As twilight fades, two of the 3 telescopes on Mount Graham are seen in this photo. The LBT is in the background. The SMT is in the building in the foreground. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/10 seconds at f/5.0, ISO 800.
The LBT in twilight. You can see the two 8.4 meter diameter mirrors carried in a red alt-azimuth mount. The top part of this humungous building rotates with the telescope. This image was taken at 55mm focal length with an exposure of 1/13 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 800.
Anticrepuscular rays are visible in the skies over Mount Graham in this image. The rays almost converge on the LBT. The SMT is left of the LBT and the VATT dome is visible on the right edge with the quarter phase moon just to its left. This image was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens with an exposure of 1/40 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 400.
This shot of the VATT at work in moonlight was almost a great shot. When I first brought it up on my computer, I instantly exclaimed "D'Oh!" - The handle of my tripod is jutting out into the field of this fisheye view! The dark cylindrical object at lower left is the silhouette of the handle. I often mount my camera on the tripod with the vertical tilt handle in front of the camera so I can tilt the camera and tripod up to vertical for astrophotography. That's normally not a problem, unless you use an 8mm fisheye as I did here..... This image used an exposure of 120 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 400.
Another view from Thursday night shows the SMT building in the foreground with the red light at its base and the LBT in the background. An airplane is also visible just above the SMT building. The Moonlit scene also shows the Milky Way overhead. This image was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens with an exposure of 120 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 400.
This fisheye view of the VATT building also shows the glow of the Moon behind the dome at left as well as the Milky Way and the forest. The building is lit by some red lights on the SMT entrance but doesn't affect the observing inside the building. This image was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens with an exposure of 120 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 400.
The Mount Graham International Observatory is seen here, lit by a just larger than quarter phase Moon. The Moon is hidden behind the dome of the VATT (Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope) on the right which is also lit by the red security light. On the far left is the SMT (Sub-Millimeter Telescope) and just right of that is the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope). This view is looking just south and east of the zenith to show the southeastern sky. The Milky Way is visible at the top of the frame as are a number of bright constellations such as Cygnus, Pegasus, Andromeda, Aquila & Cassiopiea. The Andromeda Galaxy can also be seen in this image if you know where to look. This image was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens with an exposure of 120 seconds at f/3.5, ISO 400.
This view of the LBT (Large Binocular Telescope) building on Mount Graham was taken from the roof of the VATT telescope building just before sunset. Unfortunately, the blue sky behind the building was not representative of the sky behind me and to the south which had lots of scattered clouds. This image was taken at 55mm focal length with an exposure of 1/320 seconds at f/11, ISO 400.
This is a fisheye view of the VATT telescope with a bit more light than in my previous picture of it. The telescope is on an alt-azimuth mount which means one axis of the mount rotates around the vertical (the azimuth axis) while the other perpendicular axis rotates around the horizontal (the altitude axis). The mount is the yellow part of the telescope. The telescope itself is white and exceptionally short due to its f/1 Gregorian design which gives an effective f/9 at the camera despite the 1.8-meter mirror. The CCD camera can be seen at the bottom of the white part of the telescope inside the yellow fork of the mount. The image was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens with an exposure of 1/8 seconds at f/8, ISO 1600.
A satellite trail appears to merge with a pole rising from the left edge of this fisheye view of the pre-twilight, cloud infested sky at the VATT on Sunday morning. The red light illuminating buildings and poles and trees is from the nearby entrance light at the SMT. This image was taken with an 8mm fisheye lens with an exposure of 2 minutes at f/3.5, ISO 1600.
Dave let me borrow his 8mm fisheye lens, so I put it to good use to take some pictures of the VATT telescope. The telescope has a 1.8-m f/1 primary mirror, making it a very short telescope in a very small dome. The building it is housed in is one of the prettiest I've seen at an observatory with a lounge and kitchen and 4 dorm rooms along with the control room, all in the same building with the telescope. This image was taken at 8mm focal length with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/8, ISO 400 with some painting of the telescope and dome with my LED flashlight.
