6:00pm – 12:00am
-Unbelievable night for observing/imaging. Nice temperature – not too cold… and clear! Well, as clear and dark as it gets at my location. There’s a picture of my setup tonight on the ‘home’ page called ‘My observatory.’ You’ll notice a light barracade to the left of the equipment I set up to block lights from nearby streetlamps and cars, but mostly from the church right next door. Nothing against the church, I actually kind-of like it there – it’s better than a housing complex for sure – but their ‘security’ lights are extremely… what’s the word?… intrusive, bright, unwelcome, inconvienent, annoying… you can see where I’m going with this. I’m getting off track, but I just wanted to say that I’m well aware of the current light pollution problem first hand and am a huge advocate for remedying the situation.
-On to the good stuff. Ever since I got my new scope, the only thing I wanted to do is image my favorite Messier object – m42 – the Orion Nebula! Tonight, I finally got that chance. Again, I’m still learning and the sky wasn’t as ideal as I’d like it to be (the waning moon rose not long after Orion) but I’m still happy with the image I got (see the Gallery page). I love looking at that image and imagining the stars being born there, and the solar systems, and maybe the life that is emerging. As I’ve said many times before, astronomy is a very large amount imagination. If you know what you’re looking at, even if the image isn’t that good, you can still imagine what is out there and fill the gaps with anything you want. That’s the fun part ;)