This past summer I was fortunate to be involved in a conversation that led to me having the unlimited use of a Celestron C-14 Edge HD Telescope,  CGE Pro mount and a Nightscape CCD camera along with the matching Hyperstar unit with adapters that speeds this scope up to a nice F1.9 (think camera lens) – “faster” gathers more light in less time. Well at least until Richard finds a permanent home for it.


This C-14 has about twice the light gathering ability as my other imaging rig, a C-11 with the Hyperstar and it produces some very nice images. I also have the ability to image at the native F11 of this scope. At F11 the native magnification is perfect for planetary nebula such as these:DumbbellGBRG_C14F11_3min_colorSized



We have the Dumbbell and Ring Nebula (M27 and M57 respectively)

I think they turned out much better than my previous attempts with the C-11 ans the C-8.

Some pictures I took during the Star party.


Star Trails over the San Francisco Peaks. Polaris (North Star) is the one that is in the center. The red lights are all the folks with red flashlights moving from telescope to telescope.


IMG_3930 IMG_3933

Stars over Mount Elden and the San Francisco Peaks.



Looking south from my location. You can see the Milky Way over the telescopes.

I bought this nifty little point and shoot Canon camera that has some pretty cool features.

This one is “Star” mode which takes am 11 second exposure and processes it in camera to enhance the stars and night sky.

CAS Star Party June 2014SM

This image is a 6 panel mosaic that was assemble in Photoshop using the Automate Photomerge feature. The image was taken the night of June 28th 2014 at our annual astronomy club picnic/star party. I just set up on a regular tripod and took the 6 images attempting to catch the Milky Way band running from north to south. That glow low on the right side is the city of Williams Arizona.


This next image was just a series of 5 images taken through my telescope lens of the moon from top to bottom. Again assembled in Photoshop using the same method. I did have to sharpen and run a little noise removal on the final assembled image. This image series was simply point and shoot using full “Auto”.


Lunar Eclipse April 15 2014_2


I had set my alarm to get up about 1/2 hour before the eclipse reached totality hoping to capture the ‘blood moon”.  Rolling out of a nice warm bed at 11:45 and throwing some warm cloths on I went out and saw the moon was about 75% darkened. Hurrying to fire up the mount with the Williams Optics 81 mm telescope with a stock Canon 450D (XSi) attached to the back I did a quick planetary alignment and then slewed over to the moon.  After framing the moon as centered as possible and fine tuning the focus I  began taking pictures. The handy little program BackyardEOS did a fine job of managing the imaging session and displaying each image as it was downloaded to my trusty laptop. This is a 13 second shot at ISO 100. One example of aver 100 actually. The mount tracking the moon did a fine job of minimizing star trails and blur.  I’d say the images were well worth standing out in mid 20 deg air temps for an hour.



M45 – Open star cluster known as Pleiades, or the Seven Sisters. In the constellation of Taurus.

The hot blue stars illuminate the dust in the region to glow blueish in long exposure images.

This is a stack of 19- 180 second  images with a Canon 450D set to ISO 400 taken on January 4th, 2014


After a couple of evenings working out the balance and guiding issues I was able to capture a short run on M27



This little gem is known as the Dumbbell Nebula or the Apple Core Nebula. M27 is a planetary nebula in the consellation Vulpecula.

This object was formed when a star ejected it’s outter surface near the end of it’s life.

This is a stack of 10 – 4 minute images for a total imaging time of 40 minutes.