Celebrating the Beauty of the Night Sky

About Myke Wolf

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About Me

I have been fascinated by the night sky my entire life. I love the challenge of imaging the ever changing solar system. I remember the film photos of the planets taken by the largest observatories when I was a young boy. It's amazing that digital imaging allows me to surpass the quality of those old pictures with my backyard telescope. When no planets are in the sky, I go after the myriad of deep sky targets.

I live near San Diego, and frequently trek up nearby mountains for dark sky imaging. Despite city lights, I do most of my planetary imaging from my own backyard.

Although my first use of a CCD camera was in 1999 for my asteroid hunting project (see right), my experience with astronomical imaging really began with the 2003 Mars opposition. I bought my first GOTO telescope and CCD camera for Mars, but I seriously underestimated the learning curve. My Mars 2003 images were not very impressive at all! Since then, I've continually refined my techniques, challenging myself to get better and better pictures of the planets and their moons.

I built this website as my personal gallery to organize and catalog my own images. I've also added tools to help me plan my imaging sessions.
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My Equipment

Celestron 9.25-SCT is my main imaging telescope, on a Celestron Advanced VX mount.
My latest purchase is an Orion CT80 which I intend to run piggyback on my SCT when I find the correct mounting hardware! Probably will use it for lunar disk imaging, not for autoguiding...
After I broke my NightScape, I took a few years off DSO imaging. The result of careful research has led to my purchase of the ASI294MC Pro. I'm eager to snap some globulars as soon as weather allows!
I use a ZWO 60mm Guide Scope for autoguiding, but also use it for wide field imaging on occasion. The heliacal focuser is very sturdy and the lens is high quality.
This is my ASI 224 MC color camera. With its USB 3.0 port, I have captured planetary video at over 100 frames per second, and it can run even faster than that. It has impressively low noise, and the 10-bit ADC makes planets look so much better than 8-bit imaging. I also use it with my ZWO 60mm Guide Scope for autoguiding.
This is my ZWO Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector. When planets are below 30 degrees elevation, this does an amazing job of correcting the colors and bringing them into focus. I've been very impressed with this little thing.
Retired Equipment
The Celestron NightScape OSC CCD camera was my DSO camera (until I broke it). I used this for my first autoguided images, achieving 3 minute exposures. It was heavy and clunky to use, and occasionally like to reset itself in the middle of imaging. The USB port was flimsy and eventually came loose. I decided to retire and replace instead of repair.
The Celestron NexImage5 was my first video astronomy camera. I used it for lunar and planetary imaging. The big 5 megapixel detector gave a nice field of view, although the USB 2 port couldn't get past about 50 frames per second.
This big heavy thing is my Orion Starshoot Deep Space Color Imager II (what an impressively long name). I did get pretty sharp images with this, although the small detector gave a pretty limited field of view. I was not a fan of the non-square pixels! Also it shot stills but not video.
My very first astronomy camera was an SBIG ST-237A monochrome with a filter wheel. The quality of this 16-bit camera was excellent, although the detector provided a small field of view. The camera had a separate controller box, which I had to have serviced twice, my only camera that's needed repair. I had to physically send it back, but SBIG promptly fixed it for free.
My Asteroid Discoveries
Between 1998 2000, I discovered 57 asteroids. The big surveys were sweeping huge areas of the sky with powerful telescopes on most dark nights, but I was finding asteroids as bright as 14th magnitude by searching areas they weren't. I used the 22-inch Kuhn telescope of the Orange County Astronomers club.
Named Discoveries
AlinaFiocca216841999 RR33
Close549022001 OG77
David(D)ixon517412001 KQ50
DavidDunlap702071999 RP33
Healy664791999 RQ33
JamesEarly818222000 KN38
JohnPercy322082000 OR7
JohnSchutt611902000 NF29
KarenCilevitz1083822001 KM21
MairePercy322072000 OQ7
Medkeff414502000 LF15
Nichols684102001 QB154
Puckett320962000 KO38
Restitutum543622000 KP38
TomCave625032000 SL233
WilliamKuhn404571999 RG43
Numbered Discoveries
1083822001 KM21
1092632001 QO108
1122182002 JF148
1271952002 GK177
1324432002 GQ177
1324442002 GW177
1394692001 OF91
1690922001 KN21
1722502002 RR232
1760482000 TH
1955042002 GM177
2031342000 TK2
2108272001 OL22
216841999 RR33
2171402002 GL177
2255622000 TJ
2322962002 RU232
2348562002 RQ232
2348572002 RR235
2587472002 GN177
2587482002 GR177
2589532002 RV235
2871572002 RD235
3107682002 RC235
3169062000 TJ2
320962000 KO38
322072000 OQ7
322082000 OR7
3345332002 RV232
3478652002 RE235
3604032002 FF40
3702142002 GS177
3906662002 RW232
404571999 RG43
4131822002 RS235
414502000 LF15
4379472002 RT235
4743732002 RB235
513392000 OA61
517412001 KQ50
543622000 KP38
549022001 OG77
611902000 NF29
625032000 SL233
664791999 RQ33
684102001 QB154
702071999 RP33
818222000 KN38
824722001 OJ22
956772002 GJ177
Un-Numbered Discoveries
DesignationUOppositionsLast Seen
2002 RO232072018 Apr 13
2002 RS232062017 Apr 1
2002 RN232232018 Oct 5
2002 RP23212002 Oct 10
2002 RT23212002 Sep 18
2002 JG14812002 May 2
2002 RU23512002 Sep 18
Jupiter Processing List
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