Jul 302017

I was the first one to arrive for the star party on Saturday night at Look Rock South.  It’s a beautiful view to the south looking into the Smokies.


We definitely had some clouds for the beginning of the night with some sucker holes now and then.  I was never able to get off a 20 minute shot without the clouds rushing in within 10 minutes…

But things finally started to clear up and the Milky Way really started to pop out.

Emission Nebula NGC 6820 or Sharpless SH 2-86. AP130GTX with Field Flattener Custom 4″ OAG Apogee U16 CCD w/Baader Ha 7nm filter AP900GTO Mount 9x20min Exposures Image Scale 2.16 arcsec/pixel; reduced to 4.32 arcsec/pixel

Once it was cleared up I was off to take some test shots and validate the portable rig was ready for more serious projects.  NGC 6820 AKA Sharpless SH 2-86 and all the surrounding emission and dark nebula has always been a favorite of mine.  It’s located in Vulpecula not that far from M27, the Dumbbell Nebula.  It reminds me of a less popular M16 with it’s gas and dust pillars and dark globules.  Open cluster NGC 6823 resides in the midst of the nebula and is about 6,000 light years away.


Apr 022017


NGC 206 is the brightest star cloud in the arms of the Andromeda Galaxy visible to us here on Earth.  You often see M31 imaged wide field but there is a wealth of detail to be found in the star clouds and dust lanes that start to pop out with a little more focal length.  Taken late last year from my back yard.

NGC 206 in Andromeda
SVQ100, Atlas EQ-G, Apogee A694 CCD

Jan 032015

The Double Cluster – Caldwell 14 Open Clusters NGC 869 & 884 Canon 6D, ISO 1600, 60 seconds Canon 70-200 f/2.8 @ f/2.8 Tracking on Atlas EQ-G Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park, PA


A widefield shot of the famous Double Cluster from Sept 17th 2014 at Cherry Springs State Park.  The Double Cluster is in Perseus but is in close proximity to Cassiopeia.



Annotated Double Cluster

Sep 212013

This area is rich in diversity offering the Open Cluster M52, Emission Nebula SH2-157 aka The Lobster Claw Nebula as well as SH2-161.  Also included is the more famous Bubble Nebula NGC 7635.

Imaged from my backyard outside Pittsburgh, PA.

Telescope:  Tak FSQ-106ED

CCD:  Apogee U16

Mount:  AP900GTO3

Exposure Time:  H-Alpha = 14x20min, O[III] = 9x20min, S[II] = 10x20min

Total Exposure Time = 11 Hours