ASTROPHOTOS

We present here a collection of astronomical (and meteorological) images by our members. This material is copyrighted and may not be used or reproduced without the explicit permission of the photographer. Most recent contributions are at the top. We hope you enjoy the science and art of our creations. Clicking on any of the thumbnails will enlarge the image in a new tab, without text, to enhance your viewing experience.

Partial Solar Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: August 21, 2017
——————————
Top Photo: Maximum coverage of 65% at 10:34 MST
Optics: Takahashi FS-128 w/ Hα filter, 40mm eyepiece projection, Canon 20D
Imaging: 1/400 sec, ISO 1600 (cloud interference)
——————————
Bottom Photo: Coverage ≈ 50% at 10:55 MST
Optics: 200mm telephoto on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/32, 1/8000 sec, ISO 100 (used cloud as filter)

Total Solar Eclipse
By:
Ron Walker

Optics: 300mm telephoto on Canon EOS 7D
Imaging: f/8, 1/30 sec, ISO 400
Location: Alliance, NB
Date: August 21, 2017, around 17:50:29 UT

Comments: I got lucky on this shot. You should see the ones I didn’t share. I really wanted to spend more time observing visually, and less time working the camera.

2016-Perseid-1-Prunty2016-Perseid-2-Prunty

Perseid Meteors
By:
Martin Prunty
Optics: 11-22mm wide angle zoom on Olympus OMD-E5-Mark II
Imaging: f/2.8, 30 sec, ISO 1600, processed in Lightroom
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: August 12-13, 2016

Comments: Two nice Perseids captured, considering the Quarter Moon was up and there were intermittent light high clouds.

2015-Leonid-Prunty

Leonid Fireball
By:
Martin Prunty
Optics: 12-40mm on Olympus OMD E5 Mark II
Imaging: f/2.8, 30 sec, ISO 1600, processed in Lightroom
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: Nov 19, 2015, 0340 MST

Comments: A nice fireball from the last Leonid meteor shower.

2016-5planets-2-Heim

Five Planets + Moon v2.0
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zenitar K2 16mm fisheye on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/2.8, 0.5 sec, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Jan 30, 2016, 0630 MST

Comments: This was my second attempt the following day. With rains on the way, it would probably be the last opportunity to capture this grand display. The weather cooperated, as you can see. Of course, I again needed to splice two images. But unlike v1.0, I did that splice so it continues the alignment in a linear manner with the correct spacing between Mars and the Moon. In addition to the Moon and planets, several brighter stars are visible. The Moon was overexposed at these settings, creating multiple reflections in the 11-element Zenitar, so I shot it by itself at 1/8000 sec and pasted it into the original image. This matched nicely what the eye could see. Again, this is a large image: 18″ x 12″. The following image is the same, but includes ID labels.

2016-5planets-3-Heim

Five Planets + Moon v1.0
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zenitar K2 16mm fisheye on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/2.8, 0.5 sec, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Jan 30, 2016, 0630 MST

Comments: This is the preceding image with objects labeled for easy ID.

2016-5planets-1-Heim

Five Planets + Moon v1.0
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zenitar K2 16mm fisheye on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/2.8, 0.5 sec, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Jan 29, 2016, 0630 MST

Comments: This was my first attempt, mostly thwarted by clouds, to capture all five naked eye planets joined by the waning gibbous Moon in the pre-dawn eastern sky. The distance between Mercury and Jupiter = 113°, so I thought it would be possible to get the entire group in one FOV. Alas, during this photo shoot I learned that my Canon has a crop sensor (22mm x 15mm CCD) that effectively changes the focal length of the Zenitar to 25.6mm and reduces the diagonal FOV from 180° to 102° (which is just wide enough to accommodate a double rainbow). If you scroll down to July 9, 2008, you’ll see what I mean. Why I never noticed that reduced FOV I cannot say, but it became obvious during this shoot. Combine that with the clouds, which prevented all 5 planets from being seen simultaneously, and you’ll see why this had to be a composite image. Note: Mercury appears “larger” than Venus because it was diffused by the edge of a cloud. Venus was behind a cloud. The image is 24″ x 6.5″, so you may need to scroll or resize it depending on your monitor.

2015-Venus&Mercury-Heim

Conjunction of Venus and Mercury
By:
Dan Heim
Optics:
Canon 18-55 mm lens at full zoom on Canon 20D
Imaging: shutter priority w/ t = 4.0 sec, ƒ/20, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Jan 14, 2015, 19:00 MST

Comments: Venus and Mercury are seen here at a separation of 1°21′. I was clouded out for the closest conjunction on January 10 (when the separation was a mere 0°39′), as well as the subsequent 3 days, but this is still pretty close. Atmospheric reddening is clearly visible for both planets. Curiously, in the inset, Mercury looks distinctly redder. I suspect that’s due to the excess of blue-white light reflected from Venus. Elevation was around 15° and both were dropping toward some low clouds on the horizon. The inset is just a digital enlargement of the original photo, with some pixelation visible. Nonetheless, the gibbous phase of both planets is clearly seen.

