Astronomy

My Observatory

My Observatory is nothing special, I just bought a pre-fab storage shed locally for about $1000. Had a bed of stone laid down for it, and had a concrete pad poured so that people and telescopes would be level, with most tripping hazards removed. Totally unfinished inside as the one picture below shows, but weather tight, and so far rodent free.  I surrounded the whole thing with fencing so that when I have cows in the pasture, my pad isn’t getting pooped on!

My Observatory

My Observing Equipment

Explore Scientific 5 inch Refractor, it is a wonderful instrument to observe the Planets and the Moon. Good optics, at a reasonable price. You can see the Great Red Spot on Jupiter in color. Both scopes are on Celestron Computerized mounts.
Celestron 8 inch Schmidt Cassegrain Reflector

Besides general Observing, I decided to purchase a Video Camera which is designed to operate with my scopes.  Small telescopes don’t show color on Galaxies or Nebula like you see on the Hubble pictures shown widely on the Web.  Unless you are looking at the Moon, Mars, Jupiter, or Saturn, or other Planets everything is in black and white.  Additionally, when you have a dense enough sensor, you can blow the images up, seeing finer detail than your eye can see through the eyepiece of the telescope. We’ll see, I just might have to acquire one this spring, so I can take and share photos with folks going forward. I did buy a MallinCam video camera for my telescopes. For any who are curious, it is the SkyRaider DS2.3 Plus.

Food for thought

Even a modest 4 inch telescope can show 4 Moons of Jupiter as they orbit the planet.  The extra kick I get when observing those moons move in front of the planet, and travel across Jupiter’s disk, trailing their shadows on Jupiter’s cloud tops is that I am looking back in time.  For instance, if I watch one of those moons move on to the face of Jupiter, I know that what I am seeing presently isn’t actually what is happening at Jupiter.  Due to the distance between Earth and Jupiter, I know that what I am actually seeing in the eyepiece happened about 43 minutes ago!  Interesting isn’t it?

Solar System Photos

Moon taken 10/7/2019 5 inch Explore Scientific APO Refractor & Mallincam DS2.3Plus
Moon taken Jan 4, 2019 Takahashi FSQ-106 Mallincam DS2.3 Plus
Jupiter with Io, and to the right Europa taken 6/29/2019

September 18, 2019 Saturn 7 inch Maksutov Reflector

While Saturn was at the outer area of its orbit, I had ordered a Celestron CI 700, a Maksutov Reflector. Using a 2x barlow and my Mallincam, I captured the following image, nothing special, but I’m still happy to have had success on such a tiny target with very little experience with the Scope & Camera combination.

M13 7 inch Mak with Mallincam DS2.3Plus Camera
Orion Nebula

Another Orion Nebula Pic Processed differently
The Andromeda Galaxy and companion
Horsehead Nebula Noise and all
Another version of the Orion Nebula processed differently to bring out dust & gas

The Bubble Nebula
The Horsehead nebula
Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com)
Processed by me
The Seven Sisters also known as the Pleiades
Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com) Processed by me The Pleiades or M45
Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com) Processed by Me.
Markarian’s Chain Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com) Processed by me
Rosette Nebula – image captured by Deep SkyWest.com Processed by me