Thursday, December 30, 2010

Darker Skies in Southern Arizona

We went down to southern Arizona where my Mom grew up. She has some friends that had a great place with pretty dark skies and nothing blocking the view in any direction. here are a couple of the pictures from our visit

Andromeda Galaxy aka m31. I tried out a lens that doubles the telescopes field of view so i could see most of Andromeda Galaxy. it causes some distortion on the outer edges of frame.

Orion Nebula (m42) again. Much brighter in dark skies which helps create a lot more contrast. Cant wait to get back out in dark skies again!

Monday, December 27, 2010


Jupiter and 3 of its moons as seen from Phoenix.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

New Telescope!

I got a nice new telescope a few months back but have not had a chance to use it until last night. We are at my Mom's in Phoenix where it is less foggy, wet and it actually seems a little darker but probably not. Anyway here are the goods. Be sure to click on the images fot the larger versions.

M42. Very first picture!

M42 after a little more fiddling.

Same image unedited.


Eskimo Nebula.

Eskimo Nebula a bit closer and tweaked.

Took some pictures of Saturn too but I need to stack them and dont have the software on my travel computer.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pistol the Fetching Kitty

Pistol loves to play fetch. She will play for 5 or 10 or 20 minutes at a time and beg and cry when we wont play with her. As a matter of fact she is begging right now....

...and I'm back. We must spend hours a week playing fetch with her. She wants to play first thing after eating in the morning and is always begging us to play all night. I really love having such a cute fetching kitty!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

More Beach Strandings

Yum! We think this looks like a Sun Fish. What do you think?

Sun Fish are cool and get huge, like 2 tons huge. This was a foot or two long and probably 5-10 lbs. Still don't know if it's a Sun Fish but I do know it's 3D!

Also today there seemed to be a mass stranding of tennis balls.

We saw 30+ tennis balls along the same stretch of beach that the jelly fish stranding was. You can see them off into the distance if you look close.

Dutch 3D Tennis Ball Stranding Shot!

Just in case that last one was to exciting here is a more standard 3d shot for you.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Jellyfish Heaven... where jellyfish go to get away from Mormons and drunk Eskimo.

Jellyfish heaven is a lot like LA. Or maybe not. More like SF.

Wow there were a lot of Jellyfish washed up this Saturday afternoon.

And they were not small. Lots and lots of big jellyfish. Though this one was bigger than most which were more dinner plate size. I tried to talk Linda into taking a few home to make jellyfish salad with. She just laughed it off. When we were out on the beach today there was just big piles of jellyfish goo left where they had merged into one big glop. They also smelled kind of bad.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Last of the Abominable Snow Unicorns

Once thought only to exist at the end of the rare double Himalayan rainbow now captured on camera for the first time ever in Redwood "Climate Best by Government Test" City, CA USA.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This is the Wall in 3D

Yes they are in red/blue 3D. I suggest clicking to see them big.


Moon like


Wall Circles

Monday, October 11, 2010

Fish Heads

Look two fish heads on the beach. We don't see these very often which is odd since it seems like something you would see on the beach all the time. Right?

The beach patrol stopped and took a look too. They said they were white seabass that were caught on a boat off the coast where they cut the heads off and throw them over. They said you don't see them this far north very often. Then again I have no idea so they could have just been filling my head with silly things.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

And here are the rest...

...of the things I saw while catching my shooting star.

Jupiter and its moons (nearest to furthest), Europa, Io, Ganymede and Callisto! I think you might have to click to get the larger image to really see the moons.

And my first semi-successful deep sky image. This is M8 also know as the Lagoon Nebula.

It's a little more blurry than I would like but you can see it!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I caught a falling star!

Finally! That took about two years of trying and two recent sleepless nights watching and shooting hundreds of pictures of the Perseid meteor showers.

This is the full shot with the Milky Way doing it thing. Click for a bigger version. This was not the best shooting star I saw over the last two days but it is for sure the only really clear one I captured. Now I'm itching to get out to see another meteor shower.

I also got some photos of a few nebula, some new shots of Jupiter and it's moons and a LOT of shots of the Milky Way. Needed some sleep so they will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


I was on vacation last week back east in the Outer Banks where we got some fun lightning storms. I downloaded a motion detection script for the canon firmware hack (chdk) and gave it a test run. It worked great!

Double zap as in, "ZAP ZAP!"

Big squiggly zap


Ominous zap over the some houses.

Spooky zap.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Purple Storm Drain Stuff

Linda's find.

My find.

Drain closest is where Linda's find sat and the drain across the street by Linda's feet is where mine was.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

BOOM FIZZ CRACKEL Crackel crackel ...

It was pretty tame for the most part. I think this makes it look more exciting that it was. These guys did do it up with 4 or 5 minute long sets during the night and were about as exciting as it got this year.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It's been cloudy and windy..

...and hard to take pictures of things in space from here.

But I did get a slightly better image of Saturn the other day.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Boring Space Stuff

There is a comet out right now, C/2009 R1 a.k.a Comet McNaught, which I decided to try and find. Then I thought I would try and take a picture. It didn't work out so well.

I could see it okay with my telescope but my picture came out pretty bad. I had some major technical difficulties with my astrophotography rig as in I didn't test it at all before heading out. I was mostly just wanting to take my new telescope with tracking head out for a proper test run. It worked really well unlike my photo rig. I saw lots of fun stuff, Comet McNaught, Saturn, Jupiter and a galaxy or two.

I had better luck taking a picture of Jupiter.

It was a lot brighter and played better with my half working photo rig.

These two are the same but with different stack processing (stacking is taking lots of pictures of the same thing then using some fancy computer magic to get a better image).

Not sure which I like better.

Oh, and here is the first test I did a few months back trying to get a picture of Saturn.

You can sort of see it. Once I get my setup working correctly I should be able to get much better images but it's pretty exciting to get anything right now.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

3D Flying Cat

Meet Pistol the 3d flying cat! I think it defaults to parallel but if you click on the video it should take you to youtube where you can pick your 3d flavor.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


...I wanted to run but I couldn't look away.