Flintstone Stargazing

Album: Best Images

Here are the images that I am most proud of. Most of them can be viewed at a higher resolution by clicking on them. Clicking on the images also will display the details of each image in terms of the number of exposures, time of exposure, type of camera, telescope and more.

This is the image that I am most proud of. Between March and August of 2008 I captured an image of all 110 Messier Objects. The image above is the composite image I created of all of these. I have a printed poster of this image hanging in my house.

The Horsehead Nebula is a famous target and also a difficult one to capture. The difficulty comes from the faintness of the nebula as well as the fact that that it is a dark target, created by dust blocking light from behind, not an illuminated one.

The Orion Nebula is one of the brightest deep sky objects in the sky. It’s a great target visually and is easy to capture with a camera. This wide-field image of M42 is one of my favorite images both because of the subject as well as because of the wide field that it is captured in.

At the end of October, 2007, Comet 17/P Holmes erupted into view as a naked eye comet. I took a long series of images, superimposing them on the background of stars in Perseus as the comet made it’s way across the sky each day. It shows both the growth of the comet as well as its curved trajectory.

These two images were taken during the 8/28/07 lunar total eclipse. They were featured on wired.com, local TV news, skyandtelescope.com and several other web sites and are my two most viewed images. Even though when I view them now I realize that there are a number of things that I didn’t do right when I got them, they are still favorites because of how much publicity they got and because they were my first astrophotos I thought were good.

This series of the moon during September 2007 captures the phases from crescent through full. It looks better at higher resolution, so click on it.

Jupiter is a great target to look at through the scope and this is my best picture yet. I had a really good focus and good alignment to be able to easily see both the Great Red Spot and 3 of Jupiter’s moons all at the same exposure level.

Saturn is a great object to look at through a telescope. This is the best image I’ve got – you can see some cloud bands as well as just a hint of the Cassini division.

Mars is a tough target to get and this is, by far, my best picture. You can see the polar caps and some surface detail as well.

This was one of the first images I took with my LXD75 scope and DSI-II camera. I really like the nebulosity and the definition within the nebula.

This was one of the first time I got autoguiding to work well and is made up of 1 minute sub-images, which is much longer than I’d ever really done before. Or at least ever done without some star-trailing going on.

11 Comments »

  1. Nice Pix. I found you after listening to 365 Days. Good Job.

    Comment by Vance — January 21, 2009 @ 3:07 am

  2. One of the best pictures of the Orion and Dumbell I have seen.
    Way to go.

    Comment by Tom Mozingo — May 28, 2009 @ 2:19 am

  3. Very nice. Its amazing that amateur can get good pix. I plan to try it, but I’m not sure if I can get equipment to match up with my telescope. (But I’ve heard of people gluing web cams inside of toilet paper rolls to jury rig a mounting system.)
    Carry On!

    Comment by Vance — July 24, 2009 @ 12:49 pm

  4. I just ran across your pages. I think these are some of the best amateur pics I’ve ever seen. Very impressive. Good job!

    Comment by Andre — February 3, 2010 @ 10:21 am

  5. I’m from your neighborhood, these pictures are awesome. I’m looking forward to purchasing some equipment and seeing what we can do.

    Comment by Amanda Walker — September 24, 2010 @ 11:03 pm

  6. I just started CCD imaging with my minimal equipment (and intend to keep it that way as I am more of a visual observer and want to see how much I can accomplish with such equipment). I am still amazed at what I can image with my Meade DSI I Color and Celestron NexStar alt-as 102GT. seeing what you have accomplished here makes me want to do more. The modest DSI is a great little camera!

    Comment by Darren Wong — September 18, 2013 @ 1:06 am

    • It has worked very well for me and the price was certainly right!

      Comment by Ed — September 18, 2013 @ 8:56 am

  7. One thing I do notice about it though is that the stars never seem to focus down to a single point no matter how hard I try (with the Hartman’s mask as well!). But I guess I can’t complain as I bought this CCD camera for $100 used on Astromart ;) Maybe someday I will get bitten by the astrophotography bug full force. As it is, I have already started looking at GOTO EQ mounts (bad bad me) and just sold off my 10″ dob to make way for a C8 OTA. But then again my dream is to buy a 16″ truss so…humm…anyway keep the images coming!

    Comment by Darren Wong — September 18, 2013 @ 1:12 pm

  8. Well, I think it’s the small size of the pixel wells that the stars bleed over. I’ve done some imaging with the DSI using a 200mm Nikon lens and there the stars can be as small as a single pixel. But it’s not an SBIG, that’s for sure.

    Comment by Ed — September 18, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

  9. i actually have a small 70mm Celestron Travelscope OTA that will ride well on the NexStar mount. Might give it a go and see if I can get wide FOV. Read somewhere that the stars get blobbier the wide the FOV becomes.

    Comment by Darren Wong — September 18, 2013 @ 4:28 pm

  10. Great images, see you got Leo triplet M65,66 and 105 in one pic, Thanks,Chris

    Comment by Chrisruns180 — April 17, 2014 @ 7:51 am


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