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

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 […]

Short summer night

Jane snapped this shot of me shortly after sunset, squinting into the bit of wind we had.

Happy Independence Day!

This weekend wasn’t our usual dark sky new moon weekend; there would be a third-quarter moon rising just at midnight. With summer sunset at 8:00, and no real dark sky until about 9:00, we were looking at […]

Observing report, dark desert June skies

Mojo, Caroline, Jane, Catherine, Gary, and Todd

Update: Jane wound up using most of my astrophotos below in her July NASA What’s Up podcast. Check it out!

The forecast was for a very temperate desert evening, so six of the Old Town Sidewalk Astronomers headed off to the Colorado Desert to play outside all night. Seeing was […]

A galaxy from the inside

Sometimes it’s the simplest thoughts that have the most profound effect on your visitors to the telescope.

This past weekend we spent two clear dark nights in Mojave National Preserve sharing our big telescopes with about fifty park visitors and the MNP Conservation Association.

This time of year, the sky is full of galaxies. We were showing spirals, […]

Pinwheels, Horseheads, and Flaming Stars

Photo from Feb. 2009 of the Astro-Physics Traveler getting ready for a night of imaging at Chuckwalla Bench

Jane and I were by ourselves for the dark sky weekend of November 14, 2009. We set up at our usual spot at Chuckwalla Bench. Unlike the past two months, this night featured a cold air mass that […]

Finally autoguiding

Full photo album of setting up and astrophotos here at the Whiteoaks Photo Album.

Update: Here’s Jane’s version of the same evening.

It was another perfect new moon Saturday for a trip to our favorite spot in the Colorado Desert out I-10.

Yes this is a very full Grand Caravan!

Jane and I happily took out all the […]

A perfect night in the desert

Observing report, dark sky weekend, September, 2009, Chuckwalla Bench

The "Double Cluster" between Cassiopeia and Perseus

The Clear Sky Chart forecast for Desert Center, CA, was dark blue all night for our favorite observing site. The NOAA forecast called for a high of 99 and low of 77. Often a night like this can have uncomfortably hot […]

Snakes, Tortoises, and Stars

Photos and video found here

What do herpetologists and astronomers have in common?

They both like going out on new moon weekends: astronomers to find faint fuzzies, and herpetologists to find nocturnal reptiles.

Last year in October, Jane met herpetologist Hanna Strauss at an event in Mojave National Preserve, and the two of them resolved to get together again […]

Messier Marathon 2009

The Messier Marathon seems like a silly exercise, but it’s certainly fun. Jane and I were introduced to our favorite dark sky desert observing site five years ago when Don Machholz invited us to join him for a mid-week Messier Marathon.

Big dobs set up for the Messier Marathon under clear steady blue skies.

We’ve logged 108 and […]