Astrophotography Trip to Oak Ridge Observatory

June 24, 2006

New moon this month, an fog promised to cover coastal Monterey Bay and maybe the south Bay area as well. Jupiter's Great Red Spot and it's "red spot jr." transited the meridian at 9:30pm, and Chris Kitting and I planned to get some video footage to stack. I then wanted to spend the rest of the night doing deep sky imaging. The seeing was OK, but not great by Oak Ridge standards. I got several minutes of Jupiter footage through the Canon ZR45mc camcorder at Chris' Takahashi 130mm refractor and hope to work on creating a nice image a little later. The skies turned out to be pretty bright. Tropical moist air and a fair amount of haze came up from the south; the Milky Way was only slightly more obvious than at a good night at Cabrillo College. I was not impressed, and even considering bailing out after finishing with Jupiter - I was fried after a long stressful day wrestling with my taxes. But Chris had an Orion SkyGlow light pollution filter which we jerryrigged over my 50mm Zuiko lens on the ST2000xcm and so my spirits perked up and I thought I'd give it a go.

Me, at the laptop collecting 5min images of the Veil Nebula

Chris, shooting the Milky Way at the Tak with his DSLR