This site is dedicated to seeing and appreciating the magnificence of the deep sky, especially when accessed from difficult environments like the northeast USA.  I hope to show that the challenges to astronomy posed by outdoor light pollution, skyglow, and a dense wet atmosphere can be overcome.  Of course the right equipment and techniques are needed, as are patience and motivation.  If here, then anywhere!


Most of the astronomical images here are originals acquired from my NJ backyard observatory, described below. For comparison some were acquired remotely from a telescope at Cerro Tololo in the Chilean Andes -- one of the world's best astronomy locations; the telescope there is a 16" R-C with FLI 16803 CCD. A few images were acquired from Mt Lemmon AZ with the 32" Schulman reflector and FLI 16803 CCD.

The NJ observatory telescope is designed for imaging rather than eyepieces -- a 12.5" f/6.7 AG Optical Systems iDK (imaging Dall-Kirkham Cassegrain) on a Paramount MX, running under TheSkyX software. This type of telescope greatly reduces optical aberrations seen with many scopes using larger imaging sensors.  The NJ camera is a ZWO ASI-071 color CMOS (APS-C size sensor, 23.6X15.6 mm), and in some cases an SBIG ST-10 CCD with LRGB filters.  The Gallery images are the results of many hours of photon exposure, typically 6-12 hours with 15-20 minute subframes. Final images were produced using CCD-Stack and Photoshop. The colors are true.

Nebulae

Nebulae

interstellar clouds of glowing gas & dust...

Galaxies

Galaxies

island universes of billions of stars......

Star Clusters

Star Clusters

vast "cities of stars" within our galaxy....

Supernova Remnants

Supernova Remnants

after massive stars explode...

Solar System

Solar System

planets, moons, comets, transits...

My Backyard Observatory

My Backyard Observatory

where the data come from...

How-to Videos by Rex Parker

How-to Videos by Rex Parker

down to earth talk about stellar subjects...

Mt Lemmon Astroimaging Workshop

Mt Lemmon Astroimaging Workshop

slide show from Tucson field trip...