Here in southwestern Colorado we have plenty of clear dark skies. We enjoy our evenings taking photographs and viewing the amazing objects in the night sky. Taking pictures of the moon, planets and deep space objects is called astrophotography. Many of the deep space objects such as globular clusters, nebula and galaxies appear only as fuzzy white spots in telescopes and binoculars. However when photographed the brilliant colors of these objects is brought out.

If you have even a small telescope or a good pair of binoculars you ought to be able to see four moons of Jupiter on a good night. With the telescope you will be able to see the rings around Saturn. Truly an awesome sight if you never seen it before.

Many globular clusters, nebula, and galaxies are visible with only binoculars. In fact, our closest neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, is visible to the naked eye under very dark skies. It appears in an area larger than the moon.

Whether by telescope, binoculars, or just looking up to sell all that's there, I encourage you to get out and see the great sights. If you are unfamiliar with the night sky, seek out someone to give you a tour. There are many local astronomy clubs across the country that would be happy to introduce you to our night sky.

Steven Schlagel

My Favorite Imaging Telescope - Tele Vue NP101

My primary telescope for astrophotography is the Tele Vue NP101 refractor. It is a telescope with a 4 inch (101mm) aperture, a focal length of 540mm at f/5.4. It works well with DSLR and mirrorless cameras as well as cooled astro cameras.

Tele Vue featured my work and advice in one of their articles.  Here is a link to the article that explains why it is my go to telescope!  Check it out.

Clear Sky Clock

Follow this link to visit the Clear Sky Chart for my Colorado Skies Observatory. It predicts the cloud cover, transparency and seeing conditions for the next couple nights and is updated by the amazing Attilla Danko.