See Jane’s observing report from the same evening — some great binocular observing with Kemble’s Cascade.
Several months ago, David Green of the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association invited me to give a talk on astrophotography in March.
I thought, “No problem! We’ll have several dark sky weekends between now and then for me to get some photos and screen captures, and I’ll have a fine talk.”
Famous last words! I must have jinxed the weather. But my luck turned just in time to get out with Jane on March 9 for some dark sky observing and astrophotography at Amboy Crater.
This trip would be the last remote observing session for our not-so-trusty Dodge Grand Caravan. It had been plagued with electrical troubles for the past several months, and on this trip it started behaving erratically on the climb up the Cajon pass on I-15. We opted to brave the possibility of being stranded, and carried on to Amboy Crater. Luckily everyone survived the trip!
Our first hope was for a shot of comet PANSTARRS in its first opportunity on the northern portion of its pass through the system.
Those clouds you see in the set-up pictures hung around the western horizon just enough to keep the comet out of view.
My first target was going to be an easy favorite visual target, but one of which I didn’t have a good astrophoto. M64, M65, and NGC3628 are three galaxies in Leo that form a striking group. There are other galaxy groups in Leo, but I believe this one is the set known as the Leo Trio.
I went for a couple of other interesting easy targets that should be fun. The Whirlpool and NGC5907 “Splinter” are best with longer focal length telescopes, for a narrower field, but I enjoy these wide field shots too.
The “Splinter” in Draco is a lovely edge-on spiral.
Finally I went for a redo of a classic winter-sky object, one for which my Traveler with its wide field-of-view should be ideal, the Rosette nebula in the winter Milky Way.
Here is my earlier shot of the Rosette, and the full size image of it here. On that night my focus wasn’t especially good. Since then my skill with focusing and processing has improved quite a bit, such that now I’m proud to show you my new Rosette image.
So I certainly had enough to make a fair astrophotography presentation for a camera club. My talk was the following Tuesday evening at Santa Clarita Camera, for the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association.