Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Last of California

No, California isn’t going away, this is just the last photo from my recent trip down there.  This is M78, captured with the SVX80T at f/6, and the ASI1600 camera.  I shot the same target last year with the WO Star71, which has a significantly wider field of view, and also got it from the remote observatory in Australia with a somewhat narrower field of view.  I’ve repeated the effort because none of these captures has been entirely satisfactory.  This one is better than I expected given that it was captured in just 6 hours or so, over the last […]

What’s Up with Betelgeuse?

Today’s APOD image is fascinating on several levels.  The pair of images above are of the star Betelgeuse, a “red supergiant” (type M1-2); one at the beginning of 2019 and the other at the end of the year.  Aside from our own Sun, we generally think of stars as true “point sources” of light, having no dimension.  Even though Betelgeuse is an enormous star (if it were located where our Sun is its outer surface would be out past Jupiter), and relatively close at about 700 light-years, it is quite remarkable that our modern telescopes are able to actually resolve […]

Easy Hard

Here’s one more image captured during my trip to California, the Orion Nebula.  Orion is a favorite of both astrophotographers and visual observers.  It is often the first target beginners shoot, and one that some people shoot over and over again.  In fat, the first astrophoto I captured that I was really happy with was of the Orion Nebula.  Part of the reason for its popularity is simply that it is gorgeous.  But equally important for the beginner is that it is very bright, so it’s relatively easy to get a decent image of it. At the same time, it […]

A Horsehead from a Horse Country

I’m back home from California, and starting to work on some of the images I captured down there and haven’t yet processed.  The place we set up our telescopes is actually right next to where some horses live, so it seemed appropriate to shoot the Horsehead Nebula in Orion.  Well, I was planning to shoot this anyway, but I hope all the horse people out there will appreciate it. The Horsehead itself (below and slightly right of center) is a dark nebula, a dense cloud of dust that is blocking light that originates behind it, forming a silhouette.  In many […]