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Showing posts from April, 2013

It's All About the Light

And this one allows plenty of it throughout its zoom range:

Panoramic Image from Mt. Baden-Powell

My wife and I took a fairly strenuous hike to the top of the 9,399-foot peak of Mt. Baden-Powell on Saturday, April 20th. Here's a labeled panoramic photo showing some mountain peaks and even Mt. Wilson!

Use this URL to view the image at full size:

RAS Member Dennis Mammana Hanging at GMARS

Dennis Mammana is rather well-known among amateur astronomers, especially to those of us living in southern California. He's also a fellow Riverside Astronomical Society member. A photo of his, featuring Alex McConahay's observatory at GMARS, was recently posted to the TWAN site.

Take a look at the article!

Star Trails Over GMARS

The evening of 4/12 was a good one at GMARS. The wind stopped around 12AM and left us with a great view of the sky.

Stars trail as the Earth spins on its axis. Planes fly overhead, car headlights light Goat Mountain and my red headlamp leaves a trail of its own.

GMARS Sunset

Just another sunset at the CaliforniaStars Observatory at GMARS in Landers.

What a Month!

It's Global Astronomy Month, and today marks the start of International Dark Sky Week! Won't you take a moment to consider the importance of science education, being responsible with your environment, and keeping skies dark in common sense ways (maybe you don't need that 3-million lumen porch light that sprays the entire block in daylight)?

Comet Pan-STARRS Meets M31

I'm almost embarrassed to even post this considering some of the gorgeous shots that have been posted in various places (see links below for a couple), but here's my pathetic M31 and Comet Pan-STARRS. Taken from Landers, California tonight at about 8:30PM with a Canon EOS 60Da, EF 200mm lens at f/3.5, 30-seconds, ISO 1000. The camera was mounted on a Losmandy Starlapse.

The sky was still relatively bright in the northwest and, obviously, the comet was pretty darn low in the sky... behind some thin clouds... and it was windy... and... and... ok, enough excuses.

Other (much, much better) images of the pair:

International Dark Sky Week Starts Friday

Dark skies are more and more difficult to come by. Of all the different kinds of pollution, light pollution is too often overlooked or ignored. Excessive lighting disconnects us from the natural world, and is detrimental to our health as well as the health of wildlife.

Become aware of the issue. Educate yourself. And enjoy the dark during International Dark Sky week!

Almost time for the RTMC Astronomy Expo

Year after year, since before I was born, the Riverside Telescope Makers' Conference (now known as the RTMC Astronomy Expo) has been drawing hundreds, and sometimes a couple thousand, of amateur and professional astronomers to its annual gathering.

Held in the San Bernardino Mountains, just east of Big Bear, RTMC AE continues to be a major draw for astronomy enthusiasts. Head on up this Memorial Day weekend for presentations, workshops, vendors, swap meet, and more. While the conference goes from May 23-27, if you can only attend one day, Saturday the 25th will be the best day.

May 23-27. More info at

Comet Pan-STARRS No-show

Clouds took over on the evening of 3/14/2013 preventing Comet Pan-STARRS from making an appearance. But the sunset and clouds still made for some nice shots.

Comet Pan-STARRS over RPV

Anyone following Comet Pan-STARRS knew it was due to make an appearance with the crescent moon on 3/12/2013. So I headed out as far west as I could go (within a reasonable amount of time and on wheels) and settled at Del Cerro Park in Rancho Palos Verdes. Here's one of the images I was able to capture:

More photos from my little jaunt on 3/12 can be found at

Moonrise at GMARS

GMARS is the dark sky site of the Riverside Astronomical Society, one of the largest and most active astronomy clubs in the country. Here, a gibbous moon rises over GMARS on 2/28/2013.

More info about GMARS:


OK. Let's get this started.

Welcome to the Southern California Astronomy Blog! My goal here is to let anyone interested know about astronomical activities, events, sky happenings, and other science-related stuff going on in southern California. In the down time, I'll post various photos just to keep things interesting.

To get things started, I'll post a few photos from the last several weeks.

And away we go...