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All Blog Posts (157)

Indian Trail Spring - July 2018

I've been working around the clock these days, quite literally. For nearly 3 years I've not had a chance to go to a dark sky outing, or take any pictures. The gear is getting dusty and my knowledge of how to run it getting rusty.

My friend Scott is moving to Nashville in a few weeks and wanted to go to Indian Trail Spring one last time before he goes. I needed a break bad. Get some rest, get some viewing in, and get some killer bro time. The timing for going to ITS couldn't have been…


Added by Neil Heacock on July 15, 2018 at 7:30pm — No Comments

Disappearing AstroGab

What happened to AstroGab over the last 3 weeks or so. It just vanished from the web.

Added by Michael Adler on October 21, 2016 at 1:39pm — 1 Comment

Long time since i was here

It's been a really long time since I last posted. I was falling out of astronomy for a long time and recently got back into it. This reignition is especially thanks to getting a channel on NightSkiesNetwork.

The plastic observatory shed is gone, had to throw it out since the apartment complex started re-decorating the exterior. The new mantra is to not be lazy with the astronomy. I re-arranged the interior of my apartment, shifting computer and TV into the bedroom. The main area is…


Added by Michael Hester on November 4, 2015 at 11:46am — 2 Comments

SkyView Acres September 2015

SkyView Acres September 2015

It's a real treat to go out in September. Would be even more of a treat to go out in January! But having the fall objects nice and high and the winter objects rising a bit it real nice.

I don't think I'll go back to SkyView Acres in July, August or September as the wasps out there are so bad it really takes the relaxation out of the daytime. I was cooped up in the RV again. Booo!

Even still, I had some wonderful…


Added by Neil Heacock on September 13, 2015 at 1:30am — No Comments

My Ultimate ``Apologies`` to ALL Members of AstroGab."!

Yours Sincerely from Science Chemical Engineer

and Computer Science Graduate and ASTRONOMY Magazine December 1982 Astro--Imager Photographer "Mr. Jules M. Vieira or Jules Vieira, of Oakville, Ontario, Canada:

Astronomy Magazine December 1982 Schmidt Cassegrain Astro Imager Signed on August 28th, 2015: Astronomy December 1982 BackIssues Schmidt Cassegrain Astro-- Imager Photographer:: Jules Vieira the 496th Member of Astro Gab…


Added by Jules Vieira. on August 28, 2015 at 11:00pm — 6 Comments

Oregon Star Party 2015

Five wonderful nights at Indian Trail Spring. Bortle 1 goodness!

Although the first two nights were spotted with clouds and haze that made imaging pretty pointless, so I left them covered. Poor guys sat for 2 nights not even polar aligned. Friends and neighbors tried their hand at imaging, but I'm not sure if anyone got anything decent. It did make me wish I brought my lenses though as some haze can be a friend for wide-field imaging as it makes what can be appealing diffused…


Added by Neil Heacock on August 16, 2015 at 3:30pm — No Comments

July 2015 SkyView Acres

Under a Bortle 2 sky with friends. 3 nights, but one was a bust with haze or likely smoke from a local fire. I wanted to be at the other location we frequent, but unfortunately it was closed due to large fires in the area. So, the fact that I got 2 decent nights was far better then getting nothing at all.

SkyView Acres is a good spot because it's closer in (only 2.5 hour drive) and nice paved roads all the way to the location. The downside is that there are many distant lights…


Added by Neil Heacock on July 18, 2015 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Welcome Back, Neal

It was great to see Neal Heacock "back in the saddle" - and for 4 straight nights! Watching him at work it seemed like he hadn't been away at all.

The skies were not great on any of the 4 nights, but most of us were shooting things barely above the southern horizon because around here this is the only chance we get to shoot them. Well, this year July should be good also.

There were 7 people (all imagers) and most stayed all 4 nights. Skill levels ranged from "master" (Neal) to…


Added by Greg Marshall on June 16, 2015 at 9:10pm — No Comments

First Star Party In Quite Some Time

So I've been at this dark sky outing for the last few days. Greg Marshall invited a handful of imagers from the Rose City Astronomers and we have a good turnout here. It's so odd to me being at a star party and everyone is imaging. I have my 16" Dob with me an I've been taking in some wonderful views while the camera is shooting away... one other imager was using his Edge HD 11 for visual as well as imaging, so I wasn't completely alone absorbing photons into my eyeballs!



Added by Neil Heacock on June 14, 2015 at 4:00pm — 2 Comments

It's been a long time... too long!

It's hard to believe it's been 3 years since my last entry.

I've been to a few star parties since my last journal entry in June of 2012. OSP 2012, OSP 2013, and a lonely 4 night outing to SkyView Acres on Memorial Day Weekend in 2014. None of those did I take any imaging equipment to. Just the 16" dob to keep it simple and enjoy soaking in the views.

