These last few days have really been phenomenal nights for Astrophotography!  I was set up in my own driveway on Wednesday night, I was at a friend's helping him with his setup on Thursday night, then I was at another friend's house imaging on Friday night, and then I was back at the first friend's house on Saturday night.

I already posted the object I imaged on Wednesday the Butterfly Nebula.


At the first friend's house, we first worked on getting him all set up and working out issues with his equipment, but then after we resolved those issues, we had a great time, he had excellent plate solves and goto accuracy and we slewed to and imaged the Pleiades, the Crab Nebula, the California Nebula, the Flaming Star Nebula, and the Orion Nebula, as well as a couple of NGC’s that I don’t remember the designations of.  He was very excited that he was getting good plate solves and accurate slews.  Orion looked particularly good.  We were running the equipment from inside his warm room.


Then on Friday, I went to the second friend's house and was accompanied on using my equipment by him and his wife.  We slewed to and looked at a number of different objects including the Helix Nebula, the Veil Nebula (Witches Broom part), a triangular section of the Veil Nebula, the Dumbbell Nebula, the Elephants Trunk, the Pleiades and the Horsehead/Flame Region (and maybe some others I don’t remember). I was a bit tired, and I didn’t take enough images on any one target, and didn’t really do guiding, but I am attaching a couple of hydrogen alpha image sets that I took below.  I think that Triangle part of the Veil was very pretty, I hadn’t imaged it before, He recommended it based on some work he had done with another person earlier in the week.


Then on Saturday I went back to the first friend's house.  Since we had sorted out his equipment and setup his imaging system on Thursday, he was ready to go.  We worked together to write a sort of beginners guide to get setup for and do astrophotography using a setup similar to his.  We took actual screenshots of his screen as we went through each part, even using real astrophotos we captured in the screenshots.  I think this will be really helpful to other people and we will revise the document to make it useful to others.  We included how to connect the devices, how to autofocus, how to plate solve to get a good pointing model, how to select and slew to your targets, how to set up auto guiding,how to set up a sequence, how to monitor the progress, and how to shut it all down.  In addition we imaged M36, M38, NGC 1931, the Crab Nebula, and the Horsehead.  When I left, at about 3:30 am, he was taking guided 5 minute images of the Horsehead.  I believe he said that he took about 12 of them.


I had lots of fun in this awesome clear week both by myself at home and in the company of  friends.  Thank you very much for all of your hospitality.  That’s the great thing about being in a club, those of us who have worse skies can go to the houses of the folks with better skies and we can all help each other out in Astronomy and Astrophotography.


Now I really need to get some sleep. . . 

Horsehead and Flame, Stack of 8, 3 min Ha (at the top)

Elephants Trunk, stack of 5, 3 min Ha:

Elephant Trunk Stack of 5-3 min ha.jpeg


Triangular part of Veil Nebula, stack of 5, 3 minute Ha:


Triangle Thing Stack of 5 Ha.jpeg

Astrophotography Articles

Awesome week for Astrophotography
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 270
These last few days have really been phenomenal nights for Astrophotography!  I was set up in my own driveway on Wednesday night, I was at a friend's helping him with his setup on Thursday ...
Imaging Spring Galaxies in 2018
Published: 03-21-2018 Hits: 210
It's Galaxy Season!! Since it is now Galaxy Season, I was thinking that it is a good time for me to switch back to my big scope, my homemade 10 inch f/6, to image galaxies.  I had not yet ...
Imaging the Butterfly
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 226
I had a little time last night (Oct 18th, 2017) to do some imaging in this great week of clear skies.  I chose the “Butterfly Nebula” near Sadr in Cygnus as my target.  I did not have ...
Imaging the Flaming Star and KStars Stacking experiment
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 257
One of the features that has often been requested for KStars is Real Time Stacking.  So I decided to invest some time into writing some algorithms that could be used to process, align and stack ...
Imaging The Great Mexican Space Dragon
Published: 03-21-2018 Hits: 211
On September 23rd 2017, I went to an astronomy special interest group meeting.  It was the first time I have had my equipment out since July and I think this was a good restart. ...
Imaging the Jellyfish with new powerbox
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 240
I kind of wore out my big 100 AH battery a couple of weeks ago, so I have been working on solutions.  First, on Saturday Feb 17th 2018, I solved part of the problem by getting a new 100AH ...
Imaging the Lobster Claw and solving guiding issues
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 227
On November 17th, I solved a huge problem I have had with guding. First, a little backstory, I have had some strange issues with guiding that I could never quite pin down for quite a long time. ...
Imaging the Pelican
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 235
On July 19th, 2017, a friend and I had some fun doing astronomy experiments ;-). It was a beautiful night aside from intermittent clouds every now and then.  We carefully put the ...
Imaging the Rosette Nebula
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 228
Here is an image of the Rosette Nebula that I did last night (December 20th, 2017).  This is 8 Ha and 8 OIII images that are 5 minutes apiece.  I was planning to collect a lot more data, ...
Imaging the Tadpoles and More guiding experiments
Published: 03-22-2018 Hits: 206
Last night (November 21st 2017) there was slightly better weather than the previous night, but again I got clouded out.  Anyways, I did some more guiding experiments and I did some imaging of a ...