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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. 

Comet C/2015 01 PANSTARRS - Magnitude 14.87

Submitted by jimwcoleman

It never ceases to amaze me that I can walk out into my backyard and within five minutes, start taking a picture of a faint something that is more than half a BILLION kilometers away from me and is moving at 37.3 kilometers per second. This faint, fuzzy thing is comet C/2015 01 PANSTARRS. At its current magnitude, 14.87, it is about as faint at Pluto, but even more difficult to image. The comet is currently in the constellation Hercules, high overhead at sunset this time of year.

Getting ready for the August eclipse!

Submitted by jimwcoleman

It's time to start honing your skills and preparing your equipment for the August, 2017 total solar eclipse. Even though it won't be TOTAL where I live (Seattle area), a significant portion of the sun will be eclipsed by the moon. Here is a trial run I did today. Not a lot of sunspot activity, but I did see one. :) 

I am using the Thousand Oaks solar filter that arrived in the mail last week. Not a problem with it - highly recommended... And they are in Kingman, Arizona! Another plus for them, with me being an Arizona native. :)

M51 - Whirlpool Galaxy

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here is a quick shot of M51 - The Whirlpool Galaxy. This is easy - you can do it, too...

This photo was taken using the smallest scope in my collection, the AT72ED AstroTech refractor. I love this little scope. Yes, it's little. But it's just perfect for this type of photographic adventure.

This is a stack of 19 x 1 min subs, ISO 1600, Canon 60D, AstroTech AT72ED. Stacked with MaximDL.

I'm sure I could do a lot better if I did this in the morning after sleep ... but you know how it goes ... :)

A few quick pics

Submitted by swingin

These pics are from my backyard in Gig Harbor WA. Not all that great but I'm working on that, for the rest of my life! :) First one is the Black Eye Galaxy, 2nd is the Cigar Galaxy, 3rd is the Ring Nebula in Lyra. These were all taken with my Nikon D5200 and Backyard Nikon at prime focus. I need to learn how to stack these pictures, these are all a single shot with different time lengths, ISO settings and so on.

Jupiter - First pass

Submitted by jimwcoleman

I shot hundreds of thousands of frames of Jupiter tonight. This is the result of the first 800/3500 frame set, processed with Registax. This was shot using a Celestron Skyris camera on an 8" Meade LX200R, using a 2x tele-extender. Nothing spectacular, but passable....

C2015 V2 (Johnson) - Wide field view of comet

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Here is a widefield view (positive and negative images) of comet C/2015 V2 (Johnson) in Bootes. Tonight, the comet was at magnitude 6.9, fainter than last night. This is a stack of 40x20sec subs. The images were acquired at prime focus using a modded Canon T3i at ISO 1600 with an AstroTech AT72ED refractor on a Celestron AVX mount.

C/2015 V2 Johnson - A spectacular comet

Submitted by jimwcoleman

While most people in my home town of Port Orchard, Washington slept, a couple of amazing comets crossed the sky overhead. One of them, comet C/2015 V2 Johnson, is pictured here in all its glory.

This was photographed with an 8" Meade LX200R with a Canon 60D at prime focus. No filters or reducers were used. 90x65 second subs, stacked with manual 1-star alignment using Maxim DL software.