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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]