2015-Moon&Venus-Espinoza

Moon and Venus
By:
Raul Espinoza
Optics: 100 mm telephoto
Imaging: Canon sTi Rebel Digital Camera, 1/160 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: Jan 21, 2015

Comments: A nice pairing of Venus and a very young Moon. Note the atmospheric reddening on both objects.

2015-Lunar-Eclipse-Serrato

Lunar Eclipse
By:
Roger Serrato
Optics:
300mm telephoto
Imaging:
Canon 20D, 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 800
Location:
Mars Hill overlook, Flagstaff, AZ
Date:
Sep 27, 2015

Comments: A nice shot of the “Blood Moon.”

2015-Lunar-Eclipse-(April 4)-1-Heim Lunar Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 200 mm telephoto on Canon 20D

Imaging: f/4, ISO 800, 0.5 sec
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: April 4, 2016

Comments: This image shows the Moon as it appeared to the eye. The following image is a longer exposure to bring out the Blood Moon colors. There was a slight haze of clouds to shoot through, so the lunar surface details are somewhat blurred. The Moon’s elevation was only 15°. This was a very dark eclipse compared to others I’ve seen. With the Moon so close to the edge of the umbra (totality only lasted 6 minutes) there was a large brightness gradient across the surface. That made it difficult to get a good exposure without saturating the bright edge, or losing the dark edge. The time of both photos was within a minute of maximum totality, which occurred at 05:00:16 MST.

2015-Lunar-Eclipse-(April 4)-2-Heim Lunar Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 200 mm telephoto on Canon 20D

Imaging: f/4, ISO 800, 1.0 s
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: April 4, 2016

Comments: This is the longer exposure that better shows the Blood Moon colors.

2015-Lovejoy-Espinoza

Comet Lovejoy
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 200mm telephoto, piggy-backed on C-14
Imaging: Canon sTi Rebel, 75 sec, inset through C-14 at prime focus 30 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: Jan 19, 2015 for main image, Jan 18 for inset

Comments: No tail visible on these dates. Green coma is caused by photo-emission from cyanogen (CN) and diatomic carbon (C2)

2014-Saguaro-Moonrise-Heim

Saguaro Moonrise
By: Dan Heim
Optics: 200 mm Zuiko telephoto at f/32 on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/32, ISO 100, 1/20 s
Location: Heimhenge. New River, AZ
Date: June 13, 2014

Comments: These saguaro are on the south slope of Gavilan Peak, about 1/3 mile east of Heimhenge. It was quite breezy where I needed to set up, with gusts to 30 mph. The tripod was vibrating and the images are slightly blurred. Still, I was pleased with the results. The left image is the first in the sequence, and shows the Moon as if it were split in two. In the second image (about 10 seconds after the first), the Moon had risen slightly higher, and the crown of the saguaro shows clearly with individual flower buds just visible.

The third image (which shows a different group of saguaro) was obtained ten minutes after the second image. When the silhouettes were no longer interesting, I relocated my tripod 30 feet north of its original position. This generated enough parallax to hide the Moon behind the mountain again. The second moonrise started just after I got my camera aimed, so I was able to shoot another sequence of images. Unfortunately, it was even windier at that location. Most of the images were badly blurred. The third image is the best of them.

 2014-Pleiades-Chatzkel The Pleiades
By: Jay Chatzkel
Optics: Tokina 12-24 mm lens

Imaging: Nikon D7000, f4, 11 s, ISO 1600
Location: Chatzkel Nature Preserve, New River, AZ
Date: Sep 23, 2014

Comments: Nice view of the Pleiades rising in the southeast. Aldebaran just below clearly visible as red. Good seeing with Circle Mountain blocking most of the Phoenix light pollution.

2014-Partial-Eclipse-Heim Partial Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Takahashi FS-128 + 40 mm Coronado H-alpha filter + 26 mm Plossl eyepiece projection for EFL = 30

Imaging: Canon 20D, ISO 400, 1/13 s
Location: Heimhenge, AZ
Date: October 23, 2014

Comments: This image was captured at 2:45 pm MST, showing the maximum coverage of about 20% from this location. North is at top. Several nice prominences are visible along the solar limb from 7-10 o’clock. A large group of sunspots clearly displays both umbra and penumbra. And the long linear feature at 6 o’clock is not a hair on my lens … it’s a solar filament. If you look closely at the upper part of the Moon’s limb, you can see some topographic relief from mountains/craters along the limb.

2014-Partial-Eclipse-Espinoza Partial Eclipse
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 300 mm telephoto + filters (#1 mylar, #2 ND2X, #3 yellow, #4 light orange, #5 daylight, #6 polarizer)
Imaging: Canon EOS XTi Rebel, asa 400, 1/100 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: October 23, 2014

Comments: Photo at eclipse maximum around 2:45 pm MST. Huge sunspot group covers almost 5% of the Sun’s disc. Limb darkening nicely visible.

2014-Milky-Way-Chatzkel Milky Way
By: Jay Chatzkel
Optics: Nikon D7000 with Tokina 12-14 mm lens at 12 mm
Imaging: ISO 500, T = 30 s, noise reduction in Lightroom 4 and Dfine 2
Location: Chatzkel Outdoor Observatory on the Hill, New River, AZ
Date: June 21, 2014

Comments: Clear June Solstice evening, on tripod, a little light in the SE coming from lower clouds reflecting Phoenix city lights.

