A Trip to Jupiter

Io casting an impressive shadow as it moves between Jupiter and the Sun. Tracking these transits across the surface of Jupiter is a really interesting observing opportunity and shows the ever evolving dance between Jupiter and it’s many moons.

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The Summer Portrait is Complete

Tonight, I completed my imaging goal for the summer. Mars, Jupiter and Saturn have all been filmed, stacked and processed using a DSLR camera. All three of these images were captured at f/11.8 which means the images above are at accurate scale to each other as viewed through the Orion Xt8i. Mars was the last […]

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A Late Night Out

June 7/8, 2018: Those Summer Nights Summer is not a favorable season for amateur astronomy. The nights are short, dew sneaks up on you and the insects are annoying. On this night, the skies were clear, the dew point was reasonable and the insects were not biting, at least not that bad. With the moon […]

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Exploring the Summer Sky

The summer months can be a tricky time for observing. The nights are short, the weather is erratic and dew starts to build up on the telescope as soon as the serious observing begins. Nights that are clear, calm and cool are rare to come by and should be taken advantage of. I did just that on the night of […]

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Bringing Detail to Jupiter and the Moon

In 2015, I detailed my “Small Steps into Astrophotography”. Since then, I have done little with imaging and processing. That is, until this week. I’ve returned to the complicated, yet rewarding, world of astrophotography. To start, I focused on two great targets for beginners, Jupiter and the Moon. Jupiter, which is near opposition, is as big as it will get […]

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Mars is Back!

Mars is back, and I have a hard time believing how much time has passed. It was in February of 2012 that I last wrote about “The Return of Big Red”. Since that time, much has changed on Earth and a hovering sky crane lowered “Curiosity” onto Mars’ surface, continuing NASA’s legacy of remarkable planetary […]

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The Return of Big Red

“Guess who’s back, back again. Big Red’s back, tell a friend!” Eminem-February, 2012 (Referencing the orbital cycle that bring Mars and Earth near each other for incredible views every two years) Good ole Slim Shady has it right once again. If you are into planetary observing, now is the time to pull out the long […]

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The Summer of Clouds

With the fall air turning ever so colder, I thought it would be a good time do an overview of how my “summer of astronomy” went. Being a teacher, I was looking forward to June, July and August to provide me with some late night observation opportunities. While, there were some nice and clear nights throughout […]

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