Category Archives: Astrophotography

My Astrophotography Activities

Getting back to what I love doing

It’s been a while since I captured the last deep sky object, processed and shared.  My astrographs were deleted or for a lack of a better word corrupted from Astrobin.  Good thing that the data wasn’t corrupted but I need to upload my images again.  This is somehow good because I learned from my fellow amateur backyard astronomer, that never upload the high resolution image to protect yourself from someone getting it and claiming it is theirs.  Another reason was the weather, it’s been cloudy and raining.  It could have been a good chance for me because of the shelter in place because of the COVID-19 virus.

I want to get back in doing what I love doing.  I need to get that inspiration again that somehow got lost.  I was too focused on finishing something that is getting delayed.  It’s time to get my gear up and running again.  Time to remove the dust from my equipment.  Time to get back to what I love doing.

Pickering’s Triangle

It’s September, too bad, wasn’t able to do much here.  I started capturing the Pickering’s Triangle last June 26, 2019 and ended July 7, 2019.   Taken hundreds of photos but ultimately used 270 frames.  80 Ha, 90 O3 and 100 S2 using the Astronomik narrowband filters.

About the Pickering’s Triangle, it is part of the Veil Nebula.  It  consists of 3 major parts, the western, eastern veil nebula then the pickering’s triangle.

Pickering Triangle

Funny thing here is when my daughter saw this image.  She immediately suggested that the title should be “Fire and Ice” which makes sense because of the color.

Yeah, it’s winter

The weather wasn’t cooperating for a long time.  Wasn’t able to do astrophotography, but one thing that is also good, we were able to take some vacation.  This time taking advantage of the snow in the Sierra.  Driving up to Lake Tahoe is really challenging and here are some of the video I got from my dash cam.  No sound and edited the video to correct the lens curvature or bending to give a more realistic perspective of the video.

The Wizard Nebula (NGC 7380)

The Wizard Nebula

NGC 7380 is an open cluster discovered by Caroline Herschel in 1787. William Herschel included his sister’s discovery in his catalog, and labelled it H VIII.77. It is also known as 142 in the 1959 Sharpless catalog. This reasonably large nebula is located in Cepheus.

Imaging telescope or lens:Explore Scientific 127mm ED APO triplet
Imaging cameras:ZWO ASI 120MM-S ZWO ASI 120 mm sASI 1600 MM – Cooled ASI1600MM-cooled
Mount:Orion Atlas EQ-G
Guiding telescope or lens:Orion ED80T CF APO Triplet Refractor
Guiding camera:ZWO ASI 120MM-S ZWO ASI 120 mm s
Focal reducer:Explore Scientific 0.7 Reducer/Flattener
Software:Sequence Generator ProPhotoshop CC 2017PHD 2 GuidingStellariumPixInsight 1.8 Ripley
Filters:Astonomik S2Astronomik O3 – 12 nmAstronomik HA
Accessories:ZWO 8x 1.25″ Filter Wheel (EFW)EQ SwitchEQ Focuser

Resolution: 3588×2768
Dates:Oct. 14, 2018
Frames: 463×200″
Integration: 25.7 hours
Avg. Moon age: 5.35 days
Avg. Moon phase: 29.01% job: 2333454
RA center: 341.875 degrees
DEC center: 58.011 degrees
Pixel scale: 1.141 arcsec/pixel
Orientation: 90.358 degrees
Field radius: 0.718 degrees
Data source: Backyard

I photographed the same image last year and this is how it looks like

The Wizard Nebula (NGC 7380)

The Crab Nebula

One of my October project is capturing the Crab Nebula (M1).  It is one of the most interesting object that I want to photograph.  It is because that this supernova remnant was observed by Chinese Astronomers in 1054 when a very bright star (brighter than the sun) was observed that disappeared in a couple of days.  That supernova left a remnant which is now known as the Crab Nebula.

The image below is just my initial version as I’m still gathering data.  This is the result of almost no post processing aside from combining the narrow band channels to RGB.

Crab Nebula

2 years ago, I took a photo which looks like below.

October Projects

I’m working on capturing the Elephant’s Trunk Nebula, Wizard Nebula and the Triangulum Galaxy.

The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula

The Elephant’s Trunk Nebula is now coming into a good result.  Combining the data that I took a year ago with a total of around 11 hours integration, the details are becoming visible.  The initial result is here if you want to see the details.

And here was the image taken last year.I’m still capturing and adding more data and hopefully the weather cooperates.  The goal is to get around 20 hours of data and that should be enough to show all the necessary details that I’ll be happy with.The Triangulum GalaxyTwo years started capturing the Triangulum Galaxy. Year by year since equipment and skills are improving, the results are improving also.

[Will update]

Trip to Lick Observatory

Our recent trip to Lick Observatory.  The videos are taken from my dashcam.  The trip took as almost 1 hour in the windy road of Quimby heading to the Mount Hamilton

Pictures below are clickable for better viewing and resolution

Shane Telescope

The Shane Reflector

Below are pictures of the Great 36″ Refractor.  Still the 2nd biggest refractor in the world.

The Great 36" Refractor Telescope

The Great 36" Refractor Telescope

The Great 36" Refractor Telescope

The Great 36" Refractor Telescope

The Great 36" Refractor Telescope

The Great 36" Refractor Telescope

Software Architecture and Engineering

My day job is focused in creating software.  Mostly leaning on the applications side where customers and client can use our products.  It’s nice to see that a lot of people have actually touched the product I helped developed.  Okay so as I accumulate experience behind me, getting more structured in my thought process in creating and building an application, there are things that I also want to focus on like just building an experimental project where I can put all the features and I want the test the result.

Well I guess to do that is create something meaningful at first, and that’s why I decided to write something about creating a Web Application using React, GraphQL, Redux, Apollo and probably to use that as my next generation web site.  I have been using React, Redux, Flux, and GraphQL for a long time, probably a couple of years already.  Still wondering on what will be the next big thing after React but I guess we haven’t seen the limitations and we are still finding ways on how to do things better with React so I guess it will stay for a couple more years

Let’s see how it goes, you can follow the updates on my github page


Starting to contribute to Apollo mainly focusing on Mobile iOS and Android Development and also working on some Clean Architecture where GraphQL + Apollo Client and Redux works together in harmony.  I wrote a simple React Application that is using Redux and Apollo Client side by side.   The example application was using the Togetherness Level 2 where there’s still a clean separation between the Redux Store and Apollo Client to make sure that local store and remote store are managed properly.  You can take a look at the application [Just take note that since it is currently hosted on a free web dyno, it might take a while to load on startup as heroku shuts down free web dyno when not in use].   Currently hosted by Heroku using a Free Web Dyno.   The application is also using my GraphQL Server also hosted by Heroku here  Please feel free to play around with and the codes are on my Github repository here

Below is just a sample with the app in an iFrame 🙂