2014-Lunar-Eclipse-(April 14)-1-Rohrer Lunar Eclipse
By: Scott Rohrer
Optics: Sony DSC-HX50V
Imaging: f/6.3, 4 s, ISO 80
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: April 15. 2014 (12:35 am)

Comments: Nice results from a point-and-shoot compact camera weighing a mere 9.5 oz. I got the best results playing with “scene selection” using the “Night” and Fireworks” modes. See the following image.

2014-Lunar-Eclipse-(April 14)-2-Rohrer Lunar Eclipse
By: Scott Rohrer
Optics: Sony DSC-HX50V
Imaging: 1:04 am, f/6.3, 2s, ISO 80
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: April 15. 2014 (1:04 am)
2014-Lunar-Eclipse-(April 14)-1-Heim Lunar Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: 200 mm Zuiko telephoto on Canon 20D
Imaging: composite image: f/32, 1/100, ISO 100; f/8, 1/1000, ISO 800; f/32, 1/100, ISO 800; f/32, 1/100, ISO 800; f/32, 1/50, ISO 800
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: April 14/15, 2014 (MST times listed on image)

Comments: Of the dozens of lunar eclipses I’ve seen, this was the darkest and most red. At totality (see following image), nearby stars came into view.

2014-Lunar-Eclipse-(April 14)-2-Heim

Lunar Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: 200 mm Zuiko telephoto on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/8, 1/10, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: April 14/15, 2014, 12:50 am (4 minutes after totality)

Comments: This image was obtained just after maximum totality. I changed the exposure to enhance the Blood Moon color. To the right you can see magnitude +1.0 Spica (Alpha Virginis). Above the Moon is magnitude +5.4 76 Virginis. The unidentified pixel between Spica and the Moon is probably noise, since I couldn’t find it on my digital planetarium.

2014-Jupiter-Espinoza Jupiter
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: C14 prime focus, 12 mm eyepiece projection
Imaging: Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, ASA100, 0.25s
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: April 5, 2014
2014-AlpineValley-Espinoza Alpine Valley
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: C14 w/ 25mm eyepiece projection
Imaging: Canon EOS XTi Rebel, asa 1600, 1/125 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: Sep 3, 2014

Comments: Visible are the Alpine Valley, upper-pair craters Aristotelese (87 km) and Eudoxus (67 km), lower-pair craters Aristillus (55 km) and Autolycus (39 km). I finally got some good results after wetting-down the area surrounding the observatory. That significantly helped to cool the air, reduced convection, and improved seeing.

2013-TripleConjunction-Espinoza

Triple Conjunction
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 400mm Sigma DG telephoto on tripod
Imaging: Canon EOS XTi Rebel, asa 1600, f7 to f4, 0″4 to 0″1 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: May 27, 2013 (around 8:30 pm)

Comments: Top to bottom are Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter, all reddened by their low altitude. Elevations, top to bottom, were around 5°, 2°, and 1°.

2013-Sun-B1-Shivak Solar Prominence
By: Randy Shivak
Optics: Astro-Physics 152mm F8 telescope fitted with the DayStar Quantum PE .5 Angstrom Hydrogen Alpha filter
Imaging: Point Grey Research’s Flea2 video ccd camera, EFL = 3000 mm
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: May 1, 2013, 9:44 am

Comments: Seeing conditions were very good. My estimate is 4 out of 5. That’s why such incredible detail is visible. See the following image that shows a sunspot group nearly face-on.

2013-Sun-B2-Shivak

Sunspot Group
By: Randy Shivak
Optics: Astro-Physics 152mm F8 telescope fitted with the DayStar Quantum PE .5 Angstrom Hydrogen Alpha filter
Imaging: Point Grey Research’s Flea2 video ccd camera, EFL = 3000 mm
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: May 1, 2013, 9:44 am

Comments: Nice grouping of sunspots. FOV ≈ 100,000 km x 80,000 km

2013-Sun-A1-Shivak Full Loop Solar Prominence
By: Randy Shivak
Optics: Astro-Physics 152 mm f8 scope with DayStar Quantum PE.5 Angstrom H-alpha filter, effective focal length = 3000 mm
Imaging: Flea2 CCD video camera, stacking and post-processing of frames in Photoshop
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: Feb 5, 2013

Comments: The detail in these images is amazing. Stacking individual frames is the key to extracting this level of resolution. As the photographer, I really don’t pay much attention to the exposure. I just adjust the exposure by watching the histogram to capture the most data without overexposing. Most images are about 2.5 ms. I capture 3000 frames at 25 to 30 fps. See the following image, where I used the same process on a sunspot.

2013-Sun-A2-Shivak

Sunspot
By: Randy Shivak
Optics: Astro-Physics 152 mm f8 scope with DayStar Quantum PE.5 Angstrom H-alpha filter, effective focal length = 3000 mm
Imaging: Flea2 CCD video camera, stacking and post-processing of frames in Photoshop
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: Feb 5, 2013

Comments: Detailed umbra and penumbra structure is clearly visible. To the right of the sunspot, part of a long filament can be seen.

