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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. 

ISS Solar transit - 08/26/16

Submitted by jimwcoleman

I got lucky and was able to catch a solar transit of the ISS. This shot was taken with a Canon 60D DSLR camera at prime focus on an 8" Meade LX200R, using a Baader solar filter. I also have video, which I will post later. This is a still shot from the video. :)

Note: Living in the Pacific Northwest, I had to shoot this through a cover of fir trees ... you can see the branches in this photo - I was so lucky that at the last moment, the sun came out and I was able to get a shot ...

050916 Mercury transit

Submitted by jimwcoleman

After getting shots of the rare Venus transit back in 2012, I was looking forward to getting some shots of the May 9 Mercury transit, as well. In 2012, it was difficult due to the typical Pacific Northwest cloud cover. That was true today, as well, but I was patient and I managed to get the shots. Another thing that made it difficult was the fact that I was shooting through the trees. What you see in the photos here are not clouds, they are fir needles and branches, making focus extremely difficult.

Preparations for the May 9 Mercury transit

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Tomorrow morning, May 9, Mercury will transit the face of the sun. Living near Seattle, the weather forecast is not promising, but I did just catch a break in the clouds and got my solar equipment dialed in. Sunspots are sparse right now. This is how the sun looked today at 10:20 p.m. UTC over Port Orchard, Washington. Tomorrow, I hope to photograph the Mercury transit. At least I'm prepared.
Orion 8" Astrograph Newtonian on Celestron AVX mount, Canon 60D, Baader MPCC coma corrector.

Shadows on Jupiter

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Last night on Jupiter, there was a double transit, meaning that two of Jupiter's moons cast shadows on the planet. Those are always fun to photograph and as this was my first double transit, I took great care to set up the equipment just right so that I could capture the event. In this photo collage, you can see the moons (Io and Callisto) as they move across the Jovian surface. :)

M104 - Sombrero Galaxy

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Someday I hope to get a real camera ... I feel I am wasting my time with this Orion G3 Starshoot, but it's the only DSO-capable camera I have right now, so I'm stuck with it. Anyway, this is a shot of the Sombrero Galaxy (Messier 104). This is 19 2-minute subs through an 8" Meade LX200R, guided by an Orion ST80 and PHD, stacked in Maxim DL. I seriously get bummed after freezing my butt off and fighting the crappy Orion software for hours only to get an image like this. But it's something.

M64 - The Black Eye Galaxy

Submitted by jimwcoleman

Viewing was horrible in the Seattle area tonight ... the moon was bright and the skies were very hazy - so much so that there was a ring around the moon most of the night. But I was out working on the equipment and managed to eek out a photo ... this is Messier 64, the Black Eye Galaxy, and a favorite target of mine.

Meade 8" LX200R, Orion G3 Color Starshoot at prime focus, guided by Orion ST-80 and PHD. 6x120sec subs, stacked with MaximDL.