This view of the LBT on Mount Graham was taken from the roof of the VATT (Vatican Observatory Telescope) a little after sunset tonight. The LBT holds a pair of 8.4 meter mirrors and is still being commissioned. This image was taken with my 50mm f/1.8 lens with an exposure of 0.6 seconds at f/1.8, ISO 800.
I took this picture of the Spacewatch 36 inch telescope the other morning as I was closing up. It was almost time for sunrise by the time I finished up, so it was brighter than usual in the dome. I couldn't resist taking a picture of the telescope. It was originally built in 1921 and put into a dome on the University of Arizona campus. It was moved up to Kitt Peak in the early 1960s and was a Newtonian telescope with a flat mirror at top to reflect the light out the side of the telescope. We took the Newtonian secondary out and put a mosaic camera at prime focus near the top of the tube. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/100 seconds at f/4, ISO 800.
The Southwest ridge of Kitt Peak is visible, with a few telescopes as the clouds block the setting sun in the west. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/800 seconds at f/8, ISO 400.
Last night we had a late start due to clouds overhead, but in the distance, we were treated to a thunderstorm. The orange glow at left is from the border town of Nogales (both Arizona, and Mexico) indicating the the storm is near the border. The lightning bolt just right of center almost looks like it is hitting close to home, but it is really about 50 miles away. The dome right of the lightning bolt is that of the 84 inch telescope on Kitt Peak. Just visible in the foreground, just left of center is our Spacewatch 1.8-meter dome. This image was taken at 41mm focal length with an exposure of 30 seconds at f/5, ISO 800.
We had this little guy hop into our house the other night to pester our cat. He retreated under the couch where I managed to snag him. I was the only one "brave" enough to grab him before we took him outside and released him in the alley behind our house. I wasn't sure what kind of Toad he was or whether he was one of the ones that are poisonous to your pets, but I didn't want to find out the hard way with our cat or dogs. This image was taken at 31mm focal length with an exposure of 1/60 seconds at f/4.5, ISO 400, with the on camera flash.
Imagine living & riding in this little trailer for about a day with 2 other guys who you just flew back from the Moon with! In order to decrease the reflections, I used a yellow filtered B&W conversion which also gave the best contrast between the seats and their surroundings. Several support personel entered the MQF and the 21 day quarantine with the Apollo crews returning from the first moonwalks. The first 3 landing crews were subjected to the quarantine just to be safe and used 3 different MQFs. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/13 seconds at f/5.0, ISO 800.
This is the MQF - the Mobile Quarantine Facility - at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air & Space Museum. It was used to isolate the crew of Apollo 11 after the first Moonlandings in order to be sure that the crew did not carry any dangerous lunar germs. The crew donned isolation garments before being hoisted into the recovery helicopter and then once on the Aircraft Carrier "Hornet", they entered this airstream which was then transported back to the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston where they stayed in quarantine for 3 weeks after landing. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/50 seconds at f/5.0, ISO 800.
This is another view of Enterprise and the space gallery at the Udvar-Hazy Center of the Air & Space Museum. There are lots of really cool things in this area. Rockets, satellites, manned spacecraft, spacesuits, and even the MQF. "What?", you are probably asking is an MQF? I'll show you in my next entry..... This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/100 seconds at f/6.3, ISO 800.
These two telescopes are the Steward Observatory 90 inch Bok telescope in the foreground and the Kitt Peak 4 meter Mayall Telescope above and behind it. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/200 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 200.
We were treated to a very pretty sunset on Kitt Peak during my last run. A distant thunderstorm stands up into the sunlight while closer clouds are lit by a redened sun and appear orange or golden. This image was taken at 18mm focal length with an exposure of 1/320 seconds at f/5.6, ISO 200.
I found this lizard on the rocks outside one of our domes on Kitt Peak last time I was up there. I had been shooting in IR using B&W mode on my 20D and forgot to shift the camera parameters back to "normal". This turned out well despite my best efforts. This image was taken at 300mm focal length with an exposure of 1/320 seconds at f/11, ISO 200.