I’ve taken a number of images over the years, as an amateure astronomer. I’ve learned it is very interesting work, but extremely difficult to succeed, especially when you do not have advanced equipment. Since I really started to delve into astronomy in a serious way, about 1998, things have changed considerably. I’ve decided to share some of the images I have captured over these years, some better than others, some showing my amateur skills, (or no skills?). In my opinion, the most important part of the task, is getting the focus, assuming you have a guiding scope and software, and good seeing and sky conditions, etc. Because without this, the detail is just lost. From there you can improve the quality of the image in other aspects. So, here they are……
These images are a series I took in November 2007 of Comet Holmes. This was a while back of course, but this was one of the strangest experiences I can recall while observing. I remember seeing a object to the northeast one night, could not identify it at first, it looked like a globular cluster. But was in the wrong location. Next night it was much brighter, and when the news broke of the new comet, I was able to take this sequence of images. I believe this all occurred in about a weeks time….
Another image that seems to make one’s imagination wonder is M8, the Lagoon Nebula. Images of this object usually focus on the core and surrounding area. My image expanded the view to a much wider area where the nebulosity clearly extends a great distance away from the center of the object. Canon Rebel XT wih full spectrum modification, Takahshi FS-102, PHD guiding with Philips SPC900 webcam.My Celestial object imagery also captured some more unique experiences. One in particular, is the Transit of Mercury across the Sun which I captured on November 8, 2006. This event will not happen again until May 9, 2016 and will only be visible in the eastern Portion of the US.
Total Lunar Eclipse
This next image was the recent lunar eclipse or “Blood Moon” on the morning of 4/15/14. I had real big ambitions to get the beginning, the maximum and end of the event. But…because this occurred at 2:30AM CST, I missed the height of it, but flew out of bed at 3:36 and captured this image.