H O M E T h e   a s t r o n o m y   p a g e   o f   p s w a l s h . c o m  
Valarie and I have been avid amateur astronomers since 1996. I have taught astronomy and helped develop an observatory at the Delta Rehabilitation facility in Snohomish, Washington and you can read all about that here. I am also the content editor for Astromart, which is like EBAY for astronomy gear.

Northwest weather makes astro-imaging pretty tough but I do manage to get out once in a while. I currently use both a dedicated astronomical CCD camera from Santa Barbara Instruments Group and a Nikon D90. Here are just a few of my keepers...

I caught Saturn just off the limb of the moon using a 1.3 megapixel digital camera and an 80mm achromat.

I took this CCD image of the Whirlpool galaxy from my back deck in Woodinville.

Edited together digital camera shots from a couple of years ago of the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn.

Just for laughs, I thought I'd teach the Hubble a thing or two :-)

The Horsehead Nebula: Takahashi Sky 90 and ST-7E for 30 minutes total exposure time.

The Sombrero galaxy taken in Arizona using an ST-5 and a Takahashi FS102.

This is an ST-5 grab of M51, also known as the Whirlpool Galaxy, taken with the FS102 on the same trip.

Well, at least I was looking through the right end of it. A genuine 1958 Gilbert I got for Christmas that year.

OK, so its not astronomical, it's still pretty cool :-)  I took this shot off the Maui coast. My answer to "Do you believe in alien life?" is, "Sure, grab a mask, a snorkel, and a $10 deposable camera and follow me."

300k file

My best lunar shot ever. Using a Meade LX200 10" and a 2.1 megapixel digital camera. This shot took second place one year in the SCT users group imaging contest run by Rod Mollise. A highwater mark for this imager.

First imaging light for my Sky 90 using my ST-7E. 12 exposures of 20 seconds each, taken on 1/22/01 using a Sky Patrol-II mount. This is of M42, the Orion Nebula.
The great spiral galaxy M101. I managed to capture a satellite skewering this beauty right through the heart. This was a 20 minute exposure, taken in Arizona using an ST-7 camera and a Takahashi FS102 scope.
My niece, Madeline's, delightful rendition of the solar system complete with comets and inhabitants done when she was 6. This image is color reversed to bring out the details.
Here's a picture of the Sky 90 mentioned above, perched on my EM-10 mount. The Sky 90 has since been replaced by a beautiful William Optics Zenithstar 105.

A seagull slips past the waxing moon. Taken from the bow of the Anacortes bound ferry using a Nikon Coolpix 5700. I just framed the moon and waited for a circling gull to pass by. I love that ferry ride to and from Friday Harbor.

My niece Emily lives in Northern Arizona and drew this picture for me. Only in rural Arizona would children routinely include the Milky Way in their drawings of the sky.
We live on Moon Meadow Lane and here's why :-) Nikon D90
Our little craft barn under the starry sky with a lucky meteorite passing by. Nikon D90 in 2 exposures - one for the stars and one for the porch.
The big gal, Herself. D90 and a 105mm Triplet (William Optics)
Omega Centauri, taken on a trip to Arizona with my old Sky 90 and an ST-7. You can almost HEAR this monster, it's so amazing.
Our big neighbor, M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. Taken through my 105mm triplet using an ST-8. Just a single 2 minute exposure.
A bit of fun with M31. I discovered a simple trick to unmask an "Alien" peering out of our neighboring galaxy. The image explains what I mean.
My deep space imaging system: A William Optics Zenithstar 105mm refractor telescope, a Takahashi EM-10 german equatorial mount, a Santa Barbara Instruments Group ST-8 CCD camera and an old XP based PC with a flat screen monitor - all on a wheeled cart so I can roll it out under the stars.

Other Stuff

My eyepiece calculator is here

The Urban Deep Sky List for city dwellers blinded by light pollution
An Urban Messier Report by fellow amateur astronomer Tony Flanders
Astronomy Poetry includes my astro-haiku

Washington State Astronomy Clubs

Seattle: Boeing Employees' Astronomical Society: www.boeingastro.org 
Bellevue: Eastside Astronomical Society: www.eastsideastro.org 
Issaquah: Squak Mountain Telescope Gang: www.squakmountain.org 
Bainbridge Island: Battle Point Astronomical Association: www.bpastro.org 
Everett: Everett Astronomical Society:  http://www.everettastro.org
Tacoma: Tacoma Astronomical Society: www.tas-online.org 
Bellingham: Whatcom Association of Celestial Observers:

That's it for my astronomy page, thanks for dropping by


I am a certified member