2013-Saturn-1-Espinoza Saturn
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: eyepiece projection w/14″ CAS using 25mm, 2x Barlow, no filters
Imaging: ASA 1600 tried at various speeds
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: Apr 27, 2013, 10:00 pm

Comments: The atmosphere was a bit unsteady both nights (see following image), but with Saturn near opposition I had to at least give it a shot. The Cassini Division is washed out, but the rings stand out nicely against the disc of the planet. These images are true color, as no filters were used during imaging.

2013-Saturn-2-Espinoza Saturn
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: eyepiece projection w/14″ CAS using 25mm, 2x Barlow, no filters
Imaging: ASA 1600 tried at various speeds
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: Apr 28, 2013, 10:00 pm

Comments: My second attempt the next evening.

2013-Pan-STARRS-Heim Comet Pan-STARRS
By: Dan Heim
Optics: 200 mm Zuiko telephoto at f/4 on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/4, 1/100 sec, ISO 1600,
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Mar 12, 2013

Comments: Not much of a comet, as you can see, but I did catch it south of the young Crescent Moon and got both in the same field of view. This photo was taken right at the “sweet spot” when the light of dusk was still decreasing, as was the elevation of the comet. Both Moon and comet are seen here at an elevation of around 8°.

Pan-STARRS was not visible to the unaided eye that night. Had to scan with 10×80 binocs to find it, even though I knew exactly where to look. Estimated magnitude was +7 to +8. Tail length visible (through binocs) was about 8′. A disappointing performance overall. If it does decide to brighten over the next few days, I’ll try a prime focus shot with my Takahashi.

2013-Pan-STARRS-1-Espinoza Comet Pan-STARRS
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 200mm telephoto
Imaging: CANON REBEL XTi, ISO1600, f4.5, 2 s (top image), 3 s (middle and bottom images)
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto
Date: March 16, 7:25 pm

Comments: This comet was a tough target. Low elevation, not that bright a nucleus, and a short tail. Two higher magnification shots follow.

2013-Pan-STARRS-2-Espinoza Comet Pan-STARRS
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 600mm telephoto
Imaging: CANON REBEL XTi, ISO1600, f4.5, 3 s
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto
Date: March 16, 7:25 pm

Comments: This is 3X the magnification of the first image.

2013-Pan-STARRS-3-Espinoza Comet Pan-STARRS
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 600 mm telephoto
Imaging: CANON REBEL XTi, ISO1600, f4.5, 3 s
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto
Date: March 16, 7:25 pm

Comments: This is also 3X the magnification of the first image. But now the comet is getting even lower. Atmospheric reddening is significant.

2013-Moon&Venus-Heim Moon and Venus
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Canon 20D, 18-55 zoom lens at 55 mm
Imaging: f/7, 1/80 sec, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Aug 9, 2013, 8 pm

Comments: Not the only Moon + Venus conjunction in our collection, but nice enough to add. Earthshine is just visible on the Moon. A bit grainy with the high ISO, but I like it.

2013-Moon&Jupiter-Heim

Moon and Jupiter
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 200 mm telephoto on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/4, 1/4000 sec, ISO 1600
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Jan 21, 2013, 9 pm MST

Comments: I couldn’t get the Jovian moons to show up without over-exposing our own Moon, so this was the best compromise. Captured at near-minimum separation for my location, Jupiter is seen here 0.6° from the lunar limb. My astro software predicted 9 pm MST for closest approach, but it now appears minimum separation happened closer to 6 pm. North is at top, and the Moon was moving toward the 7-8 o’clock point. Extrapolating from there, minimum separation might have been as little as 0.4°. From parts of South America, Jupiter was occulted. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a long enough right-angle extender to capture that view.

2013-Moon&Jupiter-Espinoza Moon and Jupiter
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 270 mm telephoto on Canon Rebel XTi
Imaging: ISO1600, f4.5, 1 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto
Date: March 17, 2013

Comments: A nice conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter with a separation of about 1.5°.

2013-Flare-1-Shivak Solar Prominence
By: Randy Shivak
Optics: AP 152mm F8 telescope fitted with a DayStar Quantum PE .5 Angstrom H-alpha filter
Imaging: Flea2 video CCD camera
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: May 12, 2013

Comments: With so much happening today it was a real challenge trying to image both the lift off prominence on the western limb, and the spectacular loop prominence (see following image) on the eastern limb.

2013-Flare-2-Shivak Loop Prominence
By: Randy Shivak
Optics: AP 152mm F8 telescope fitted with a DayStar Quantum PE .5 Angstrom H-alpha filter
Imaging: Flea2 video CCD camera
Location: Anthem, AZ
Date: May 12, 2013
2012-TripleConjunction-Espinoza Triple Conjunction
By: Raul espinoza
Imaging: Canon EOS XTi, 140 mm, ultraviolet filter, 8 s, tripod mount
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: Aug 5, 2012, 8 pm (shortly before Curiosity touched down on Mars)

Comments: Top to bottom: Saturn, Spica, Mars. Objects are diffused from points of light by atmospheric haze and some intentional de-focusing. But the color contrast is very nice.

