Monthly Archives: August 2016

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 […]