With one hour and twenty minutes of exposure and several hours of processing, I have finished my work on the Pleiades Star Cluster. Also known as the seven sisters, its stars are surrounded by blue nebulae, which are difficult to see in a telescope but easily visible through long exposure photography. As the blue stars […]Read More Imaging the Pleiades Star Cluster with the Skyguider Pro
Of the seven Messier targets remaining, none can be viewed from my home and with time off from work coming to a close, few opportunities remain to complete the summer portion of my list. This was the setup for my trip to Back Creek Valley Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway July 28/29 from 10:45 […]Read More A Night Observing on the Blue Ridge Parkway
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 […]Read More A Late Night Out
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 […]Read More Exploring the Summer Sky
Returning to Deep-sky objects Even though Roanoke County has a decent amount of light pollution, probably a 4 or 5 on the Bortle Scale, there are still a great deal of Galaxies, Star Clusters and Nebula visible in the night sky. These DSOs (Deep-sky objects), provide challenging yet rewarding targets for most amateur astronomers. With the assistance of Skysafari 4’s “Tonight’s […]Read More Exploring the Early Spring Sky
Thanks to the October edition of Sky and Telescope and the good people over at Cloudy Nights, Comet 103P/Hartley 2 had been on my radar screen for sometime. Weather permitting, a view of it on October 9th looked to provide a rare conjunction of itself and the famous double cluster in Perseus. Thankfully, that is exactly […]Read More Comet in the Sky with Diamonds
We all have prejudices in one form or another. One of mine happens to be my preference of open clusters over globular clusters. While this may be true, tonight I take a slightly different position. For I have viewed the king of the globs and it’s elegance made me question my own beliefs and gave […]Read More Hercules, Milky Way, and Bats! Oh, My!
You would think that after a few months of putting the telescope in the same place every night, I would have thought to move it to reveal a different part of the sky. Trees generally block my view of the far South, but tonight I switched things up and moved the telescope next to my […]Read More The Good Ole Southern Sky