Wednesday, July 13, 2016



Get it? Dumb Bell.
Ok, this is a geek post.
As you probably already know, I like space. No, I'm not claustrophobic- but I like all that is related to astronomy.
I'm a Trekkie. I'm a Star Wars fan. All manner of Sci-fi.
One of my favorite books is Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time (now, how's THAT for a bedtime story?).
Anyway, I've had my telescope for several years. It's a 4" Celestron Maksutov Cassegrain scope with computerized goto altazimuth mount. I love it. It's given me hours of viewing pleasure. But the mount has always been limiting me to solar system photography- while it tracks the stars, it does not rotate along Earth's axis.
So this year, with the blessings of the wife, I upgraded to an 8" scope with an equatorial mount. And took a deeper (much more expensive) step into astrophotography.
Meet Big Brother....

I still have much much more to learn about deep space objects. But I was particularly proud of this one. 
This was a picture of the Dumb Bell Nebula, or M27. A planetary nebula 1360 light-years away in the constellation Vulpecula. So the light took over 1000 years to hit the camera's sensors.
It was a 20-minute stacked picture at ISO 800.
Sleeping 4 hours that night and feeding the mosquitoes in the backyard was worth it.
More to come in the future.