Thursday, February 17, 2011
The winter weather in
has been wet and cold. That’s nothing unusual. Seattle isn’t the best place in the world to use a telescope. I’ve been patiently waiting for a clear night to view the stars since last October. I kept reminding Erika that if the night skies are clear, you won’t see me for the rest of the night…I’ll have a date with my T-scope. It finally happened on January 31st and February 1st. I had forgotten all of the steps required to set up the T-scope and the software programs. After fumbling with the wires and connectors, everything was ready. At first, I just wanted to view the red spot on Jupiter. The skies were clearing, and luckily I was able to do much more. I felt like a kid in a candy store! I had so many things to photograph and so little time. Seattle
Without getting too technical or boring…the Crab Nebula is a star that exploded in the 11th century, M81 and M82 are distant galaxies, the Orion Nebula is that fuzzy patch of light just below the three stars in Orion’s belt (stars are born there), and the Horsehead Nebula is on the left side of the three stars in Orion’s belt (the dark gas forms the shape of a black stallions head, pretty cool!) I wanted to take pictures of these beautiful objects ever since I first saw them in a National Geographic magazine as a kid. As I mentioned before, there are so many things I want to see and photograph, but not enough time. I’m learning each time I take a set of images. I still have a long way to go before I can call myself an astrophotographer. The journey is a challenge, but I’m having a blast!
I’ll keep posting photos as I process them and as the weather permits. I hope that one day (after I move to Tsukahara), I’ll be able to share with kids and adults alike, a peek through the eyepiece with the hope of sparking an interest in astronomy. The night skies have an endless supply of wonders and surprises just waiting to be explored. If I could hook just one person into wanting to learn more about the stars, then I think I accomplished something very important. Keep looking up!