Hints of a Rugged Surface on Pluto Emerge

The latest photo from New Horizons are hinting at potentially rugged surface features and mysterious dark plains . This first photo is from the July 10th image release where surface features are beginning to come into view as the space craft draws closer to the Planet. In the second image I applied several Photoshop processing steps to emphasize the light and dark areas with the hope that more of the surface variations would contrast more deeply.

Nasa Pluto Image from July 10th

Nasa Pluto Image from July 10th

Over Processed Pluto Image

Photoshop processing to enhance contrast surface features

As you can see in the second shot the surface features take on a more dramatic separation between the light and dark areas of the original photo. The important aspect of this processing to keep in mind is that we started with a blurred shot, and with the added processing we likely enhance features that do not exist.

It is a lot of fun to take these images and run them through the filters just to see what might be coming in the days ahead.

Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?

Beam' a Greeting to New Horizons!

Team to Transmit Messages to the Spacecraft During New Year’s Flyby in the Kuiper Belt

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 13 years to reach the heart of the Kuiper Belt – but you can get there in a matter of hours!

In 2005, more than…

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Beam Your Message to New Horizons

Aqua Caliente Star Party

One of my favorite places to hold a star party is in the desert east of San Diego. On Tuesday March 7th, 2017 I headed out to Aqua Caliente County Park to meetup with a dear friend Sandy H. and her band of home school parents and teachers. We had a l…

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Aqua Caliente Star Party

Astrometric Measurement of WDS 03117

I am pleased to present this paper that I co-authored with two teachers and submitted to JDSO this year as part of the Boyce Astro program.

Hilde van den Bergh1, Chris Olivas2, Jerry Hilburn3

Mentor, BEWiSE, Fleet Science Center, San Diego, C…

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Binary Star Research

Astrometric Measurements of WDS 20210+1028

I am excited to report the submission of a double star research paper to the Journal of Double Star Observations. I co-authored the paper with a team of College professors in the local San Diego area. This research project was part of an Astronomy Re…

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New Telescope at Catfish Observatory

There are few places in America where you can go and not have Internet or Cell phone coverage. Today I will embark on a journey to such a place. Texas. Actually, not all of it, just McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis.

And of course I will …

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Catfish-Observatory

Lagoon and Trifid Wide Field

I shot this on July 4th 2016 with a Canon 6D and a 135mm EF Redline piggy backed to a AVX mount. 3 shots stacked, each 2 minutes long at 800 ISD. First pretty picture I have taken with the new camera.

Click Link for Full Size

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Lagoon-Trifid-2016-header

Asteroid TB145 Movie

Friday night I started calibration and testing of the imaging system at 8PM. By 10pm I was ready to start taking data on the Halloween Asteroid. When I first moved the scope into position and started shooting I tried a series of 60 second shots, then…

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Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman

2015 TB145 - Big Rock Screams Past Earth Friday Night

I love a spectacle, or more precisely the high energy motion of a fast moving rock. Join me Friday night at TDS as we attempt to shoot asteroid TB145  as it screams past earth beginning at 10pm. The asteroid will appear just below the moon near Orion…

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Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman