SBIG STF-8300m along with an 8-position filter wheel. Integral to the filter wheel is an Off-Axis-Guider with a fairly wide FOV. This image is my "First Light" image with this camera. The Object is NGC 457, an open star cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia. It is about 7900 light years away from us, and around 21 million years old. It was first observed by William Herschel in 1787. It is also referred to as the Owl CLuster or the E.T. Cluster. This is my original - the image to the right is the same image - just spiced up a bit with some star spikes. On this trip to Borrego springs we had a tough time with tubulent atmosphere so I suspect that this image could have been focused just a tad better. Sorry 'bout that:) An auto-focuser is next on my wish list.
NGC 457 - The Owl Cluster
This is the same image as the one to the left - just spiced up a bit with some star spikes.
In looking closely through this image and comparing it to the same region in The Sky X planetarium program - I found that a good percentage of the stars in this image are double star systems.
Using a filter wheel and processing a true RGB image is a new way of imaging for me, so I expect to be fighting the 'ol learning curve again. Although this would be a great opportunity to re-image a lot DSOs.


Location: Borrego Springs, CA
Date: October 27, 2016
Mount: AP900 GTO
Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
Camera: SBIG STF-8300m @ -12c
Exposure: 04x05min. subs = 20 Min.
Location: Borrego Springs, CA
Date: October 27, 2016
Mount: AP900 GTO
Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
Camera: SBIG STF-8300m @ -12c
Exposure: 04x05min. subs = 20 Min.

ngc457 ngc457