Another Look at Jupiter and Saturn.

Another Look at Jupiter and Saturn.

Jupiter and Saturn both reached “opposition” over the summer, meaning they had their closest approach to Earth for the year. Florida’s summer weather conspired against photographing the planets at that time, but the skies finally cleared last night. They’re not at their closest, but… they’re close enough. I think this is my best Jupiter image…

Comet hunting!

Comet hunting!

There’s a comet in the sky! They don’t appear this bright very often, so don’t miss what could be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a comet with your own eyes. It’s tough to spot here in suburbia with your eyes, but it’s easy to see with binoculars. Its official name is C/2020 F3 NEOWISE. Just…

A Supernova 50 million light-years away!

A Supernova 50 million light-years away!

Highlighted here is a recently discovered supernova in the galaxy M61, over 50 million light-years away! This exploding star outshines the entire core of its own galaxy, and many of the much closer stars seen within our Milky Way. The sheer power of this stellar explosion is unfathomable. It’s 50 million light-years away, which means…

The galaxy M106

The galaxy M106

The larger galaxy in this image goes only by the boring name “M106”, but it’s anything but boring. About 23 million light-years away, M106 is pretty similar to Andromeda in its size and brightness. But M106 is a lot weirder. In addition to its slightly warped shape, M106 is the home of a giant water-vapor…

The Coalsack, Imaged from Australia!

The Coalsack, Imaged from Australia!

It’s been really cloudy lately in Central Florida, so instead of imaging from my driveway, I’ve tried using remote observatories. This particular image was taken using a telescope in Australia, using a service called telescope.live. This is the “Coalsack nebula”, a dark cloud of gas obscuring the Milky Way in the Southern hemisphere. We’re looking…

The Jellyfish Nebula

The Jellyfish Nebula

The “Jellyfish Nebula” is a supernova remnant in the constellation Gemini, about 5,000 light-years away. It’s the gas blown off from a star that exploded, sometime between 3,000 and 30,000 years ago – we’re really not sure when it happened. But it makes for quite a spectacle! I was plagued with technical issues while capturing…

Will astrophotographers be replaced by robots?

Will astrophotographers be replaced by robots?

Deep-sky astrophotography is the ultimate hobby for nerds; it combines endless tinkering with highly specialized technology, exploration of the cosmos, and constant challenges, achievements, and learning. But, could this hobby be automated to the point where anyone can do it? Products such as Stellina and Unistellar promise to deliver an experience where you can plop…

Live Star Party! The Veil Nebula supernova remnant
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Live Star Party! The Veil Nebula supernova remnant

We’re back with our live viewing of the cosmos! Join us as we view the Veil Nebula via a camera attached to our telescope – it’s a supernova remnant from a massive star that exploded 8,000 years ago, and it’s gorgeous. We’ll also talk about tonight’s expected meteor storm as the Earth passes through a…

The Pelican Nebula

The Pelican Nebula

Granted this is only a portion of it, but for the life of me I don’t see a pelican in this thing. But, it’s still pretty. I processed this object two ways: using the “Hubble palette” that maps red, green, and blue to Sulfur, Hydrogen, and Oxygen emissions (that results in the pretty blue one)…

Beating light pollution with a new synthetic RGB algorithm

Beating light pollution with a new synthetic RGB algorithm

Imaging deep sky objects from a suburban driveway forces one to find ways to deal with light pollution. Light pollution is the enemy of astronomers – but in reality, there are ways around it. Some of the most beautiful objects in the cosmos are called emission nebula. They are clouds of gas, often where new…

Globular Cluster M13

Globular Cluster M13

M13, the great globular cluster in Hercules. You can see some of its interesting neighbors, including the galaxy NGC 6207 in the lower-left. While M13 itself is 25,000 light-years away just above our galactic plane, NGC 6207 is 37 million light-years distant. About halfway between the two, the galaxy IC 4617 is also visible –…

Globular Cluster M5

Globular Cluster M5

One of the largest and oldest (13 billion years) globular cluster of stars near our galaxy – there are hundreds of thousands of stars in there. There are some interesting theories that globular clusters such as this are what remains of smaller galaxies that our Milky Way has consumed – this is just what’s left…