This image was produced with exposures taken between August 2-4, 2008 and May 25-31, 2006 through a RCOS 20- inch telescope and a SBIG STL-11000 camera.

Exposure times: 714 minutes Luminance, 120 minutes Red, 72 minutes Green and 162 minutes Blue (All 1X1)

The Northern Pinwheel
M-101 in Ursa Major

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  • The Exploration of Space Begins at Home

    The Universe is vast beyond our true comprehension- filled with over ten billion galaxies each with several hundred billion suns by most educated guesses. In recent years, our generation has confirmed what dreamers, writers and popular media have previously speculated- around many of these stars are families of planets of which at least a few may, one day, prove to be similar to Earth. But similar is not a substitute for exact because nowhere in the universe will we find another copy of the planet we call home. In fact, the odds against us standing on the ground we walk are astronomical, considering the scale of the expanse that engulfs us.

    So, it seems even more significant that, in 1872, the United States set aside a large tract of pristine landscape as the first of many National Parks for the enjoyment of future generations. Other nations soon followed. Each year, millions journey great distances at considerable cost to experience, draw, paint and photograph portions of the unsurpassed beauty those parks still protect and preserve. The breathtaking views captured on film, paper, canvas or as ones and zeros depict earthly places that are absolutely unique, one of a kind, unmatched by nothing else anywhere in the Cosmos- period!

    But there are other singular and unsurpassable places we can visit- even if they are located above our heads and beyond the physical reach of our hands and feet. Modern digital cameras and telescopes, in combination, can tug Heavens farthest corners down to Earth and place them conveniently on a computer monitor, a magazine page or within a book. Recent revolutions in photographic processing have enabled even the most humble instruments to capture and reveal the stars and their vicinities with clarity that exceed the finest views obtained, only a few years previously, by the largest, most sophisticated and remotest telescopes. The images I (attempt to) produce are only rude examples from a vast, growing global library that you are encouraged to vigorously peruse.

    So, I invite you to begin your own personal journey. Some of the most spectacular and unrivaled places in the Universe are only mouse clicks distant from where you are seated.

    The exploration of Space begins at home.

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