About Me

Welcome to my Art, Astronomy and Photography Blog. In my professional life I am an Art Director and Production Designer in the animation industry. Some of my film credits include "Anastasia", "Titan AE" and "Barnyard the Original Party Animals". I have also worked on TV Shows like "The Simpsons", "Beavis and Butthead", "Back at the Barnyard" and "Planet Sheen". If you would like to see my work related art please click on the Go For Launch Productions link below. Although I am very passionate about what I do for a living my other passions are photography, painting, astronomy, astrophotography and anything to do with NASA so the subject matter of most of my paintings is related to the space program and I have enhanced some of my photographs to give them an extraterrestrial feel. My paintings and photographs are organized into several catagories in the links below. Browse around and enjoy.

Planet Astrophotography

The Planets of Our Solar System


Our Solar System consists of our Sun and 8 planets all gravitationally bound in orbit around the sun. Our solar system formed some 4.6 billion years ago with the collapse of a molecular cloud (see my "Stars" page for a short explanation). Although there are 8 planets and two of them are massive gas giants, the sun makes up 99% of our solar systems mass. All the planets orbit the sun on a relatively flat disk called the Elliptical Plane and the orbit is almost circular. The 4 smaller inner planets consist of Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars which are also known as terrestrial planets because they are made up mostly of rock and metal. The four outer planets are the gas giants and are much larger than the inner four. Jupiter and Saturn are the two largest and are mainly composed of hydrogen and helium. The outer planets are Uranus and Neptune which are composed if ice, ammonia and methane and are sometimes referred to as "The Ice Planets. Our solar system is also home to regions of small objects like the Asteroid Belt which lies between Mars and Jupiter. In the outer regions beyond Neptune lies the Keiper Belt, home to our Dwarf Planets, Pluto, Ceres, Haumea, Makemake and Eris. The Keiper Belt is a region of dust, particles and thousands of smaller objects. The solar system and many other things considered close to us is measured in AU, Astronomical Units. 1 AU is the distance from the earth to the sun 93,000,000 miles. Eris'  Orbit reaches all the way out to 98 AU, big number but in the grand picture of the galaxy and the universe it is a very small number, atom size really.  We really do not know where the outer edge of our solar system is. On Dec, 5, 2011 Voyager 1 (launched in 1977) entered a new region known as a "Cosmic Purgatory"  This is an area were charged particles from the sun slow and turn inward and the solar systems magnetic field has doubles as interstellar space applies pressure. This may be the edge but Voyager will continue to send signals back to earth until 2025. By then we should know. Voyager has passed the 117 AU mark and is travelling at 38,200 mph. This makes my images of Jupiter feel really close to home at 5.2 AU 



The Neighbors



Need help finding the planets?
Check out the Luminos app. "Powerful Fun"

    


Jupiter


This image of Jupiter was taken by NASA's Cassini Spacecraft. Cassini was on its way to Saturn and took this true color 4 image mosaic of Jupiter on December 7, 2000


This is a NASA composite of a rough size comparison of Earth and Jupiter. Notice the size of the Great red Spot compared to Earth. The earth is an image as seen from the Apollo 17 crew.



"Jupiter Storms"


Captured with a Celestron CGEM, SCT8 with a ZWOASI120MC. Acquisition with SharpCap, Processing with RegiStax and CS6. 05-23-2016. The original AVI was 800 x 800.  Best 300 frames of 2000.  Gain @ 50 and Gamma @ 20 and the frame rate was at Max. The image was captured at around 10:00 pm



Jupiter with not a moon to be seen



Captured with a Celestron CGEM, SCT8 with a ZWOASI120MC. Acquisition with SharpCap, Processing with RegiStax and CS6. 05-09-2016. The original AVI was 1280 x 960.  Best 400 frames of 2500.  Gain @ 50 and Gamma @ 1 and the frame rate was at Max. The image was captured at around 9:00 pm 