2012-transit-Espinoza-1 Transit of Venus
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 6″ AstroPhysics refractor, prime focus, H-alpha glass filter
Imaging: Canon EOS Rebel XTi, 1/200 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: June 5th, 2012

Comments: This image was about an hour into the transit. The following image show a later view.

2012-transit-Espinoza-2 Transit of Venus
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 6″ AstroPhysics refractor, prime focus, H-alpha glass filter
Imaging: Canon EOS Rebel XTi, 1/160 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: June 5th, 2012

Comments: This image was 20 minutes before sunset, with significant reddening, and Venus near mid-transit.

2012-Sun-Espinoza Sun
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 300-600 mm telephoto, yellow multi-coated ultraviolet polarizer, neutral density solar filter
Imaging: Canon DSLR, ISO 200, f5.6, 1/200 sec
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: April 23, 2012

Comments: With the upcoming annular eclipse and Venus transit, I thought it wise to start practicing now. Unfortunately, not much detail on the Sun in this shot. But at least I now know my system will work well for both upcoming events.

2012-Sirius-Espinoza Sirius
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: Dan Heim’s Takahashi FS-128 at prime focus
Imaging: Canon EOS 20D with T-adapter, 1/4 second
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: December 8, 2012

Comments: Sirius was rising in the southeast and chromatic refraction was extreme. To enhance the colors, I de-focused the disc and captured these three images in sequence at 30 second intervals. All colors in the rainbow are visible.

2012-Saturn-1-Espinoza Saturn
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 14″ CAS, eyepiece projection using 7 mm
Imaging: Canon DSLR at ASA 100
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: April 20, 2012

Comments: Seeing wasn’t the best that night, but after several tries I was satisfied to get these images. Interesting how the different ASA changed the color balance (see following image).

2012-Saturn-2-Espinoza Saturn
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 14″ CAS, eyepiece projection using 7 mm
Imaging: Canon DSLR at ASA 200
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: April 20, 2012

Comments: This is with ASA 200 instead of 100 (as in the previous image).

2012-Photometry-RW-COM-Loucks-1 Photometry
By: Scott Lucks
Optics: Celestron NSGPS 11 @ f/3.3 using Celestron 80mm, NexImage Imager: MetaGuide guiding software
Imaging: SBIG 402ME CCD
Location: Kickapoo Observatory – MPC G88, AAVSO LSCA, New River, AZ
Date: data acquired from April 18-22, 2012

Comments: The calibrated image provided shows the target field with variable star RW Com (GCVS catalog) labeled “T” with comparisons stars labeled “1” and “2” (AAVSO Chart 6984CGN, 116 and 112 respectively) in Coma Berenices taken on April 20, 2012 LST at Kickapoo Observatory (formally LAMP Observatory, until I decided to officially recognize the fact that I need to kick dog piles out of my way to get to it). By the way, in case you were wondering, LAMP stood for “Loucks Astrometry of Minor Planets,” but I’ve pretty much gotten out of that game at this point.

2012-Photometry-RW-COM-Loucks-2

Photometry
By: Scott Lucks
Optics: Celestron NSGPS 11 @ f/3.3 using Celestron 80mm, NexImage Imager: MetaGuide guiding software
Imaging: SBIG 402ME CCD
Location: Kickapoo Observatory – MPC G88, AAVSO LSCA, New River, AZ
Date: data acquired from April 18-22, 2012

Comments: Shown are differential magnitude measurements of the variable star RW Com and comparison stars. The plotted data represents instrumental magnitudes (unfiltered aperture photometry). Y-axis: range of differential magnitudes where 0.0 is centered on the mean magnitude of the variable (brighter values are negative in adherence to the visual magnitude system). X-axis: passage of time in hours (JD format). Charting software: MPO Canopus.

The period was found by matching published value. Basically, I backed in my data to match. Seems to fit the published period well. Period (d): 0.2373459, Max (mag): 11.00 Min (mag): 11.70, but I make no claims as to its accuracy or correctness. This was my first attempt at gathering and plotting data for a variable light curve.

2012-Moon&Clouds-Espinoza Moon and Clouds
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: stock lens (18-55 mm)
Imaging: Canon EOS XTi full auto
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: September 28th, 2012, 8:30 pm MST

Comments: One day before the Full Moon, I caught a beautiful interplay of light and clouds. Read Dan Heim’s analysis in this post of Sky Lights.

2012-LunarMaria-Espinoza Lunar Maria
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: Celestron C-14 + polarizing filter
Imaging: Canon DSLR at prime focus
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Tramonto, AZ
Date: May 9, 2012

Comments: This image was taken without a controller, so there’s some blurring, even with short exposures. The image shows some major lunar maria. Left to right: Serenity, Tranquility, Fertility. The Sea of Crises is at upper right.

