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  1. Colorado CJ

    New Pup - Luna

    My Freya passed away last November. After a year of no dog, I have been missing one in my life terribly. I decided it was time for another. A local girl's dogs had new pups, and after some visiting, I decided to get one. She is a pure bred APBT and a real sweatheart. Her parents were on...
  2. Colorado CJ

    FINALLY a Couple Clear Nights - The Heart Nebula (maybe my best one yet)

    With all the smoke and clouds, I've only been able to do astrophotography 6 nights since April. I finally had a couple of clear nights over the past week or so to finish up one more image. This is the Heart Nebula, located 7500 light years from Earth. The nebula is lit from the ionizing...
  3. Colorado CJ

    Ready for Competition

    After reloading some ammo, I thought I should take a photo of my competition rig for USPSA Carry Optics. So I swept the garage floor, set up a couple of remote flashes and, and this is what I got. Shot with my Pentax 645D (LOVE that camera!) and Pentax-A 645 105mm F3.5 lens. Sig-P320-Legion...
  4. Colorado CJ

    Another Elephant's Trunk - 5 Hours with the RASA 11

    I finally had a clear night last night to finish up shooting the Elephant's Trunk. This image is made from a total of 5 hours of imaging, over two nights separated by two weeks (been cloudy here a long time) The Elephants Trunk is located 2400 light years away and is 20 light years high...
  5. Colorado CJ

    I'm Famous (not really) - Denver 7 Article on My Astrophotography

    I was contacted by Denver 7 a few days ago about my astrophotography. They wanted to do an article and a short segment on the evening news. Yesterday we had a Zoom meeting in my dome and I gave them a few photos. The article posted today and they will be airing it on the evening news...
  6. Colorado CJ

    Sunflowers and Irises

    Deep Space Objects that is. Last night was the first clear night in a couple of weeks, so I spent a few hours imaging. I couldn't spend all night out as it was a weekday, otherwise these images would look a lot nicer. The Iris Nebula is buried in interstellar dust, roughly 1300 light years...
  7. Colorado CJ

    M106 - 3hrs with the MN190 Mak Newt

    I put my Galaxy Scope on my mount the other night instead of the RASA 11". It is a Skywatcher MN190 Mak Newt, 1000mm F5.3 scope. It is 7X slower than the RASA in capturing light, but it's longer focal length works best on galaxies. I captured M106, a nice spiral galaxy the other night with it...
  8. Colorado CJ

    Moonshine

    Another clear night means more astrophotography for me! Unfortunately, there was a near full moon, so targets were limited, since the moons brightness washes out many of the dim deep space objects I image. There are a few bright objects that the moon doesn't hurt though, namely star clusters...
  9. Colorado CJ

    Galaxies Collide - M51

    Finally had a clear night last night (for a little while anyway), so I shot M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. These are actually a pair of interacting galaxies, which are literally tearing each other apart. Located 37,000,000 light years from Earth, this galaxy is one of my favorites to photograph...
  10. Colorado CJ

    The Anatomy of an Astro Image

    I post my astrophotos here about once a week. I figured I'd take you though exactly how I get these images. Depending on the target of the night, there are different capturing techniques, and different editing techniques, but here is one I just completed today; The Rosette Nebula. To make...
  11. Colorado CJ

    M101 - The Pinwheel

    I worked on my mount the other evening. I adjusted the thrust bearings in both RA and DEC. The RA thrust bearing was extremely tight. I got it to guide better than it ever has with the heavy scope I am using (down to .60" Total RMS). That is pretty good for 46 lbs of scope and 50 lbs of...
  12. Colorado CJ

    A Very Dusty Horsehead

    We finally a clear night here in Northern Colorado, so I was able to use my new scope again! I decided to shoot the Horsehead and Flame. As I am still trying to figure out the best way to use my new RASA 11, I used two different cameras this time. I used a ZWO ASI183MC Pro for the RGB and a...
  13. Colorado CJ

    Bodes Nebula and the Cigar Galaxy

    It was finally clear last night, so I shot a pair of galaxies. M81 (Bodes Nebula) is 12 Million light years away and spans around 90,000 light years across. M82 (the Cigar Galaxy) is 12 Million light years away. It is a Starburst galaxy and makes stars 10X faster than our galaxy. The bright...
  14. Colorado CJ

    M106, M78 and the M66 Group

    I shot a few more Deep Space Objects with my new RASA 11. These were all shot with 2 hours integration each (roughly 170, 45 second exposures). First up is M106. This galaxy is roughly 25,000,000 light years away from us. I still need to shoot some H-Alpha with this target so that I can...
  15. Colorado CJ

    Orion - Going Deep

    I recently upgraded one of my imaging scopes to a RASA 11, an 11" Rowe Ackerman Schmidt Astrograph. This is an 11" f2.2 scope, which is 10 times faster than the scope it replaces. Last night I shot between clouds and got 83 minutes on the Great Orion Nebula. I am extremely happy with how deep I...
  16. Colorado CJ

    First Image from My Observatory - The Rosette Nebula

    Hello again everyone. I haven't posted here in a while. Clouds and work kinda got in the way. I also was building a little backyard observatory! It is a little 8' geodesic dome design that I made from scratch with foam, wire and stucco. I started building it last December, but I figured I'd...
  17. Colorado CJ

    Orion and the Deer Lick Group

    I finally had another chance to set up my Astrophotography rig last night and shoot a couple more photos. The weather wasn't ideal, but I haven't shot the night sky for a while and I was getting itchy. The ground level winds were somewhat gusty and the upper atmosphere was very turbulent, so...
  18. Colorado CJ

    Indian Peaks Wilderness

    I took a roughly 12 mile hike in the Indian Peaks Wilderness yesterday. I started out at 5:30 a.m. and hiked in the dark to get to Lake Isabelle for the sunrise. I got about 1/8th mile from the glacier and turned around, the last mile of that hike was nearly vertical and I was getting too...
  19. Colorado CJ

    A Special Day in Rocky Mountain National Park

    I decided to go up to the park today for some hiking and photography. Up at 4 am and on the trail at 5 am. I hit the clouds while driving to the trailhead. And once on the trail, even with a decent headlamp, I couldn't see much past 5 feet in front of me. The trail starts at roughly 9500...
  20. Colorado CJ

    Andromeda's Core

    I've been trying my hand at Astrophotography for almost a year now. Lots of sleepless nights and money has been spent. I am rewarded with awe for our universe every night though, and I am starting to get some decent images. Last night, I imaged the Andromeda Galaxy, our nearest galactic...
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