This image was produced with exposures taken between May 27- June 20, 2006 and April 7- 21, 2007 through a RCOS 20- inch telescope and a SBIG STL-11000 camera.

Exposure times: 615 minutes Luminance, 120 minutes Red, 72 minutes Green and 162 minutes Blue (All 1X1)

The Southern Pinwheel
M-83 in Hydra

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Childhood's Future

I will never be able to travel beyond our planet- even though I would jump at the opportunity (in a heart-beat!) were it offered. It's just not in the cards- I was born too soon and remain rooted to the ground. So, the farthest I can reach into space is confined to the borders of astronomical images that I (attempt to) create for my self-satisfaction and to share with others. Not surprisingly, I have discovered that a telescope and camera can be an efficacious substitute for a rocket with a full tank of fuel:

When I'm comfortably home in front of my monitor trying to increase the shadowy contrast of an exposure that is resisting my efforts, all earthbound ties evaporate and time passes without notice- I feel like I am actually out there, exploring the scene that my instruments have captured. I become an adventurer when processing a picture, unconstrained by day-to-day cares; it's where I derive my greatest pleasure as a hobbyist and a dreamer. As a result, like over-lounging under the warmth of my morning bedcovers, I often tarry too long, immersed within the Universe of my picture projects.

I have always found that travel invokes new perspectives when looking back at your point of disembarkation. Curiously, this paradox exists with virtual journeys, too, because the farther I wander into the recesses of eternity, the closer I approach the places where human character dwells within each of us- our capacity for surmounting overwhelming challenges, our compassion to selflessly offer assistance to others and our willingness to disburse our time and hard-won treasure reminding viewers (and ourselves!) that we are part of, not a part from, the Universe.

I suspect similar revelations will also visit those who touch the places, that we can only contemplate, sometime in childhood's distant future.

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