Jupiter, Ganymede and Io


Captured with a Celestron CGEM, SCT8 with a ZWOASI120MC. Acquisition with SharpCap, Processing with RegiStax and CS6. 05-08-2016. The original AVI was 1280 x 960. The image has been cropped. Best 400 frames of 2000.  Gain @ 25 and Gamma @62 and the frame rate was at 30fps. The image was captured at around 10:30pm The moons from left to right are Ganymede and Io




Jupiter, Ganymede, Io and Europa


Captured with a Celestron CGEM, SCT8 with a ZWOASI120MC. Acquisition with SharpCap, Processing with RegiStax and CS6. 04-20-2016. The original AVI was 800 x 800. The image has been cropped. Best 600 frames of 2000.  Gain @ 25 and Gamma @62 and the frame rate was at 30fps.The image was captured at around 9:30pm The moons from left to right are Ganymede, Io and Europa.



Jupiter and Io in Daylight


This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus. Resolution 640 x 480, 35fps best of 900, Brightness @ 1, Gamma @ 48, Gain @ 11. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6.



Jupiter and the Main Large Moons




Jupiter Io Europa


This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on May 25th 2015 @ 10:30pm. Resolution 1280x960, 65fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 0, Gamma @ 67, Gain @ 37. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6.


Jupiter Io Transit


This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on Feruary 12th 2014 @ 7:37pm. Resolution 1280x960, 65fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 0, Gamma @ 67, Gain @ 37. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6. This is the first image of Jupiter I have captured with my ZWOASI120MC 



Jupiter and Europa


This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on Feruary 12th 2014 @ 7:50pm. Resolution 1280x960, 65fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 0, Gamma @ 67, Gain @ 37. 3x Barlow. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6.  




Jupiter and Io


This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on March 5th 2014 @ 6:24pm. Resolution 800x800, 30fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 16, Gamma @ 70, Gain @ 58. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6. It was still day light when I captured this image 




This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on March 5th 2014 @ 6:33pm. Resolution 800x800, 30fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 16, Gamma @ 55, Gain @ 62. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6. 





This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on March 5th 2014 @ 6:42pm. Resolution 640x480, 30fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 16, Gamma @ 62, Gain @ 58. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap and processed with RegiStax and CS6.





 This images was captured through my Celestron CGEM-800 using a ZWO ASI120MC camera at prime focus on March 5th 2014 @ 6:42pm. Resolution 1280x960, 30fps best of 1200, Brightness @ 8, Gamma @ 44, Gain @ 33. The image was acquistioned with SharpCap 2.5 and processed with RegiStax and CS6.







Saturn



This is a true color view of Saturn Captured by NASA's Cassini Spacecraft. The images were collected shortly after Cassini began its extended Equinox Mission in July 2008. Truly a remarkable image.


This is a rough size comparison of Earth to Saturn. Earth was taken by Apollo 17 and Saturn by Cassini. The image was created by NASA. Man, we don't even need to leave our own solar system to feel small.



NASA's Cassini spacecraft has taken some absolutely stunning images of Saturn and this is just one of them. What makes this image so unique is, one it is in eclipse of the sun and two earth can be seen in the image. It is the little dot on the left just north of center outside the bright edge of the rings.





Saturn Showing Color in its Storms


Captured with my CGEM SCT8 with a ZWOASI120MC and a Celestron 3x Barlow. 640 x 480 resolution, 35fps, 2x Binning Brightness @ 0, Gamma @ 50, Gain @ 50. Acquisition with SharpCap. Processed with RegiStax and CS6. AVI Best of 350 of 2500 frames 




Saturn Captures ZWO ASI120MC


Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWOASI120MC. 1024x768 resolution, 35fps, 2x Binning Brightness @ 0, Gamma @68, Gain @ 28. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap 2,5 and processed in RegiStax ans CS6 




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWOASI120MC. 640x480 resolution, 35fps, 2x Binning Brightness @ 0, Gamma @68, Gain @ 28. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap 2,5 and processed in RegiStax ans CS6 



