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transit of venus

Once in a Lifetime Event

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On June 5th, 2012, I witnessed the Planet Venus transit the Sun from my backyard. I used an Orion 4.5" Skyquest Dobsonian telescope with a homemade solar filter to observe the event. My parents joined me to watch with their solar glasses on. I remember the feeling of watching the Sun up close through the telescope as I bathed in the warmth of our star at the same time. It was a memorable experience. The most interesting part of the event for me, was that the planet Venus begain to cross in fron of the Sun at the exact moment it was scheduled to. It's truly amazsing how predictable the mo…

Springtime Astronomy

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  The Pillars of CreationThanks to some advice from the guys over at Astrogab, I have purchased a very powerful Action Set for Adobe Photoshop. I highly recommend this to any astrophotographer because it can save you serious time when processing an image. In light of these new tools, I have been going through and re-processing a lot of my astrophotos. Related Video: Astrophotography Image Processing Tutorial M17 - The Swan Nebula (Re-Processed) The weather has been very warm for this time of year, and the skies have been relatively clear lately!  Now that I have got a t…

What a Weekend!

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M20 - The Trifid NebulaIt all started on Friday, April 27th when I was lucky enough to spend another night at the RASC Niagara Observatory in Wellandport, Ontario. The clouds hung around until about 1:30 am, just as the moon was setting. Now that the summer constellations are beginning to appear again, I wanted to take a crack at the beautiful Trifid Nebula. I stayed up all night long, which would have normally been okay on a Friday night. However, a Cousin's wedding the next day meant I was walking around in a suit with bags under my eyes. Having to explain that you look tired because y…

M16 – The Eagle Nebula

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This post provides a great example of what to expect when shooting the Eagle Nebula with a stock DSLR camera. When people ask me whether it's necessary to modify their DSLR to capture deep sky astrophotography images, I often think back to my early experiences with M16. M16 - The Eagle Nebula I have since updated my astrophotography image of the Eagle Nebula. This photogenic Nebula was imaged from my light-polluted backyard in Ontario, Canada. From my latitude, the core of the Milky Way does not rise very far off of the horizon. This can make photographing the many fascinating nebulae…

Leo Triplet

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Over the past weekend, I again traveled to my dark sky observing site for some DSLR astrophotography. The nights of late January here in Ontario, Canada are long and cold. My deep sky target selection is a collection of 3 galaxies in the constellation Leo. The Leo Triplet of Galaxies This Saturday January 21st was or members observing night at my local astronomy club. Only myself and one other member attended because of cold weather and a lot of cloud cover. After setting up my gear at sundown, it wasn't until 3:30am that the clouds finally parted! I started out by capturing li…