2012-Eclipse-Walker Annular Eclipse
By: Ron Walker
Optics: PST with H-alpha filter
Imaging: Orion StarShoot II imager, 1 second, processing by MaxIm DL Essentials
Location: Walker Ranch North (Dark Sky Site), enjoying SQM ratings of 21.8
Date: May 20, 2012

Comments: I wasn’t originally planning to do any photography — just visual observing. But as long as I had the equipment, I decided to give it a try. I got about 20 photos, and am quite satisfied with the results. This shot, taken at the moment of max annularity, clearly shows solar prominences on the limb of the Sun. As you can see, I was just barely in the path of annularity.

2012-Eclipse-Staats Partial Eclipse
By: Kai Staats
Optics: Canon 60D w/ 18-135 mm lens, neutral density mylar filter
Imaging: HD video with stills extracted and composited
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: May 20, 2012

Comments: I was only planning to do visual observing, but ended up improvising a filter for my 60D using a piece of cardboard, mylar eclipse glasses, and some masking tape (with a little help from an Exacto knife). This montage shows the event from mid to max partiality.

2012-Eclipse-Espinoza Annular Eclipse
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: Canon EOS Rebel + 600 mm XTi Telephoto
Imaging: ASA 200, 1/180 sec, filtered
Location: Page, AZ
Date: May 20, 2012

Comments: I drove north to Page, AZ for this event and, as you can see, was right on the centerline. The optics were mounted on my modified Sun tracking system.

2012-Eclipse-Coppo Partial Eclipse
By: Julio Coppo
Optics: PST w/ H-alpha filter
Imaging: Nikon 990 (manual mode), ISO 100, 1/8 second, f/2.8
Location: Near Camp Verde off I-17
Date: May 20, 2012

Comments: We didn’t make it quite far enough north to see annularity, but got some good photos showing not only the partial phase, but also many solar prominences.

2012-Conjunction-Espinoza Moon + Venus + Jupiter
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: Canon EOS 20D, stock 18-55 mm lens
Imaging: Full auto
Date: March-April 2012

Comments: This shot of the 2012 conjunction is seen over Star Veil Observatory in Tramonto, AZ. Their closest approach was on March 13th, when the separation was a mere 1 degree. The inset shows the view a few weeks later, when a young Moon joined the grouping.

2012-CirrusRainbow-Serrato Cirrus Rainbow
By: Roger Serrato
Optics: Canon 35-135 mm lens @ 35 mm
Imaging: Canon EOS 20D, 1/400 sec., f 14, ISO 100
Date: April 7, 2012
Location: Verde Valley, AZ

Comments: I saw this while southbound on I-17, just north of Verde Valley. The colors were vivid, and this was one of those “gotta git it” shots. Though not really a “rainbow,” which is a result of light refraction, this is cloud iridescence — a diffraction phenomenon. The beautiful pastel colors are produced by interference of light waves. Image saturation and contrast were boosted slightly for better visibility.

2010-PaloVerde-Heim-1

Mushroom Cloud Over Palo Verde
By: Dan Heim
Imaging: Canon 20D, 18-55 mm lens, full auto
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Dec 27, 2010

Comments: While enjoying our Arizona sunsets, I often notice this anomalous cloud that always seems to form in the same location, approximately SW from my point of view. Even when there’s no other clouds in the sky. I always suspected it might be a artifact from the cooling towers at the Palo Verde nuclear power plant. But this one caught my eye because of its distinct “mushroom” shape (at least at the start). The 3 images in this montage are separated by 30 minute intervals. You can see the cloud at first grow, then dissipate.

So I decided once and for all to settle this mystery and fired up Google Earth. You can see my results in the following image.

2010-PaloVerde-Heim-2

Mushroom Cloud Over Palo Verde
By: Dan Heim

Comments: This what I found on Google Earth. From my location in New River, the plant is located about 56 miles to the southwest. Mystery solved.

The cooling towers at Palo Verde are always venting a plume of warm air. During the cooler months, when the dew point is just right, the plume creates a distinct cloud separate from prevailing weather patterns. As the Sun sets and atmospheric conditions change, the cloud morphs accordingly.

2009-Moon&Jupiter-Pettit Moon and Jupiter
By: Tyler Pettit
Imaging: Insignia 7.0 MP “point & shoot” camera, full auto, afocal through Takahashi FS-128 at 200X
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Nov 1, 2009

Comments: Tyler Pettit, nephew of Dan Heim, visiting from Minnesota, captured these images via afocal (through the eyepiece) photography. Though the Moon was near Full, some good detail was visible near the terminator, as well as crater Copernicus (top right) with its prominent rays. No detail was captured on Jupiter, but all four of the Galilean satellites are clearly visible.

2009-CrescentMoon-Serrato Crescent Moon
By: Roger Serrato
Optics: Canon EOS-20D at prime focus on Celestron C-8
Imaging: f10, 1/8 sec, ISO 100.
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
Date: Sep 22, 2009, 8 pm

Comments: This image of the 4-day old Moon was captured from my back yard in north Phoenix. Seeing was less than optimal, but many fine details are still visible. The large basin at the upper right is Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises). The only crisis that night was the bad seeing.

