Night Visions

2017 Calendar Now Available

I always have a few calendars for the coming year available at the Oregon Star Party in August, but now it’s time to make it available to everyone.  I’ve updated the information on the Products>Art/Prints tab for the new calendar.  The general format of the calendar is the same as previous years, but I’ve made some refinements to the astronomical events included to make it more useful.  I’ve also added an additional insert page with information about the total Solar Eclipse happening next year. The supply of calendars usually runs out long before the end of the year, so don’t […]


That Was Fun, Now Back to Work!

I’m sorry I haven’t posted here for a while, but you’ll understand when you see a few pictures from our cruise to Alaska: We left from Seattle, a city known for rain and clouds, but it turned out to be the warmest and sunniest day of our trip. Johns Hopkins Glacier in Glacier Bay.  The ship stayed here for a while as we waited for the fog to clear.  The captain even turned the boat around so people on both sides could see the glacier without leaving their rooms! A huge chunk of Margerie Glacier falls into the bay.  I […]


OMSI After Dark

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is a very popular family attraction in Portland, and you will usually find a lot of excited children there.  But the OMSI After Dark program is for adults only.  Some of the themes for these events are not suitable for children, but mostly it’s just about giving adults an opportunity to enjoy OMSI’s magic without kids. On Wednesday, August 31st the OMSI After Dark program will focus on astronomy, and I will be there representing both Wa-chur-ed Observatory and the Rose City Astronomers (RCA), our local club.  For more information see: […]


Can You See it?

As noted in my 2016 Calendar (, there will be a very close conjunction of Venus and Jupiter tomorrow, August 27th.  Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), the closest encounter of the two planets will be difficult to see here in North America.  It’s not surprising because Venus is never very far from the Sun, and at this time it’s actually quite close. However, if you wait until just after sunset you should be able to see them just above the western horizon for a short time, and they will still be quite close.  On the east coast the separation will be […]


Images from the Oregon Star Party

Since returning from OSP I’ve been busy catching up on a backlog of orders, on top of the usual chaos here at Wa-chur-ed Observatory.  But I took a break from that to do a quick processing of a couple of images I captured at OSP.  These were both done with my “work horse” system; the AT111EDT refractor and QSI683wsg.  First is the Iris Nebula: I’ve captured the Iris several times before, as it is one of my favorite targets, but have never been really happy with the images.  This is definitely the best one so far, showing a lot more […]


Perseid Meteors

You have undoubtedly heard that we are in the midst of the annual Perseid meteor shower, and that it is expected to be about double the usual rate of meteors.  I wasn’t able to go to a very dark location (as you should, to really enjoy a meteor shower), but did go to a spot with a good foreground scene, the Portland Women’s Forum, near Corbett, OR. I was expecting a handful of people and that I would be able to sit in my car with the camera & tripod nearby.  Boy, was I wrong!  There were hundreds of people […]


Five Good Nights and a Free Light Show 1

Just back from the Oregon Star Party – 6 nights in the high desert at Ochoco National Forest.  5 of those nights were good for astronomy (most of them very good).  And then there was Friday.  Folks from the Forest Service came by to warn us that a severe electrical storm was likely in the evening, which made people pretty nervous.  I don’t think we’ve ever had any injury or damage from lightning, but wind is a very common problem that has caused a lot of damage in the past, so most people secured their outdoor furniture and such, and […]

Portland PhotoFair

One more post before I leave for the Oregon Star Party:  On Saturday, August 13, the first ever Portland PhotoFair will be held, and I will be a guest speaker (see  PhotoFair began in California’s Bay Area in 1975 and continues to do annual shows there, as well as satellite shows in other cities. My presentation is titled “Astro-Photography for the Terrestrial Photographer” and is an introduction to AP aimed specifically at experienced photographers.  It will have a brief introduction covering astronomy equipment and concepts, then jump into specific techniques for photographing several types of night sky images. I […]

Night Visions

The 2016 Oregon Star Party

I haven’t posted anything for quite a while here – and it may be another while before the next post – because I’ve been consumed with preparations for the Oregon Star Party (OSP), which will run from Aug. 2nd to the 7th (see for details).  This year I will have more images, and more prints of all kinds, than I have ever had before.  In fact, I haven’t yet figured out how I’m going to display everything in my “mobile gallery”/motorhome, Gamma Pictoris. First among all the things taking up my time is the new 2017 Calendar: This calendar […]


Saturn Visits the Edge of the Milky Way

Another photo from last weekend’s star party: You might recognize the area in the lower right corner from earlier photos I’ve posted.  The large yellow/red blob is the star Antares (bloated by its extreme brightness), to its right is the globular cluster M4, and above that, surrounded by blue dust, is the Rho Ophiuchi complex.  But this very wide field image (more than 25 degrees across) shows how this area resides at the edge of the Milky Way.  The dense stars and dust of the Milky Way appear as glowing red and black on the left edge, gradually fading to […]