About Us
Observing Aids
Observing Guides

Observing Reports


The name of this website was inspired by my passion for observing faint deep sky objects under dark skies over the last 40+ years. Faint deep sky objects appear as Faint Fuzzies in the eyepiece of the telescope, such as my 22" and 30" reflectors, and even in my friend's 48" reflector. Lately, I enjoy observing threshold objects that has an interesting feature, an astrophysical anomaly or just not a "normal" object. One such example is the Andromeda's Parachute, a recently discovered gravitationally lensed quasar.

The purpose of this website is to provide a resource for advanced observers of challenging deep sky objects. The first three guides created were to help owners of 16" or large telescopes to observe the Hickson Compact Galaxy Groups, Abell Planetary Nebulae, and Arp Peculiar Galaxies.

As I developed more advanced observing guides, it hit me that it would be great to have some resources for  those who just completed the Messier list and wanted to see more. A great next step is the Herschel 400, then the Herschel 400 - Part II. So there is something for everyone with 6" to 48" telescopes.

If you have a large telescope and are tired of seeing the same "bright" objects over and over again, running out of objects to observe, or like to be challenged. Take a look at the guides I made available for you by clicking on Observing Guides or Downloadable Observing Guides under For Large Telescopes.  Or if you are a beginner or intermediate observer with a 6 - 10" telescope, look under For Smaller Telescopes.

Check out my Observing Reports link to see a sampling of what you can see through a large telescope. I hope it encourages you to go out and observe.


Update (2024): We refreshed most  of the Downloadable Observing Guides. The following contains more than a refresh.  The revision history lists the detailed update history.

  • Herschel 400 Part II Observing Guide to reflect the AL changes to the list.
  • The Local Group: Added a new LG member, corrected a few mislabeled objects within LG members and reclassified as LG and near LG.
  • Shakhbazian Galaxy Groups: Added 59 new groups and enhanced throughout.

Scroll down a little bit to see a few photos I took of the total solar eclipse from my backyard.  It was a surreal event.  It may be surprising to some of you, but this is the first one I've seen.  I never traveled nor chased a total solar eclipse. However, I planned to go to the Oregon Star Party for the 2017 total eclipse, but I got sick and couldn't make it.

30" Starmaster f/4 reflector at Golden State Star Party 2008
The reflector in the background is my 22" f/4 reflector

My 22" f/4 reflector at one of our observing sites in the high Sierras at elevation of 7,800 feet.


2024 Total Solar Eclipse over Texas Hill Country

Taken with a 4" f/11 refractor

Corona @ 1/30 sec

Corona with Prominences
Corona with solar prominence @ 1/125 sec

Tringular Prominence Detail
Another @ 1/125 sec

Another Prominence

Some prominence detail @ 1/200 sec