Bubble Nebula


Early Christmas

For many years the AT111EDT has been my “workhorse” telescope, and it has been great, for the most part.  No longer in production, it is a widely regarded triplet refractor with an excellent optical design for its price point.  However, for the last few years I have been wanting to upgrade.  Specifically, I wanted the ‘scope pictured above (stock photo), the William Optics FLT-132.  Aside from having a significantly larger aperture, the FLT-132 uses a better grade of glass for the ED element, resulting in less chromatic aberration.  This has been a problem for me when capturing LRGB images with […]


Busy Days and Dreary Nights

The night sky has actually been completely free of clouds for several days.  Unfortunately, it has not been free of smoke.  Only a few of the brightest stars can be seen and the Moon looks decidedly yellow.  And the same weather pattern that is allowing this smoke to stick around is also keeping us very warm here.  Daytime temperatures have been well over 100 degrees F, and at night it doesn’t get cold enough for my camera to operate properly, so it’s a double whammy. I’m getting ready for the Oregon Star Party – and the eclipse!  My inventory has […]


A Sharp Picture of a Sharpless Object

A while ago, I posted a monochrome image (H-alpha channel) of M16 and another bright, but unknown (to me) hydrogen region.  The second object did not appear in my planetarium software and very few images I could find on the internet included it, so I asked people for help in identifying it.  I eventually came up with an answer myself:  It was Sh2-54, AKA Sharpless 54.  More importantly, this led me to the online catalog of Sharpless objects, http://www.sharplesscatalog.com/. Stewart Sharpless was an American astronomer who worked on a number of important projects and with some well known astronomers, including Edwin […]