Astrophotography tips 🔝
Comets don't have the same predictable orbits as planets and travel at different rates, so how are long imaging sessions even possible? Just in time for the close approach of the green comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF), learn how to use the Orbitals plugin to track comets using N.I.N.A. software.
02 Feb 2023
Your guide scope doesn't have to be perfectly aligned with your primary scope. However, if the alignment is close enough, guide scopes usually have a wider field of view making it easier to find targets and reuse that scope as a finder scope. See how I prepare my rig during the day for a successful nighttime run.
07 Jan 2023
The Star Adventurer Mini, or SAM, is a portable system that attaches to your tripod and camera to allow you to take extremely long (such as 60 seconds to 5 minutes) exposures without star trails. In this video I explain how it works, show you how to set it up, provide examples and share tips like using your own software and polar alignment.
12 Dec 2021
It was a rare night in the Pacific Northwest. The forecast predicted a few hours of clear skies. With no optical tube assembly (OTA), I decided to test drive my new Celestron CGEM-II mount with my Sony Alpha 6300. I also filmed some time lapse with my ZWO ASI120MM-S. This is the true story of what happened.
07 Dec 2021
Image Processing 🔝
The basics of astrophotography from image acquisition, polar alignment, guiding, and calibration through image processing.
31 May 2023
Do you have the same issue that I did? Despite doing things like splitting out stars to align separately, you always end up with star streaks. I finally figured out the simple, single step to do between star alignment and comet alignment that makes all the difference and produces streak-free comets for me every time (without having to split the lights). This video walks through the full end-to-end of processing comets in PixInsight.
02 Feb 2023
Imaging Session 🔝
I set out to test my equipment in a remote setup and chose the Bortle 3 banks of the Skyokomish River northeast of Index, WA. Time lapses of the big dipper and Milky Way, river photos and my experimental targets.
26 Jun 2023
On May 19th, 2023, a new supernova was discovered at the edge of Messier 101, the Pinwheel Galaxy. This is a large, frequently photographed galaxy located near 'the Big Dipper.' I spent two evenings photographing the galaxy so I could capture the supernova to share.
19 May 2023
Gear: Svbony sv503 70ED 70mm (420mm f/7 or 336mm f/5 with reducer) doublet refractor, Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless camera, assorted Samyang manual focus lenses, Sky Watcher Star Adventurer GTi 'go to' mount, Manfrotto tripod. Targets: Milky Way, Moon, SpaceX Crew-5 Dragon trunk, M13, Orion constellation, Venus, and Antares region with part of Rho Ophiuchi.
05 May 2023
Stellina, an automated observation station that makes astrophotography easy for everyone, added a new mode for mosaics. I tested it on a wide Andromeda Galaxy and large Pleiades shot. Here's how it turned out!
17 Dec 2022
On December 14th I pointed my telescope to the sky. I captured Mars, Jupiter, and the moon with my planetary QHY5III462C before I switched to the deep sky ASI294MC Pro. After setting up an advanced script in N.I.N.A., I let it run all night and used the results to create my best picture of the Crab Nebula to date. It's all documented including setting up and balancing my rig.
17 Dec 2022
Lucky Imaging 🔝
This is a flow for planetary processing for those of you who don't want to use RegiStax. I show how to use deconvolution and multiscale linear transformations to sharpen solar system-based images.
29 Sep 2022
Learn how to use ImageContainer, ProcessContainer, and FFTRegistration to stack planetary images produced by Stellina. With a guest appearance from Pierre, my parrot.
26 Aug 2021
Using the same set of data and the default, auto-recommended settings for each program, I stacked a series of images (including lights, darks, flats, and dark flats) using several major free and commercial applications including Astrometric Stacking Program (ASTAP), ASI DeepStack, AstroPixel Processor (APP), Deep Sky Stacker (DSS) and PixInsight. I was surprised by the results and may have a new favorite!
20 Jun 2022
Simple tutorial showing how to take nonlinear images and register/stack them to improve the detail. Workflow uses the moon captured by my Stellina with seven shots. Blink, FFTRegistration script, dynamic crop, multiscale linear transform and curves transformation.
17 Apr 2021
Some footage of a lightning storm I captured in Monroe, WA on May 16, 2023.
16 May 2023
I captured this video at 2:53am on April 27, 2023 in Colorado Springs. On March 12, 2023 the joint NASA and SpaceX Crew-5 Dragon mission jettisoned a cylinder for storage called the 'trunk' before return to Earth. This video shows the trunk breaking up on an uncontrolled re-entry a month later.
27 Apr 2023
Hold on to your hats! We're going for a ride. 2023 was a breakout year for my astrophotography as I had my first access to dark sites, refined my Milky Way technique, got closer to the moon and started working with planets, processed my first comet, made my first solar filter to take solar shots, and a lot of new and improved targets with the addition of narrowband filters.
14 Dec 2023
It is the tallest peak in the Cascades and the entire state of Washington. It is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. It has over 20 glaciers, its own alpine lake system and creates is own weather. In the Puget Sound, it signals the days to be outside. 'The Mountain is Out!'
15 Jun 2023
My adventures in Grand Cayman photographing Mars, the Pleiades, Cassiopeia, Cygnus, Orion, M31: the Andromeda Galaxy and M33: the Triangulum Galaxy using my Sony Alpha 6300 mirrorless camera with 12mm and 50mm Samyang lenses, the Svbony sv503 70ED 420mm doublet refractor, and using the Sky Watcher Star Adventurer GTi mount.
25 Oct 2022
A visual tour of Orion and nearby deep sky objects Aldebaran, Mars, and the Pleiades. From 12mm wide field shots of the night sky to 1645mm ultra close-ups of nebulae, this journey ties some of my favorite images together and shows just how interconnected objects in space can be. Includes shots of M42: the Great Orion Nebula, M43: de Mairan's Nebula, NGC1977 The Running Man Nebula, NGC2024 The Flame Nebula, NGC2023, IC434 The Horsehead Nebula, M45: The Pleiades, Mars, Aldebaran, Betelgeuse and Rigel.
12 Jan 2022