AstroChallenge contributor

Points: 5562

Observations: 74

Kudos: 48

NameAustin Riba
LocationSanta Barbara, California

Beginner astronomer, constant neck-ache, Admin of


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
20 points

Absolutely stunning globular cluster. This one was a bit hard to find despite it's size and magnitude. There are not many reference stars surrounding it. Once I found it, I observed it for many minutes. I saw ~50 resolveable stars with many being very bright. This will be one of my go-to objects for the rest of it's season.


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
20 points

Found M53 by first locating Arcturus, then following a line up until I got to the area which Virgo "points". M53 is just below one of her arms. Small, obviously a globular. Can't resolve individual stars at this time.

Needle Galaxy

Mead LX200 (Cabrillo Observatory)
10 points

A friend and I went to a talk by Dr. John Faulkner of UCSC at the monthly Santa Cruz Astronomy club meeting. After his very entertaining lecture titled "A Life With the Stars" we headed over to the Cabrillo observatory. Cookies were eaten, hot chocolate was drank. Most importantly, Spock was booted and images were taken.

'Tis the season of galaxies. I decided to shoot NGC4565 (first brought to my attention by adamjl, thanks!) and B opted for the Eyes Galaxies.

This shot was taken it not the greatest conditions (local light pollution and clouds) but with 3x5 minutes exposures, it turned out ok. Terrible RGB noise caused a loss of detail once removed. I did not adjust any colors. I feel the striking beauty of this galaxy overshadows the shortcomings of the image so, in the end, success.

B ended up shooting something else entirely by mistake, but ended up with an image with at least 8 galaxies in the field of view!

A great late night at the Cabrillo Observatory.


Naked eye
10 points

The brightest star in the sky, how could you miss it? I usually look for Sirius first as dusk approaches, to get my "celestial bearings"


Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian
0 points

Observed April 4th's Lunar Eclipse from the street in Orange County. I set my alarm for 4:15PST and got up to find the moon at about 75% and getting dimmer. Now I know why it is called a "blood moon", it was clearly red. Great observation.

Naked eye 7
Orion 10'' SkyQuest dobsonian 53
Orion Scenix 10x50 Binoculars 2
Mead LX200 (Cabrillo Observatory) 4
LCOGT 1Meter Scope - Sinistro 8