Nightmare Before Christmas – Zero and Doghouse

Didn’t do much CNC work over the summer, but with Halloween around the corner I decided to make some decorations for the yard.  Making Zero’s doghouse was pretty easy with the CNC.  The only part I thought that would be difficult was his face and bones because I wanted to 3D model them.  Turned out… Read More »

M31 Andromeda Galaxy with M32 and M110

The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) is a spiral galaxy and is the closest neighbor to our Milky Way galaxy at a distance of about 2-1/2 million light years.  It’s 220,000 light years across and contains about 1 trillion stars.  It’s actually moving towards the Milky Way at about 70 miles per second and will collide and… Read More »

Astrophotography Setup

When I started getting into astrophotography at the beginning of this year I didn’t know much about astronomy or photography.  It’s taken half a year to learn and collect enough stuff (for now) to get the images I’ve been wanting to take.  I’m much more interested in imaging Deep Space Objects (DSOs) which are very faint,… Read More »

M13 Great Globular Cluster in Hercules

M13 is a globular cluster, consisting of about 300,000 stars, in the constellation Hercules.  It’s about 25,100 light years away and 145 light years in diameter.  Globular clusters are large collections of stars that are bound together by their gravity.  In 1974 radio signals (the Arecibo Message) were beamed towards M31 in part as a… Read More »

Excel Astronomy Calendar

At work I was pretty well known for being an Excel geek.  I’ve created a wide array of spreadsheets to do just about anything including structural analysis and design, statistical analysis, financial and operational forecasts, modeling and reporting, 3D physical modeling and even creating scenery for MS Flight Simulator. One of the major evolution’s in reporting… Read More »

NGC7000 / C20 North America Nebula

  The North America Nebula is a very large emission nebula, resembling North America, in Cygnus near the star Deneb.  Here you can see a large section of the nebula.  You can also see parts of the Pelican Nebula on the right side. This one was a bit of a last minute challenge.  Saturday night’s… Read More »

NGC 6888 / C27 Crescent Nebula

C27 Crescent Nebula – my best astrophoto yet! The Crescent Nebula is an emission nebula in the constellation Cygnus, about 5000 light-years away from Earth and about 25 light-years wide.  It is formed by the fast stellar wind from the Wolf-Rayet star WR 136, right in the center of the nebula, colliding with and energizing… Read More »

Veil Nebula Widefield

The forecast early this week showed a couple of clear nights so I decided to try some astrophotography with just my camera, a zoom lens and my mount, and without a telescope.  The moon was going to be more than half illuminated, but it would get to 10° above the horizon until around midnight or… Read More »

Troop 609 Scout Camping Recipes

A few years back when my boys were in scouts we’d head up to Many Point Scout Camp with the troop.  All the patrols would make their own food and the adult leaders were no exception.  We had a lot of great recipes that we used and our meals could often best be referred to as… Read More »

DSLR Camera Modification

While there are specially designed cameras for astrophotography, a lot of great images are captured with DSLR cameras.  A couple of key features of DSLR cameras is the ability to put a t-adapter in place of a lens to attach it to a telescope, and the ability to do really long exposure photos.  I bought… Read More »