Paul Shubert Astrophotography

Astrophotos and Information from Hawksnest Observatory


The “Christmas Star” Conjuction

Well, we had a fire at the house back in November. We're all fine, including all of the cats and dogs, and the direct fire damage was minimal. But the fire took out the electrical, plumbing, and heating systems in the house and observatory. So things are pretty much off-line now. But, I did manage to rig up the observatory off of 12 VDC power to view the Jupiter-Saturn "Christmas Star" conjunction. Wow. Jupiter with its moons Callisto, Io, and Europa.  Saturn with Hyperion and Titan. 
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The monsoons have come in, and we've been exceptionally cloudy here in July. But we did get enough clearing to get an image of comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) Comet NEOWISE, 18 July 2020 from Hawksnest Observatory, Sandia Park, New Mexico
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Spring Globulars: Omega Centauri

Here in New Mexico, we're fortunate to be south enough to view the largest globular cluster, Omega Centauri. It's far enough south that it's always low in the sky, and only spends a couple of hours each night situated high enough for some astrophotography. May is the month where these precious hours occur between the end of twilight and midnight. Time to photograph this gem, along with two of the largest globulars in the northern sky for comparison. This composite reproduces these globulars all at the same scale to illustrate just how spectacular Omega Centauri is.
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Dwarf Planet Project – 1

One of the projects for this year is to image all of the IAU recognized Dwarf Planets - Pluto, Ceres, Eris, Makemake, and Haumea. I thought this was going to be a bit of a challenge, as all but Ceres are in the Kuiper Belt. But I had identified some 17+ Magnitude galaxies in previous astro photos, so at least the IAU Dwarfs might be in reach. Since all of these objects are unresolved and star-like, the only way to confirm the sighting would be to "blink" two successive images. A quick bit of calculation showed that objects in the Kuiper Belt would be easily "blink-able" on two successive nights.…
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Updating the Blog…

I've mostly been using the blog as just a website, with pages for observatory construction and the 2017 eclipse. With the observatory construction complete and observations going active, thought I'd start using this as more of a blog. Just added a page for the 2020 Messier Marathon, and plan to add a page for the 2019 total eclipse in Chile. Have a couple of projects in the works that I'll be reporting on here.
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Going Online!

Well, the astrophotography is going online. Welcome to Hawksnest Observatory! Both the observatory and the blog are works in progress. Will be posting pictures of the observatory construction and the 2017 "Great American" Eclipse as I get the hang of this.
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