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Mojo
Posts about photography, contract bridge, astrophotography, astronomy, Java development, internet systems.

Working with a broken astronomy camera

Last year, I had some really bad luck with astrophotography.

I replaced my old laptop (Dell, Windows XP) and installed a new suite of tools to replace the somewhat ancient and unsupported camera software. At one point during my first “shakeout” evening (October 2014), the new software started spinning my telescope around the declination axis. It made […]

April Observing: Supernova and a Comet

The weather forecast for our favorite spot, Amboy Crater, called for decent conditions but high winds. (Why do we care about the wind? Here are four reasons I can think of: simple comfort, blowing charts and equipment, maintaining a target in a telescope, and blowing dust.)

The best forecast in the area was at our old favorite […]

Finally some observing weather

See Jane’s observing report from the same evening — some great binocular observing with Kemble’s Cascade.

The 20D mounted piggyback on the Traveler and Mach One GTO mount, hoping to catch comet PANSTARRS on its first opportunity.

Several months ago, David Green of the Santa Clarita Valley Photographers Association invited me to give a talk on astrophotography […]

Hot, dry astronomy

My piggy back shot of Scorpius taken in the early evening. Note the Pipe Nebula near the center left, a dark dusty pipe in silhouette against the Milky Way. Click for the full-resolution image.

Observing report for June 16, 2012, Amboy, CA

The forecast for Amboy had a high temperature of 104°F and a low of 72°F. […]

Galaxy season

Jane snapped Mojo waiting for darkness at the Amboy Crater visitor area.

Observing report, April 21, 2012, Amboy, CA

We’ve had a string of bad luck with new moon weekends for the past six months, so when this new moon Saturday showed nearly perfect conditions, Jane and I were quick to pack the van and get out […]

Double your pleasure …

Chuckwalla Bench, Colorado Desert, California, 29 October 2011

As promised, last weekend was the first of two excellent dark sky weekends this month. The weather turned out to be perfect for this one as well.

Jane and I went to our old favorite spot off I-10, Chuckwalla Bench, on BLM land south of Joshua Tree in the Colorado […]

Observing at Amboy Crater

Observing report, October 22, 2011
Full photo album with site pictures here.

It's very easy to miss this sign from National Trails Highway, the delightful old U.S. Highway 66.

This month is blessed with two very good dark sky observing weekends, and we opted to take the first one at a spot we’ve been thinking about for a […]

January observing, a Monoceros evening

Click here for the full photo album with lots more pictures.

The snow-capped peaks were beautiful from the Foothill Freeway

It had been several months since our schedule, the weather, and the moon phase all cooperated to give us a chance to get out to our favorite astronomy spot. Jane and I, joined by Dave Hasenauer, ventured […]

Sky full of planets and lightning

These cumulus clouds were nearly stationary all evening, making quite the light show with an electrical storm

Observing report, August 7, 2010
Chuckwalla, CA

We hadn’t expected to be able to observe during this part of the summer from Chuckwalla Bench in the High Colorado desert south of Joshua Tree, but this August night’s forecast at Desert Center […]

Just another full moon

Almost-full moon rising over I-210 in Pasadena at 8:00 p.m., July 24, 2010.

It was about 8:00 p.m. Saturday night. Jane and I were driving home from having just seen Salt in Pasadena. This beautiful moon was rising above the Foothill Freeway, with dark blue earth shadow just below it.

I realized in this one picture was […]