Just like prior posts showcasing 2017-2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021 this post looks back at the year 2022, and all of my adventures with a telescope and/or a camera!
This year wasn’t as plentiful as 2021, but we can blame stupid high gas prices and poor weather during the new moon periods over the summer. Had the situation been better, not only would I have completed my Messier collection, but we’d have better versions of objects already taken before. But hey, I still managed!
As always, here are some honorable mentions, since choosing just 10 from 2021 was not particularly easy!
2022 Honorable Mentions
2022 Top 10
Here we have the winter constellations along with Mars rising after 11pm on a cold October night. My supervisor specifically asked for this shot and I didn’t disappoint. Because of the demand for more wide angle constellation shots, it has made me experiment more with light painting and multiple exposures for the landscapes rather than simply using a black silhouette each time.
I was REALLY happy with how this one came out. After a couple years of trying, I finally got a great capture of the Crab Nebula using a 2X Barlow Lens. Whenever shooting at f/10, it’s always an added challenge due to the different exposure and ISO settings needed, but necessary for objects like Messier 1 which appear really small and NEED me to magnify.
This is another example of getting a great capture when shooting at F/10, on a telescope that by default is f/5. Once again I used a Barlow Lens to make the Sombrero Galaxy look bigger, and still managed to get the familiar shape with the dark lanes.
This is one that surprised me, as I was merely showing the C11 Edge with the live camera feed looking at the Lunar Eclipse on May 15, 2022. While the eclipse itself was amazing, and the shots I got through the telescope were fantastic, I was surprised to see more people responding and sharing this cell phone shot instead. Going back, I realized that this image has A LOT going on, and is a much more interesting shot than what I did through the telescopes.
This image was a welcome surprise. The planned shot was for Messier 9, which of course was to add to my Messier Object astrophotography collection. But when processing, I noticed the dark cloud super imposed on the bright Milky Way background, and realized that I also imaged Barnard 64 as a bonus, which added to this picture.
One needs to remember that this isn’t a cluster of stars in this picture, it’s a cluster of GALAXIES! There are easily over 100 galaxies in this shot, and I was able to label 70 of them when I processed and published it, which you can go check out here.
I took several attempts at M13 this year, both at f/5 and f/10 and this one was easily the top choice. It captures how large this cluster appears through telescopes, and showcases the capabilities of an 8″ telescope… plus M13 is such a beautiful object in its own right that one cannot go wrong!
While people enjoy the single bright star long exposures, obviously due to the bright diffraction spikes and how shiny they appear against a black background… I knew Alcor and Mizar as a double bright star would make a more interesting shot.
I was really pleased with this image of the morning planetary alignments that occurred throughout April of 2022, and because I really wanted to get the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park in the shot, the morning twilight made exposing the landscape on top of the exposures for the stars/planets that much easier.
Anytime I show observatory visitors this shot of the Milky Way, it reminds them of the sky they are missing when they stay in the bright LA Metro area skies. Here we see the glow from Blythe and Parker, as well as the airglow (green) above the horizon. Unfortunately, due to population growth in these regions, Rice represents the darkest skies possible for years to come, and it’s only going to get worse. But for now, this is about as good as one can get when wanting to view the summer Milky Way with little to no interference.
Here is to a much more productive 2023… what images will I take? What images will outdo previous efforts? You’ll have to keep following me to find out, or wait till December of 2023 for me to pick my top 10!
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