Monday, February 20th, 2017

The pinwheel galaxy, whose proper designation is Messier 101, is not an easy object to photograph. It has little color, and efforts to boost the color that it does have usually ends up ugly. This time around I photographed it remotely using a 20-inch telescope at Mayhill, New Mexico, at 7,300 feet. Total exposure for […]

Let our amazement not become dulled in this age of unbelievable space exploration. Ponder this image from Astronomy Picture of the Day for April 14. There is a space vehicle way out there, following a path prescribed by the laws of physics set down by Isaac Newton around 1700 and carrying a wee camera that […]

I may have a little credibility problem here, because we all know that trees don’t eat bricks. But I caught an old and wily Sycamore the other morning in the very act of slurping up a brick from a nearby sidewalk, no doubt hoping it would pass unnoticed by passers-by. It takes a sharp eye […]

The past month or so I have been collecting photons by remote control using a large telescope at the University of Arizona’s SkyCenter. Although I plan to take one more post-processing pass, I think my first effort is worth sharing with you while I am letting the experts at the PixInsight forum tear it apart. […]

You absolutely must carve out 11 minutes and 20 seconds of your time to see this animation of the voyage of Curiosity Rover to Mars. View the beautiful lift-off for the mission. I can’t help but ponder the theological implications of this unbelievable NASA mission. Why would God enable some of his creatures the ability […]

Here is a colorful, even garish, image of the Flame Nebula with the Horsehead Nebula lurking behind. I’ve had fun with this one, because it has led me up a few more steps on the Photoshop learning curve. These nebulae are part of the wintertime Orion constellation scene. If you want to know more about […]

I’m pretty proud of this one. In a previous post I showed off the grayscale luminance image taken remotely by a LightBuckets observatory in Rodeo, New Mexico on January 3, 2011. To get color, I needed images of the same nebula taken through red, blue, and green filters, and it took me until January 27 […]

I say “again” because I have been worrying this poor nebula to death for the past month or so. I promised myself that after I had wrung all I could out of the hours of data I have collected, I would write a little essay about the Crescent Nebula. Maybe this is it and maybe […]

Gaze at the dark sky and what do you see? Mostly white stars against a black background. A few of the brighter ones show some color, but the human eye is pretty picky when it comes to transmitting color information to our brain. Really dim stuff always comes out bland and gray. The eye needs […]

This is the Black Eye Galaxy, one of the thousands of deep space galaxies that pepper the universe. It is about 17 million light-years distant, giving us a glimpse into the past of the expanding universe. The dark clouds that give this galaxy its “black eye” are enormous dust clouds associated with star formation, I […]