OSP


Off to OSP

The word of the day is chaos.  I’ve been getting ready for OSP (the Oregon Star Party), which starts next week.  To give you an idea of just how busy it has been here at Wa-chur-ed Observatory, we’ve had multiple nights of beautiful, clear skies lately, but I have not been out to the observatory at all – too many other things need to get done.  Very few things have higher priority for me than collecting a few photons from a dark sky. But I do have some progress to report as a result of my “indoor work”:  First, I’ve […]


Eclipse Report, Part 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3a0nZAFfcEI&feature=youtu.be The above video is one of three that I captured during the eclipse.  This one uses a “white light” solar filter and is fairly wide angle, as it was intended to show the extended corona (and some nearby stars) during totality (more on that later).  The second was shot with my H-alpha solar telescope and is much more “close up”.  That one needs a lot of processing, since each frame of the movie requires processing hundreds of frames to produce a good image.  The third one is essentially useless.  In the not to distant future I hope to add […]


Eclipse Report, Part 1

You may have heard that the total solar eclipse caused some major traffic jams in Oregon.  I managed to avoid most of that by traveling to the Oregon Star Party (OSP) on Aug. 15th and returning very early on the 22nd.  That is, I left at 5AM.  Apparently, very few people are willing to get up early to beat the traffic, so I managed to get out of the path of totality (where most people were) while they were still sleeping. I have only a vague memory of a solar eclipse when I was a kid, and it probably wasn’t […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]