NEAF was NEAT!

My first time at NEAF (North East Astronomy Forum) was great fun – like a kid in a candy store!  The above picture was taken just after the Saturday morning opening, so the place was not very crowded yet.  I heard people say that the attendance was down a little this year.  The presumed reason was that people are saving their travel budget to view the eclipse later this year.  It’s probably also true that there were fewer visitors from outside the U.S. because they are concerned about how they would be treated at the border. NEAF is run by […]


Going to NEAF

The Northeast Astronomy Forum (NEAF) is one of biggest astronomy events on planet Earth and I’ve never been to it – until now!  This years forum is next weekend, April 8&9 (see http://www.rocklandastronomy.com/neaf.html for details). NEAF should be a great experience for anyone interested in astronomy and/or space travel, but I’m particularly excited because I’ll finally get to meet a bunch of people I’ve known only online or by phone for many years.  This includes vendors from whom I have made purchases, customers who have bought my products, and fellow astro-photographers (with some overlap between all these categories).  There will be more […]


Can we get some sunshine here?

The solar telescope I ordered months ago just arrived, which likely means the Sun will not show itself any time soon.  This is a Lunt LS60THa with pressure tuner and straight-through 12mm blocking filter.  Except for the “straight through” part (as opposed to the diagonal that is normally used for visual observing) this is a pretty common solar telescope, allowing you to safely view the Sun and see details of regions in the hydrogen-alpha band.  This is the same spectral line that I often use in photographing nebulae, but for the Sun a much narrower filter is required.  I use […]


Exploring the Intersection of Art & Science

As noted in a previous post, next Wednesday (Feb. 22) evening Dr. Katherine Kornei and I will be speaking at the 510 Museum in Lake Oswego, OR (http://artscouncillo.org/events/).  I will show some of my astro-photos and talk about how I capture and process them, while Dr. Kornei will talk about science behind some of the objects in my photos.  We gave a similar presentation last year at a private club meeting, but this is the first time it will be available publicly.  One addition to the presentation is that Dr. Kornei will talk about some prominent women in astronomy, in […]


Book Review: Earth in Human Hands by David Grinspoon

Dr. David Grinspoon was the speaker at the January meeting of the Rose City Astronomers and I’ve just finished reading his new book, “Earth in Human Hands” and want to tell you about it. The obvious central theme of the book is that we humans need to solve the problem of climate change, but it explores this and many related topics in great depth and from many perspectives.  Since I am not nearly as skillful a writer as Dr. Grinspoon, I will not attempt to thoroughly cover these ideas, but I do want to give you my take on the book […]


Exhibit Opening

The opening reception for the exhibit of Astro-Photography was well attended, especially considering the predictions of icy road conditions.  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures while people were there, but did get a few shots later.  The first, above, is from the entrance and shows most of the photos.  Mine are along the wall on the right, plus the backlit prints in the rear left corner (where it is darkest). The front part of the left wall is a collection of 11 prints from Tracy Brown: Tracy has been a successful photographer for some 50 years and started doing astro-photography with the […]


Astro-Photography Exhibit

This is what an exhibit of astro-photos looks like before it is hung: The Arts Council of Lake Oswego (Oregon) asked me to put together a collection of photos in connection with the library’s “Lake Oswego Reads” program, which is featuring the novel “Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars” by Nathalia Holt.  The arts council has a very nice, large gallery, the 510 Museum and ARTspace.  In fact, it’s a little too large for my collection, so I asked a few other local astro-photographers to participate in the show […]


The Cone in Different Colors

For no particular reason, I tried some different ways of combining the narrowband channels of the “Cone & Fox Fur” image and came up with this: I like both versions, but have to choose one to print.  So which do you prefer (the other version is in the previous post here)?  


Cone & Fox Fur, +2

Two years after capturing the hydrogen channel of this image and five months after the last time I was able to do any astro-photography, I have finally managed to finish this image of the Cone and Fox Fur Nebulae: You might notice that this doesn’t look exactly like the NASA APOD image I referenced in my last post (https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap161224.html).  Aside from the rotation, it is mostly different in that this is a narrowband image, while the APOD image is (or appears to be) a broadband/natural color image.  In both cases the dominant features are composed of hydrogen (in red), but […]


Welcome to 2017, Year of the Solar Eclipse

Ignoring politics (which seems like a wise thing to do), the biggest news item for 2017 just might be the total solar eclipse that will be visible across almost all of the U.S. on August 21st of this year.  I plan to write fairly often about all things solar this year, and post at least a few solar images – especially after the new solar telescope arrives in a few months. I had hoped to get at least one new image captured before the end of 2016, but it didn’t happen.  We had one clear night recently, but I was too busy […]