 
  Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 1024x768 resolution, 54fps, Brightness @ 8, Gamma @55, Gain @ 63. This was first light for the camera. I think I had the Gain to high.
The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap 




 Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 1024x768 resolution, 54fps, Brightness @ 8, Gamma @74, Gain @ 52. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap
  




 Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 1280x960 resolution, 35fps, Brightness @ 8, Gamma @48, Gain @ 61. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap





Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 960x960 resolution, 46fps, Brightness @ 12, Gamma @58, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 3x Celestron Barlow was used




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 960x960 resolution, 46fps, Brightness @ 12, Gamma @58, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 3x Celestron Barlow was used. Same image just flipped.




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 1280x960 resolution, 35fps, Brightness @ 13, Gamma @61, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, 




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 1024x768 resolution, 54fps, Brightness @ 13, Gamma @61, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 3x Celestron Barlow was used




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 800x400 (Cropped) resolution, 108fps, Brightness @ 13, Gamma @58, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 3x Celestron Barlow was used




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 800x400 (Cropped) resolution, 108fps, Brightness @ 10, Gamma @60, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 3x Celestron Barlow was used




Venus


NASA image of Venus and her clouds.




NASA image of Venus and her surface





Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 1024x768 resolution, 54fps, Brightness @ 13, Gamma @61, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap. This was shot at suneset



Image data; CGEM-800 2" Diagonal 2" 2x Barlow SCP900NC Philips Webcam
1.25" Baader UV/IR cut filter SharCap for capture Processing with RegiStax and Photoshop





Venus at sunset, captured with my Sony F-828 from up top a small mountain in Thunderbird Park. This is looking west towards the White Tank Mountains with Sun City below.





Venus and the Moon. Captured with a Sony F-828.





This is a composite of the Moon and Venus both shot with my SCT8 and captured with my Sony F-828. The moon was Captured on December 1, 2010 and Venus is from the November 30, 2010 capture. They were not in this actual position but I thought it would be cool to composite a shot showing the size difference as if they were.





This was captured with my Sony F-828 on November 9, 2010 from Thunderbird Park in Glendale AZ. This is looking west with the White Tank mountains below.





Image data; CGEM-800 2" Diagonal 2" 2x Barlow SCP900NC Philips Webcam
1.25" Baader UV/IR cut filter SharCap for capture Processing with RegiStax and Photoshop





The Moon and Venus captured with my Canon T1i.



Mars
Mars is the forth planet from the sun. It is named after the Roman god of war. We like to refer to it as "The Red Planet". The color of Mars is due to the amount of iron oxide on its surface much like my state of AZ. Mars is one of our solid rock planets or a terrestrial planet with a thin atmosphere. it has many surface features like earth including impact craters, volcanoes, valleys, deserts and polor ice caps. Mars has the largest canyon and the highest mountain in our solar system. Mars takes 668.5 days to orbit the sun and its day is 24hrs 39min and is call a Sol instead of a day.




NASA/JPL image of Mars and its weather patterns





Captured with a CGEM SCT8 OTA with a ZWO ASI120MC. 800 x 512  resolution, Max fps, Brightness @ 11, Gamma @ 9, Gain @ 50.  Acquisition with SharpCap, Processing with RegiStax and CS6. 05-09-2016. A Celestron 3x Barlow was used. Mars was fairly low at about 25' and there lots of atmospheric making it hard to focus.





Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 800x400 (Cropped) resolution, 60fps, Brightness @ 10, Gamma @55, Gain @ 40. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 2x Barlow was used.




Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 640x480 (Cropped) resolution, 35fps, Brightness @ 0, Gamma @ 45, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 2x Barlow was used.





Captured through my CGEM-800 with a ZWO ASI120MC. 640x480 (Cropped) resolution, 35fps, Brightness @ 0, Gamma @ 45, Gain @ 50. The Capture was acquisitioned with SharpCap, a 2x Barlow was used.













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