The Return of the Astro Imager – Joshua Tree National Park | October 27, 2022

After months of bad weather every new moon AND stupid high gas prices… blame who you will on that one… I finally returned to do what I do best!

Date: October 27-28, 2022
Location:Cottonwood Spring, Joshua Tree National Park
Time19:00-4:00 (UTC-7)
Weather clear with light breeze; 65°- 45° F
Bortle Scale3.5

Equipment Used

  • 8″ (203 mm) f/4.9 Newtonian Telescope
  • Atlas II EQ-G Mount
  • Orion 80mm Short Tube Refractor w / Starshoot Autoguider
  • Nikon d5300
  • Meade Telextender 2x Barlow Lens

Telescope Images

If you want to blame the current White House administration for the record high inflation and high gas prices, especially here in California, go ahead… if you want to blame our sitting governor’s policies, or the price gouging of the gas corporations then go ahead… you do what suits you… Either way… I don’t care what or who is responsible… 6 dollars a gallon for gas is F***ING STUPID!

The fact of the matter is that after being burned out by possible predicted meteor storm that did not happen in late May, the summer of 2022 was not kind to this observer. With the amount of driving that I normally had to do over the summer for work, the stupid high gas prices, poor weather, and bad timing each new moon period meant I did not return to my usual imaging spot in Joshua Tree National Park until October!

And despite all of that, it was like I never left!

The beginning of the night not only had a nice 2 day old crescent moon to capture, but also a SpaceX launch from Vandenburg AFB being visible from my location was a welcome surprise target!

My supervisor requested many constellation shots to be used for his sky report presentation, and I was happy to capture all of them.

With the wide angle shots, I’m getting better at making the landscape features visible in the exposures, as I feel they add more to the image rather than always using a black silhouette. The shot with Mars and Taurus I feel is one of my best.

When it came to the telescope shots, I was really happy with how my shot of M1 the Crab Nebula came out. It definitely puts my previous attempts to shame, and I gladly replaced the old version with the new in the Messier Object Gallery.

Now I have only seven Messier objects to go!

Keep Looking Up!


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