For astronomers, nothing says Summer quite like this shot from my Michigan friend, Joe Tocco, taken recently while visiting the Arizona desert and his friend Steven Aggas.
The image itself is stunning, but just as impressive to me is that this is a single 5 second shot at around f/3.5 with his Nikon D7100 SLR camera. This is a testament to the dark and transparent skies in the Arizona desert. The dobsonian in the foreground is Steven's monstrous 36 incher. I can only imagine what the views would be like through that telescope pointed at those pristine skies.
Here in Arkansas, the weather still seems to be in a Spring pattern. Lots of clouds, a little rain, then more clouds. There were a few clear nights where I was able to get out to the observatory. These were around the Full Moon and I was able to shoot through my Astrodon 5nm hydrogen alpha filter. I have been anxious to add color to at least a couple of these but I have to take the weather as it comes. This is only a tiny sample of some of the Summer targets and I'm looking forward to those clear nights that are sure to come. These were all shot with my 80mm Levenhuk triplet and SBIG STF-8300M camera set to -10 degrees Celsius.
|North America and Pelican nebula in Cygnus|
|The Crescent nebula (NGC 6888) in Cygnus|
|Cygnus is a treasure trove. This is the area around Sadr, the central star in the northern cross.|
|To the south in Sagittarius is this beautiful pairing, the Trifid (M20) and Lagoon (M8) nebula.|
|To the north in Cepheus, you will find NGC 7380, the Wizard nebula|
|Just above the Wizard nebula in Cepheus is IC 1396, the Elephants Trunk nebula.|
As wonderful as some things are about Summer, it doesnt come without a price. Nothing does I suppose. I sure hope those two mosquitos bring back our neighbors beagle.
Have a happy and safe Summer everyone! :)