Primordial Light: ASTROPHOTOGRAPHY    
Featured: Click the Images.
m31   m42

• M81 & M82 • M71 • Comet Lulin • M33 • M27 • Albireo • M57 • Jupiter


I Use Apple Macintosh computers to operate my observatory...
(but please read this note.)

My use of Macintosh computers in astrophotography was featured in the February, 2009, issue of MacLife magazine.
Lunar Eclipse

Primordial Light is the name given to the oldest light in the Universe—the 13.7 billion-year-old photons that come to us from the Big Bang. If you browse this site you may learn a little bit about the Primordial Light and you will see—in fact you have already seen in the image above—what results when photons travel through the cosmos for a long time, even many millions of years, before encountering a Charge-Coupled Device (CCD) inside a camera that is attached to one of my telescopes. I will tell tell you how you can capture some 2.5 million-year-old photons with your own two eyes—without a telescope. Unless otherwise noted, I personally made all of the photgraphs and other graphics on this web site. If not otherwise labeled, the content of this site is copyrighted © 2008-2009 by me, David Illig.

You can enjoy the astrophotographs on this site without reading anything below this line, but if you would like to know a bit more about the Universe as a whole, and the tiny corner where you and I live, you may find something of interest here.
The Deep Sky, as used in astronomy, refers to all of the objects in the Universe that are not gravationally bound to our Sun, from the nearest star to the most distant Quasar. To say that that is a lot of mass is a gross understatement. The category includes, in no particular order, Galaxies (and clusters and supercluster of Galaxies); Clouds of gas and/or dust, which we call Nebulae (or Nebulas); Star Clusters, which are agglomerations of stars like a Galaxy, but with far fewer stars; Individual Stars that are visible because they are relatively nearby; Supernovas, which are stellar explosions accompanied by the release of such vast quantities of energy that their light may be seen across the Universe; and Novas, which are explosions that take place on the surface of a Star when superheated gas from a companion star falls on its surface and causes runaway thermonuclear explosions. And then there is Dark Matter. We have never seen it and we don’t know what it is, but we know it exists because it has gravity, and the effect of the gravitational force exerted by Dark Matter can be measured on a large scale throughout the Universe. About 25% of the matter in the Universe is Dark Matter. Finally, there is Dark Energy, which is believed to be responsible for the acceleration of the expansion of the Universe. Dark Energy comprises 70% of the content of the Universe. Where does that leave us? We, and everything we are familiar with, are made up of what we have always thought of as normal matter, but the stuff we are made of is not normal at all because it comprises only 5% of the content of the Universe.
Cosmology is the study of the origin, evolution, large-scale structure, and present state, and likely future of the Universe. Whew! Cosmology is one of astronomy's raisons d'être. It is a complex field that is beyond my ability to describe in depth, but you can't learn about astronomy, especially deep-sky astronomy, without learning a little bit about cosmology, so we will touch on the subject at some points, particularly on the Deep Time and Science is... pages.

M42, NGC 2903, Zubenelgenubi, Alpha Orionis? Who makes up these names?

Astronomy is a Science. What is science, and what is a scientific theory?
How can Photons have traveled for 150 million years if the Universe is 6,000 years old?
Updated December 8, 2009.
Read about a pollution problem you didn't know about.

IYA 2009