On my way to my niece's wedding, I spent the night at Carrizo Plain, hoping for an all-nighter of astrophotography to learn more about our equipment and get some great shots. A storm came through the previous day, and a cold north wind blew. I set up at my favorite spot for focusing on dark sky and evening planet photography - get off Hwy 58 onto Elkhorn Rd, drive a mile till you see an intersection with an ancient tire on a stick, turn left and go up the hill to a flat summit with a panoramic view to the west and south, and a nice horizon in all other directions as well. It was clear on the drive down, and at sunset, but the clouds got thicker after sunset and eventually blanketed the sky to the extent I took everything down to protect it from possible rain. At 1:30am I awoke and saw the clouds clearing. By the time I got things set up again, it was completely clear.

Venus and the earthlit cresent moon in the handle of the teapot of Sagittarius, setting over the distant mountains

Orion setting while the ST2000XCM integrates on the Cone Nebula

The Cone Nebula w/ ST2000XCM + Megrez. sRGB single-shot color processed in CCDOPS5. 5x5min shots stacked in Registax 3, then this image stacked with 2x30min shots, for a total of 85 minutes. Curved and cropped in Photoshop 7. Decent, but this faint nebula seems to need moe like 3+ hours with these optics to do it justice.

Mercury in dawn light, with Jupiter and Spica above