OSP 2013 was such a bummer. It was cloudy almost the whole time. I went 2 days early to get a little more viewing in. I'm…


Added by Neil Heacock on May 29, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Focus Motor for SCT

I got an 8" EdgeHD scope a while ago and have just finished development of a focus motor for it. I am now offering the "PerfectStar SCT" along with the PerfectStar Focus Controller. The PS SCT motor was developed specifically for the EdgeHD series and will be available more or less off-the-shelf for 8", 11", and 14" scopes from that family. Most SCTs use the same kind of mechanism, so the design is easily customized to other models, but specific dimensions vary, so I am concentrating on the…


Added by Greg Marshall on December 26, 2013 at 12:57pm — No Comments

2014 Calendar of Astro-Photos

As in previous years, I have produced a calendar of my best recent astro-photos. This year the calendar is a little bigger (12 x 9 inches) and has more information about each object, including a sky chart on the back cover that shows where each object is located. That makes it an even better gift for people who are not familiar with astronomy. And the price is still just $15! To order, send me an e-mail through my web site:…


Added by Greg Marshall on November 6, 2013 at 12:13am — No Comments

My first DSO image

This was taken on July 31 2013 for 3 min exposure with SBIG 2000XCM(self-guiding), 10inch Orion F3.9 Newt, CGE Pro and CCDSoft

The location is my balcony in Bow, Washington, which is 10 miles from the famous bridge collapsed 2 months ago.

By the way I had crossed the bridge more than 100 times.

I had tried to take series of 8 pictures for stacking.

But the cloud moved in and self guider lost the guiding star resulting in elongated images from No 2.

I had a…


Added by Thomas Seok Hwan Kong on August 10, 2013 at 12:50pm — No Comments

A Lunar Flash Likely Originated By Meteoroidal Impact

On August 1, 2013 at 02:21:55.7 UT, a small meteoroid has impacted the Moons surface. The kinetic energy transformed by the impact into thermal energy also caused a short and intense flash of light that was detected by telescopes of R. Lena, A. Manna and S. Sposetti.

The simultaneity of the flash and the same position on the lunar surface indicates it is an impact. The event described above has been observed by Raffaello Lena (GLR group, Rome Italy) with a refractor 130 mm and with a…


Added by raf lena on August 9, 2013 at 2:27am — No Comments

new CCD camera??

I got the go ahead from the boss to purchase a CCD camera. I'm looking at the SBIG ST 402 from OPT for $1695. I like it because it has an internal filter wheel for LRGB work . Anybody hear of any reviews about it? I want to be sure about it before I purchase.

Added by Lawrence Hazel on July 17, 2013 at 6:39pm — No Comments


Added by Ed Hahnenberg on July 10, 2013 at 8:08am — No Comments

My "best of..." Nebula images from the 2012/2013 imaging season

NGC 2264 the Cone and Fox Fur nebula is a diffuse, dark and emission nebula ~2,700 light years from Earth, located in the constellation Monoceros.

Imaged January 14 and January 16, 2013 from Ocala, Florida.

RGB data: 6 minute exposure (each channel) stacked in DSS for a total of 3 hours

Ha data: 15minute exposure stacked in DSS for a total of 4 hours.

Click here…


Added by Steve Coates on May 12, 2013 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

My "best of..." Galaxies from the 2012/2013 imaging season

M106 with accompanying galaxies NGC 4217, NGC 4248, NGC 4232, NGC 4231 and NGC 4220.

Spiral galaxy in Canes Venatici

~23.7 million light years distant

March 14 and 15, 2013

Ocala, FL

Combination of 6 min and 10 min exposures stacked in DSS for a total of 6 hours 40 min

1 hours each RGB

3 hours and 40 min Luminance


Orion 80mm…


Added by Steve Coates on May 12, 2013 at 5:00pm — No Comments

PerfectStar Focus Controller and Motor

I've just released an all new version of the PerfectStar Focus Controller firmware and driver. The new version adds several new functions and enhancements, including greater robustness. At the same time, I am announcing a new PerfectStar Focus Motor that fully encloses both the motor and the focuser coupling. I am now using Hurst motors, the premier manufacturer of stepper motors. For details, see…


Added by Greg Marshall on April 21, 2013 at 10:20pm — No Comments

Join the Online Discussion on Night Sky Photography

April 16 at 1PM (Central Time) Minnesota Public Radio will be hosting an online discussion on Night Sky Photography. I and 2 other photographers will be answering questions from the public. Since I only do "deep space" imaging I don't know how many questions will come my way, but the other 2 people are experienced in (and good at) night sky photography. There's a link to the event on my web site:

Added by Greg Marshall on April 15, 2013 at 3:47pm — No Comments


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