Amarillo Astronomy Club

Venus and the Moon


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 December 2015 11:24 Written by Joe Tepera Tuesday, 15 December 2015 11:10

Picture and Text by Joe Tepra  --  December 7, 2015

I was able to get several photographs of Venus approaching occultation with the moon on December 7th. We were in Chimayo, New Mexico about an hour north of Santa Fe and just east of Española. The resulting photograph shown here was made using the 300 mm zoom lens attached to my Canon Rebel T3i camera. I did use the crop function and contrast function in the Pisca 3 software to sharpen up the raw photo and sharpen up the image.

The time stamp on the photograph is 2015-12-07 10:28 CST (ca). (Note: the camera clock was left on CST even though I was in MST at the time of the photograph.)


Partial Solar Eclipse


Partial Eclipse of 10/23/2014 as seen from Northern Colorado

by Rich Merten

The sky over Northern Colorado was unfortunately not as cloudless as Amarillo and most of the High Planes.  The weather did co-operate somewhat for the first half of the show and 8 club astronomers and over 80 general public folks turned out at Fossil Creek Reservoir on the east side of Loveland.  Along with the eclipse was a great cluster of sunspots.  Probably as large a group as I've seen anytime in the last few spotless years.

The first picture is a pre-eclipse view of the slow moving clouds we were dealing with most of the afternoon.  The next two are of the growing intrusion of the moon.  The final picture is the last semi-usable one as the clouds encroached.

The camera with solar filter was mounted piggyback on a LX200.

All in all it was a nice get together on an unusually warm fall afternoon.

About 10 min. before first contact.


A few min. after first contact

Last good picture before clouds move in.

Too many clouds.



DIY Red Marker Lamps


Written by Rich Merten

Here is a little DIY project you might be interested in making

I liked the red marker lights that Art Schneider made up for Okie-Tex a couple months ago.  So I went over to Walmart and picked up some for myself.





Last Updated on Tuesday, 12 August 2014 14:55 Written by crstars Monday, 07 October 2013 04:28

Okie-Tex 2013

It was another banner year for the dark skies near Kenton Oklahoma.  Of the 352 officially registered attendees, 16 were from our Amarillo club.  Over half of our membership was there.

The camp filled up very early, I understand that there were campers lined up out to and down the highway when the gates first opened Saturday morning.  We arrived around 4pm and were lucky to find a good spot saved close to road and most of the club folk.  

Jan came along this year for the first time and she really enjoyed the experience.  Not so much for the galaxies and clusters but for the camping and social life with the other ladies.  As the accommodations continue to improve with larger trailers, tents and RV’s, more women are making the trip.  At least in my case, it caused a great improvement in the dinner menu.

We were there for four nights, Saturday thru Tuesday.  Observing wise, I would classify those nights to be very good to near excellent with only a waning interference from the moon after about 1:30 in the morning.  With temps maxing out in the 90’s daytime to a low of 35 measured at 6am on Sunday morning, finding shade, shorts and long underwear was a constant pastime.

This years astronomical highlight of course was comet C/(2012) S1 ISON as it whizzed past Mars.  On the nights we were there, the moon was too close for my small scope to pick it out but others reported finding it Tuesday night with about 20” of mirror.  However, I did see it in near real-time, time-lapse motion from the screen of a nearby observer shooting 1 min. exposures with his piggybacked Canon EOS 60dA.

Like smoke from a campfire, the beautiful fisheye lensed Milky Way picture below is from Pearre Chase’s brother Jim, taken on his first night there.  Jim also has a great time lapse video at:

I encourage others to send in their comments and pictures to be posted here and in our picture gallery.



Fisheye Milky Way


More Comet Pictures


Written by Rich Merten Saturday, 16 March 2013 08:04

Here are three more pictures of Comet PanSTARRS. Right click on each and pick "view full image"

Gene Comet

Gene Storlie 3-12-2013

Attached is a quick and dirty image of comet Panstars I took Tuesday evening. Nothing fancy, just put the camera a tripod and blasted away. Jim and Bob were there too, vewing with binos and camera.

RM Comet

Rich Merten 3-12-2013

Taken across the little lake at the Greenways. No time to edit yet.  Just raw from the camera


Terry Comet

Terry Zimmerman 3-13-2013

Cannon EOS 50D
Shot taken at 8:56pm on Blessen Rd.
105 mm focal length  (which converts to about 160 mm focal length due to chip size)
20 sec. exposure
AV = 14 mm
TV = 800 ASA
I processed CR RAW image using 1 click default "standard tonal curve assist" using Digital Photo Professional provided by Cannon with Camera




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