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 clus
ter 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 turbulent 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.
Neptune
Neptune is the eighth and farthest known planet from the Sun in the Solar System. In the Solar System, it is the fourth-largest planet by diameter, the third-most-massive planet, and the densest giant planet. Two billion miles from Earth and 15,300 miles diameter. One Neptune orbit around the Sun takes 165 of our years. Nuptune sports at least thirteen moons. After painstakingly comparing this image with my planetarium program (TheSkyX) I can definitely say the big blue dot near the center is Neptune.
                               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.
                               Location: Borrego Springs, CA
                               Date: October 19, 2017
                               Mount: AP900 GTO
                               Telescope: Celestron 9.25" f/10 Cassegrain
                               Camera: SBIG STF-8300m @ -08c
                               Exposure: 04x01min. subs = 4 Min.
ngc457 ngc457 Neptune




NGC 5139 - Omega Centauri
Omega Centauri was first cataloged by Ptolemy in Greece in 150 A.D. At a distance of 16,000 light years and a diameter of 150 light years, it is the most massive globular cluster in the Milky Way. It is estimated to contain around 10 million stars and has a total mass of 4 million solar masses.
The stars in the core of Omega Centauri are so crowded that they are estimated to average only 0.1 light years away from each other. It has been speculated that Omega Centauri is the core of a dwarf galaxy that was disrupted and absorbed by the Milky Way.
NGC 104
This globular cluster was first recorded in 1751-2 by Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille, who initially thought it was the nucleus of a bright comet, and later added to the Messier list as Messier 1 by Charles Messier. In the constellation Tucana, and lying 13,000 light-years away, NGC 104 (47 Tucanae) is the second brightest globular cluster behind Omega Centauri. Current thinking is that this globular cluster contains about 10,000 stars and may be around 13 billion years old, which is unusually old. This cluster contains numerous x-ray sources and also has 25 known millisecond pulsars. In December 2008, Ragbir Bhathal of the University of Western Sydney claimed the detection of a strong laser-like signal from the direction of 47 Tucanae.

NGC 4755 The Jewel Box Cluster
Nicolas Louis de Lacaille first discovered this open cluster in the constellation Crux back in 1751-52 while populating his catalog at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa. The cluster was later named The Jewel Cluster by John Herschel, who described it as "a superb piece of fancy jewelry." Herschel recorded over 100 members of this cluster in 1834-1838. Its age is estimated at around 14 million yrs. and is the youngest known cluster. It lies about 6,400 light-years from Earth.
                                  Location: El Sauce Observatory, Chile
                                  Date: January 1, 2020
                                  Mount: Mathis MI-1000
                                  Telescope: Planewave CDK24 f/6.6
                                  Camera: FLI PL9000 @ -25c  (CHI-1)
                                  Exposure: 3 x 5min each for RGB. Total 15 min.
                                  Location: El Sauce Observatory, Chile
                                  Date: October 21, 2020
                                  Mount: ASA DDM85
                                  Telescope: ASA 500N
                                  Camera: FLI PL16803 @-25 (CHI-2 50mm)
                                  Exposure: 6 x 3min each for RGB. Total: 1 hr.
                                  Location: El Sauce Obs, Chile
                                  Date: April 9, 2021
                                  Mount: Mathis MI-1000/1250
                                  Telescope: Planewave CDK24
                                  Camera: FLI ProLine PL 9000  @-25 (CHI-1)
                                  Exposure: 6 x 5 min RGB Total: 30 min
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ngc 104