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2021 Year End Report

Posted: 31 December 2021

Tuesday, 21 December 2021, was cloudy. With rain in the forecast for later in the week, I put the Dome Cover ON. Later on Tuesday I was a guest on the Explore Alliance OpenGOTO Community live show to discuss my recent iPhone photograph of Comet C/2021 A1 (Leonard). I was on at the beginning of the show for a few minutes. Click the image to view a replay of the show.


Cloudy skies continued. Rain began early Friday morning, 24 December, and continued until early afternoon (1.06", as measured by my new weather station). Wednesday morning, 29 December, had more rain (0.24"). There was some rain (0.06") after sunset on Thursday, 30 December. Friday, 31 December, was cloudy with periods of rain in the morning (0.31") with more rain beginning mid-afternoon and continuing past sunset (0.49"). Rain is expected to continue until Saturday morning, 1 January 2022.

2021 was a busy year for me. Here are some highlights.

The best highlight for me in 2021 was that my autobiography Finding my Way to the Stars was published in May. The reviews and feedback have been all positive.


When I was an undergraduate student in Astrophysics at Indiana University, 1966-70, I worked in the Astronomy Department Asteroid Program for several hours each week during all four years. During that experience I gained a love for asteroids. I enjoy photographing asteroids named for Indiana-related locations, my professors, and friends. This year I was able to photograph asteroids named for one Indiana associated observatory and for many friends. You can see the images on the Asteroids & Dwarf Planets Astrophotography Album.

I published six reviews in 2021:

    Affinity Photo Astrophotography Editing
    ETX Rear Cell SCT Adapter
    SkyShed POD Vinyl Dome Cover
    Explore Scientific Sun Catcher Solar Filter
    Mystery of the Ashen Light of Venus
    Explore Scientific 7-n-1 Professional Weather Station

Astronomy Technology Today magazine published two of my reviews in 2021. ATT mentioned my autobiography in the "Industry News" section of an issue.

Astronomy Magazine published my article "Astrophotography with your smartphone" in its November 2021 issue and posted it online in December.

I was on the Explore Alliance Live livestream show several times during the year. One highlight was the Focus on Smartphone Astrophotography talk I gave.

Of course, I did lots of observing. I also did astrophotography with a D850 DSLR and iPhone. During the year I took 2450 photographs at the observatory. Here is my 2021 Montage.

Click for larger version

This table and graph show the total number of sessions and hours I spent in the observatory during 2021 and prior years. Since there was no travel this year, cloudy skies is the main reason for the reduced number of sessions.


Some site visitors know that I was injured while riding my bike on 23 December 2021 when a driver failed to yield and entered an intersection in front of me, causing what could have been a fatal accident. The fact that I survived probably counts as a "highlight of 2021". Hopefully all drivers can learn a valuable lesson from watching this short video of the accident and realize that trying to save four seconds getting to their destination is not really worth causing personal injuries and property damage or worse. In the video you will see the driver stop at 10:52:54 and start moving towards me four seconds later at 10:52:58.

Click to play the video

The driver sped away down the road. I was thrown off the bike and tumbled down the road. I am OK with just some scrapes and bruises. The Arizona State Trooper who saw this video commented that my reaction time was impressive. I said it was from my jet fighter pilot training.

And so ends my 25th year of documenting my astronomical activities online and my 12th year at Cassiopeia Observatory.

I wish everyone a safe and wonderful 2022.

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