Making Up For A Prior Night’s Cut Short | September 6 and October 5-6, 2021

It is rare, but it happens! If you are going to drive out a 100 miles from your residence to a dark location, don’t forget to charge the battery for your telescope!

At least when I came out the next time, I more than made up for it!

Date: September 6 and October 5-6, 2021
Location:Cottonwood Spring, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
Time22:00 – 4:00 / 22:00 – 5:00 (UTC-7)
Weather clear/calm ; 80°-75° F | clear, calm, humid, 70° – 60° F
Bortle Scale3

Equipment Used

  • 8″ (203 mm) f/4.9 Newtonian Telescope
  • Atlas II EQ-G Mount
  • Starshoot Autoguider
  • Nikon d5300

September 6

Sept. 6 – Constellation Shots

October 5-6

October 5-6 Constellation Shots


The reason for this mega gallery is simple – On September 6, I had a great night planned with what I wanted to shoot, only to find out that I forgot to charge my telescope battery… oops!

While I managed great shots of the Cocoon Nebula and Helix nebula, the battery had only enough juice for a couple of hours until it could no longer provide enough electricity to power the scope. So I did a couple non-tracking constellation shots to call it a night.

On October 5-6, I made sure the battery was fully charged, and after presenting to a few curious people who came out specifically to see the stars and happened to see my telescope, I was ready for doing a composed mosaic of M31, C49, and M45.

With M31, I had successfully done this before, but it was before I had a coma corrector, and a trained eye could see my mistakes on the picture of it I took last fall. While I did properly get the entire galaxy in frame, the color balance would NOT match between the sections, therefore I kept the image as black and white.

With the Rosette Nebula and Pleiades, I simply wanted to make sure I didn’t leave anything in these large objects cropped out, and they ended up being really good compositions!

What’s cool about the Rosette Nebula is that one orientation makes it look like a rose, hence its namesake, but the other orientation makes it look like a skull!

I hope this mega gallery makes up for the last month’s lack of producction.

Until next time, Keep Looking Up!


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