2009-17P-Holmes-Espinoza

Comet 17P/Holmes
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: Astrophysics 6″ apochromat refractor
Imaging: Fuji slide at 200ASA, 25 minute exposure
Date: Jul 1, 2009

2008-M51-Lindner M51
By: Barry Lindner
Imaging: Celestron 11 (inch) SCT and ST-402ME CCD
Processing: five 45 second exposures stacked and sharpened
Location: LAMP Observatory, New River, AZ
Date: Feb 2008

Comments: [Actually, this is the equipment owner’s comments, written by Scott Loucks.] We were just sitting in the control room that night enjoying some drinks. We made a run at one PHA and then I gave Barry control of the telescope, showed him how to pick off objects from TheSky, slew the telescope, and take the image. After that I couldn’t yank him away from the controls. This was the object he settled on. Not bad for a first attempt!

2008-LunarEclipse&Saturn-Heim Lunar Eclipse and Saturn
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 200mm telephoto on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/4, 1/10 sec, ISO 1600
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Feb 20, 2008, 20:30 MST

Comments: The Moon rose, already in the umbra, and partly hidden by cloudy skies. At the time of maximum eclipse (20:26 MST) a fortuitous break in the clouds allowed us a clear view. The bright object at lower left is Saturn. We had about a 30 minute visibility window, after which it clouded over again and began to rain. The weather gods smiled on us this time.

2007-RedLining-Heim Red Lining
By: Dan Heim
Imaging: Canon 20D, 18-55 mm lens, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Mar 3, 2007

Comments: Unlike a “silver lining” (which is forward-scattered sunlight), this intense “red lining” is an oblique reflection of filtered sunlight from beyond the horizon.

2007-Rays-Heim

Crepuscular Rays
By: Dan Heim
Imaging: Canon, 18-55 mm lens, full auto
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Apr 20, 2007

Comments: With the Sun perfectly placed behind a dark cloud, conditions were ideal for the formation of crepuscular rays.

2007-Moon&Venus-Heim Crescent Moon and Venus
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 200 mm on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/16, 1/250 sec, ISO 400
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: May 19, 2007

Comments: The Crescent Moon and Venus separated by a mere 0.8°.

2007-LunarEclipse-Heim

Lunar Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 200mm telephoto on Canon 20D
Imaging: f/10, 1/4 to 1 sec, ISO 3200

Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Aug 28, 2007, 0300 MST

Comments: This fine lunar eclipse occurred in clear skies during a momentary break in our usually cloudy monsoon season. This sequence of images shows two interesting aspects of this celestial phenomenon.

In the first image, you see the Earth’s umbral shadow cast on the Moon, with the peculiar curvature and haziness of the “terminator” typical of these events. It was this appearance of this “terminator” that suggested to early Greek astronomers it was indeed the shadow of the Earth, and thus was proof the Earth was round.

The second interesting feature is shown in the last image. The Moon always looks more 3D when eclipsed, this one even more so. It was a relatively bright eclipse, with the lower right edge most illuminated and in contrast with the dark maria at upper right. It looked so 3D that I could almost imagine reaching out and grabbing it. The brightness of a given lunar eclipse depends, of course, on the extent of cloud cover around the Earth. The more transparent the atmosphere, the brighter the refracted red light illuminating the Moon during totality.

2007-FalseSun-Heim False Sun
By: Dan Heim
Imaging: Canon 20D, full auto
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Feb 15, 2007

Comments: Randomly oriented ice crystals in clouds above the sunset point produced this brilliant “false Sun” effect.

2007-DoubleRainbow-Heim-1 Double Rainbows
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 28mm wide-angle lens on Canon 20Dat f10

Imaging: f/10, 1/10 to 1/4 sec, ISO 3200
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Monsoon Season, 2006-2007, around sunset

Comments: Late afternoon monsoon rains and a low Sun combined to produce these spectacular double rainbows. Note the obvious increase in sky brightness (back-scattering) both inside the primary bow and outside the secondary. I got lucky in the second image and managed to catch a bolt of lightning striking the side of Gavilan Peak, though the image needed considerable digital tweaking to bring out both the bolt and double bow. The third image is a digital composite showing the full extent of the bow — nearly 180 degrees thanks to the low Sun. Unfortunately, a 28mm lens, plus the effective 1.6x magnification when focusing on a CCD, constrains my field of view to around 44 degrees. And it’s tough to get the sky brightness constant for all images in the composite.

2007-DoubleRainbow-Heim-2

Double Rainbow
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zenitar K2 Fisheye on Canon 20D

Imaging: f/4, 1/10 second, ISO 1600
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: July 9, 2008, around 18:00 MST

Comments: To capture the full 94 degrees of the primary rainbow (and another 20 degrees for the secondary) in a single image, I would need to use a 7mm ultra-wide-angle lens (essentially a fisheye). That lens, available from Canon, is prohibitively expensive. But I recently found the Zenitar online for far less. It’s made in Russia, is compatible with my Canon, and can shoot at f/2.8-22. It’s a rectangular format fisheye, with a 180° diagonal FOV. This image is the first taken with that new lens. Unfortunately, in my haste to capture this fleeting phenomenon, I left the aperture at f/4 which was too fast (hence the washed out colors). I’ll keep trying, as we get these doubles often during monsoons. Next time I’ll bracket around f/10 and use a lower ISO.

