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  • Image of total solar eclipse

    The 2017 total solar eclipse was a major event for most of the United States. This photo was taken from Ucon, Idaho!

  • Photo of Orion refractor

    There are many different types of scopes, each best suited for specific uses. Learn about which is best for you!

  • Photo of Orion Atlas mount

    Learn about different mounts and telescope configurations. Exchange ideas with fellow astronomy enthusiasts!

  • Photo of the International Space Station crossing disc of the sun

    In this image from Port Orchard, Washington, the International Space Station crosses the disc of the sun.

  • Image of Jovian transit

    Double transit of Jupiter: In this photo collage, you can see the moons (Io and Callisto) as they move across the Jovian surface. 

Solar activity - July 8, 2018

Submitted by jimwcoleman

The day started out clear but high clouds quickly moved into the Pacific Northwest skies, so I couldn't do much. Here's a photo I got of some limb activity on the sun today. I have blacked out the brilliant surface to make it easier to see. I was going to photograph surface detail and add it to this image, but the clouds moved in too quickly.  All in all, a fun two hours of observing but I had to end it prematurely.

Come on summer ... where the heck are you? Oh, yeah. It's on the OTHER side of the country ...

Solar Composite (most of it!)

Submitted by thenakedastronomer

As you can see in the photo below, the sun is BORING right now ... absolutely nothing going on.

So I decided to spend a few hours and do a composite of the entire disk. This is a combination of 30 images ... processed with Autostakkert and Registax ... but ... wait ... I missed a piece of it!

Well, I guess this just means I have to try again. Darn. Twist my arm, why don't you... ;)

Anyway, enjoy. This is what keeps you warm. Keeps you alive.

The sun in action

Submitted by swingin
Video URL

This is a 1 hr & 10 min vid from yesterday. Seeing was poor and the wind didn't help. Taken with a Solarmax II 90 from my back yard in Gig Harbor WA. It was a rushed video so I think I can do better. Enjoy!


Coronal Hole

Submitted by jimwcoleman

There currently is a coronal hole on the face of the sun.  This is a cooler, less dense area on the Sun's surface and it's easy to see as it's pointed at the Earth right now. We are near the solar minimum so there's not much to see on the surface of the sun right now, but I did get this image today, using a Coronado SolarMax 90 and a ZWO cam ... 

Sun - Coronado 90mm SolarMax II and ZWO ASI120MC

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here's my first attempt at stacking and processing footage from my newest telescope. This was captured in Port Orchard, Washington today, using a ZWO ASI120MC cam on a Coronado 90mm BF30 SolarMax II. It was captured using SmartCap and processed in Registax 6 and Paint Shop Pro (for those who like the details).

A very tiny prominence is visible....

Beyond the terminus...

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Wow, after months of soggy weather or just plain snow, I finally got the new Atlas EQ-G mount out at 2 a.m. this morning. Didn't do much as I'm still not very familiar with the mount, having crossed over from Celestron mounts, but I did get a rough polar alignment and snapped a single shot of the moon, using an Astrotech AT72ED refractor and a Canon 60D. The interesting part of this photo is what you can see over the dark side of the terminator ... caught it at just the right moment to illuminate some taller peaks and crater walls.

Coronado 90mm SolarMax II with Moonlight focuser

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Well, I couldn't let Swingin have the only Coronado 90mm on this website, so I had to go and get one myself... :)

Actually, I've been wanting one for years - and since I just bought the Atlas mount, I figured now's the time.

This is the Coronado SolarMax II BF30 and it's everything I always hoped it would be.  

Setting up EQMod, ASCOM and gamepad for Atlas mount

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Yes, I'm taking the plunge ... going 100 percent computerized. In my last post, I wrote about my new mount, the Orion Atlas EQ-G. I wrote how, because of the winter weather in the Pacific Northwest, this mount has never seen first light. And now, months later, it still hasn't. But Spring is coming, so I'm getting ready by doing something I've been wanting to do for a long time - set it up from the start so that I can control the mount from my PC using a Gamepad. To me, it just makes sense as I'm controlling my cameras, autoguiding, etc.

New Orion Atlas Mount - Cure for those rainy day blues

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Well, I haven't posted to this site in months ... but it been about that long since I've had good astrophotography nights in Seattle.  This winter is brutal with the rain and the clouds, and the calendar conspires against me in that most good clear nights seem to fall on a work night - and it's early to bed, early to rise.