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 5 inch ES127 Camera Mallincam DS2.3 Plus
Moon taken Jan 4, 2019 Takahashi FSQ-106 Mallincam DS2.3 Plus
Jupiter with Io & Europa CI 700 Mak Camera Mallincam DS2.3 Plus
Orion Nebula FSQ-106N Mallincam DS16cTEC

Rosette Nebula 4 inch Takahashi with Mallincam DS16cTEC Camera

M13 4 inch Takahashi with Mallincam DS16cTEC Camera
Horsehead & Flame Nebulae 4 inch Takahashi FSQ-106 Camera Mallincam DS16cTEC

The Andromeda Galaxy and companion 4 inch Takahashi and Mallincam DSc16TEC Camera
Galaxy M33 4 inch Takahashi and Mallincam DSc16TEC Camera
Double Cluster 4.25 inch FSQ-106 and Mallincam DS16cTEC
Part of the North America Nebula

Horsehead and Flame Nebulas

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. Andromeda Galaxy
LBN552 & Dust Clouds – Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com) Processed by Me.
M81 & M82 Galaxies
Image Acquisition by the staff at Deep Sky West Remote Observatory (www.DeepSkyWest.com) Processed by Me