2006-Prominence-Heim Solar Prominence
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Takahashi FS-128, Coronado SM40 H-α filter, eyepiece projection @ 104X, Canon 20D
Imaging: f/15, 1/10 sec, ISO 400
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Nov 8, 2006, 11:00 MST

Comments: This flare was imaged earlier in the day, before the Mercury transit began. I was just practicing my settings and caught this nice image. The focus could be better, but it’s tough to set that manually through an H-α filter, since the CCD is far more sensitive to red light than the human eye. And I was shooting under an opaque hood.

2005-M31-Serrato M31
By: Roger Serrato
Optics: Rokker 28mm on Minolta XG1
Imaging: f/2.8, 10 min, Kodak Gold 200
Location: Black Canyon City, AZ
Date: 2005

Comments: A fine view of the dense starfield near M-31.

2005-DeepImpact-1-Loucks

Deep Impact Meets Comet Tempel 1
By: Scott Loucks
Imaging: 10 minutes, 0.28 m SCT/ST-402ME at f/3.3, 40×15 sec stacked and shifted frames, false color

Location: LAMP Observatory, New River, AZ
Date: Jul 4, 2005

Comments: The collision of NASA’s Deep Impact probe with comet Tempel 1 is captured here (see light curve in following image). This image was used on the BBC television program “The Sky at Night” with Sir Patrick Moore.

2005-DeepImpact-2-Loucks

Deep Impact Meets Comet Tempel 1 (Light Curve)
By: Scott Loucks

Comments: Brightening of the comet due to the probe impact was not visually noticeable from LAMP Observatory. However, by plotting the delta magnitudes measured against time (delta magnitudes via Astrometrica minor planet software) the impact brightening was unambiguously detected as an increase of around 2.5 magnitudes.

2001-CloudShadow-Heim Cloud Shadow
By: Dan Heim
Imaging: Sony Mavica MVC-FD81, full auto
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Jul 3, 2001

Comments: A monsoon thunderhead over Lake Pleasant casts its shadow in the sky as the Sun sets behind it. This effect is closely related to how crepuscular rays are formed.

1999-SunPillar-Heim Sun Pillar
By: Dan Heim
Imaging: Sony Mavica MVC-FD81, full auto
Location: Heimhenge, New River, AZ
Date: Nov 12, 1999

Comments: Ice crystals in the air produced this brilliant Sun pillar just after sunset.

1997-Hale-Bopp-Espinoza Comet Hale-Bopp
By: Raul Espinoza
Optics: 150 mm telephoto on Olympus OM-1, piggy-backed on a 6″ guide scope
Imaging: f/3.8, 25 min, ASA 100, Fujichrome
Location: Star Veil Observatory, Yarnell, AZ
Date: one fine night in 1997 around 10 pm

Comments: Minor guiding errors, as you can see by the stars, but the comet still comes through nicely. Dust and ion trails are both clearly visible.

1997-HaleBopp-Dagilis Comet Hale-Bopp
By: Steve and Deannea Dagilis
Optics: 200mm telephoto on Nikon F3
Imaging: f/4.5, 11 min, hypered TechPan 2415
1994-Annular-Heim

Annular Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Celestron SS80 spotting scope, eyepiece projection, Olympus OM-1
Imaging: 1/125 sec, Kodachrome ASA 64
Location: Dexter, NM, noonish
Date: May 10, 1994

Comments: This image was captured < 1 mile from the exact eclipse center-line. I decided to use the overcast as a filter and got lucky.

1991-Total-Heim Total Eclipse
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Zuiko 100 mm telephoto on Olympus OM-1
Imaging: f/2.8, 1/8 sec, Kodachrome ASA 64
Location: San Jose del Cabo, Baja, Mexico
Date: Jul 11, 1991, noonish

Comments: Ideal geometry provided a nearly 7 minute totality for this event.

1986-Halley-Heim

Halley’s Comet
By: Dan and Sandi Heim
Optics: Zuiko 100mm telephoto on Olympus OM-1
Imaging: f/2.8, 1 hour hat trick, manual tracking, Kodachrome ASA 800
Location: Walnut Canyon, AZ
Date: May 3, 1986, 21:00-22:00 MST

Comments: The comet is seen here between Crater and Hydra, at a distance of 90 million miles from Earth. Note the star (magnitude +3.1 ν Hydrae) diffused by the comet’s tail. This image has been cropped to a 21°x13° frame. The comet’s tail can be seen extending to almost 10°

1985-Moon-Heim Atlas and Hercules
By: Dan Heim
Optics: Celestron Comet Catcher, 200X eyepiece projection, Olympus OM-1
Imaging: 1/2 sec, Kodachrome ASA 400
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Date: Jun 1, 1985, 9 pm MST

Comments: This view of the northeast limb shows the elusive twin craters Atlas and Hercules, caught during a favorable libration.

1970-Total-Walker

Total Eclipse
By: Ron Walker
Optics: Vivitar 205mm telephoto w/2X lens converter on Canon FT QL
Imaging: f/3.8, Ektachrome 35mm
Location: Turkey, Virginia
Date: Mar 7, 1970

Comments: This image was captured after an all-night drive from the University of Chicago.

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