Sonoran Dark Skies
Images of the Night Sky taken from the Sonoran Desert of Southern Arizona
I currently live about 20 miles south Tucson, Arizona between the town of Green Valley and the Santa Rita Mountains. My wife,Helen, and I moved here after my retirement in 2006 from Indiana. Indiana is not a prime location when you are trying photograph the night sky. To pursue my interest in imaging it became paramount to find a location with more observing nights. So Tucson it was with its better light pollution regulations for outdoor lighting,low humidity, and darker skies. The Kit Peak National Observatory is just west of Tucson, Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins is just to the south, Mt. Graham Observatory is a couple of hours east, and there are numerous other smaller observatories in the area. I had a roll off roof observatory in Indiana but opted for smaller place in Arizona. I observe from my backyard and find skies much darker than my country home which was 45 minutes from Indianapolis.
My professional background is in aeronautical engineering, retiring from Rolls Royce, the aircraft engine manufacturer, (not the automobile maker) after over 30 years. I renewed a childhood interest in astronomy in 1994. While I enjoy all aspects of observing my main interest are viewing and photographing deep sky objects - galaxies and nebulae. I image these in normal red, green, and blue wavelengths and in the hydrogen alpa wavelength. I employ both a monochrome astronomical CCD (which uses a filter wheel) and a Hutech modified Canon DSLR. I belong to both the Tucson Amateur Astronomical Association (TAAA) and the Sonoran Astronomy Society in Green Valley. The TAAA has a dark sky site in eastern Arizona just west of the Chirachua Mountains and I plan to utilize this as a darker sky site for imaging. I had been imaging sporatically for some time in Indiana but have begun to make major progress in my techniques since moving to Arizona.
At the Twin Lakes Star Party