My 10 Best 2017-2018 Astro Photos

This blog site was established in mid 2017, when yours truly was doing basic afocal photography through an eyepiece with an iPhone. Astrophotography with a DSLR was not in the cards quite yet, and I didn’t start shooting with one until December of 2018. But hey, at least I could say that I could get some decent lucky iPhone shots of the solar system, right?

This was taken at the end ot totality on 1/31/2018

This is from an eclipse that went total before dawn around 4-5 am, and and as I was working a warehouse job at the time that BEGAN at 5am, I had to specially request my supervisor to let me view this eclipse and do a stream of it. The supervisor told me “yes, go ahead, just send me a picture of the eclipse when you’re done!”

Moon and Venus through telescope eyepiece

I do not quite remember when this conjunction event happened in 2018 (as it’s not the only time I’ve seen a crescent moon meet Venus in the sky), but hey, the two were close enough to be seen through a wide angle eyepiece through my 8″ telescope!

Sunspots

Again, I don’t remember when exactly I took this close up of the sunspot group visible on the Sun, but given that we were approaching the next solar minimum, the sight of sunspots at all was becoming more rare, and thus was always an excuse to try and image the sun!

Orion Nebula

The only “deep sky” long exposure photo I could ever achieve with my iPhone! See it in all its poor tracking glory! If I remember correctly, I was using an app called “NightCap” which had a long exposure feature, but it didn’t do much. I remember just being happy that “hey I see some red color!”

Saturn

This is not a stacked photo of Saturn… (I wasn’t doing that yet!), but a great lucky still with excellent seeing conditions that was taken with my iPhone at the time. The rings and Cassini Division are super obvious! Most likely I took this photo at or sometime near opposition night.

Mars

This was taken about two-three weeks after the historic 2018 Mars Close Approach. On the night of the actual close approach night in the Summer of 2018, Mars had an ongoing global sandstorm covering the entire planet, making any features impossible to see. But a few weeks later, the sandstorm started to subside, and I was able to get the southern icecap with a lucky still frame.

Comet 46P/Wirtanen

My first ever DSLR Astrophoto… taken on a night when 46P/Wirtanen was at or near its closest to Earth. The comet was making headlines as a “Christmas Comet” due to it possibly getting bright enough to be seen with the naked eye… which never happened. But because I knew I needed to do long exposure photography to see the green color and bring out the detail, that’s what inspired me to get into astrophotography – and the rest was history!

This shot of the southern region of the moon at high magnification was always a favorite of mine. It showed how good my telescope could get when it came to high magnification views, and how good my iphone could be on bright targets with the right adapters… and a lot of luck!

The event that started it all… I of course didn’t know it at the time, but the 2017 Solar Eclipse was my first foray into astrophotography! This is a still frame from the video of totality that I filmed with my iPhone adapted to my telescope, and I like this frame because it not only showcases the “diamond ring effect” but also shows some good prominence activity (those “red flames”).

Great American Eclipse 2017

It’s a picture of a freaking total solar eclipse that I took… how could it NOT be among my top 10 for this post?!

And there you have it, folks! Everyone has to start somewhere! In this post, you see the seeds being planted for what I would eventually dive into later on. To see the next stage in progress, be sure to check out my Top 10 2019 Astro Photos… or just skip ahead to 2020 when I started getting “good” at it!

Be Sure To Remain Observant and Keep Looking Up!

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