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Let Me Introduce Myself

Reggie Jones

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Hi everyone - I'm Reggie Jones, living in Southern California in the U.S.  I joined Telescope Live in December 2019 and it's been indispensable in my continuing development as an astrophotographer / imager.  Specifically, Telescope Live gave me the chance to have access to work with targets in the Southern Hemisphere using exceptional equipment that's well beyond my equipment budget.

My astronomy journey began in college; basic astronomy was a required course that everyone had to take.  We were fortunate to have a planetarium at the school and I was hooked.  Unfortunately at the time, math, engineering and physics course took up most of my attention as well as college sports and I wasn't in a position to return to astronomy until much later.

That happened around 2007 when by happenstance, I was able to obtain a 3 inch reflecting telescope made by Bushnell.  It really wasn't much, but from my backyard I could see the moon and planets and on a good night, I could just make out the cloud lines of Jupiter.  Days later, I was in possession of an Orion 8 inch newtonian dobsonian reflector and making regular monthly new moon trips to our local dark sky site, about 2 hours north of Los Angeles.  A year or so later, I obtained a 12 inch dobsonian reflector and continued with visual observing, logging ever fainter targets and really learning the night sky in all seasons.  I continued to devour all manner of star charts, observing and telescope equipment literature in my spare time.  I also became part of a group of amateur astronomers regularly meeting for nights of observing or imaging.

The friends I gained through this hobby had been after me for years to join them in astrophotography, but I resisted them.  All night, I would hear nothing but loud complaining and swearing from many of them as it seemed their equipment routinely malfunctioned from constant equipment failures, computer setbacks or both.  However, after years of constant harassment, I finally cracked and with the help and guidance of an experienced imager and close friend, Paul Winn (pictured below), I obtained the necessary basic equipment (Orion 8" Newtonian Astrograph, iOptron CEM60, QHY 10 OSC CCD camera) and started my astrophotography journey around 2014.  The first image I got data on was the Iris Nebula, NGC 7023 (attached).  Paul walked me through the entire process, setting up equipment, data acquisition and then image processing which at that time was only with Deep Sky Stacker and Photoshop.  When I'd finished the image processing for this first image which contained a lot of problems, I was hopelessly hooked on imaging for good.  My already extensive astronomy library  grew exponentially to include imaging equipment texts from Willamen-Bell, Sky & Telescope and from my local astrophotography store, Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope.  The learning curve was really steep and very long if I was going to improve my skills enough to be competent at this.

I joined Telescope Live when it became operational in late 2019.  I'd read a lot about targets in the Southern Hemisphere and here was a chance to work on imaging targets I'd only read about and I didn't have to travel and drag all my equipment huge distances to do it.  At that time, you pretty much were left to acquiring data on your own through doing advanced requests; there were image datasets called Pro Datasets, which were the precursor to the 1-Click Observation data that we have now but they were in short supply initially.  My first Telescope Live image was of the Running Chicken nebula (NGC 2944) which I've attached.  Not a great result but again, this continued to challenge me to learn and improving my skills.  Eventually, I made the switch to PixInsight to process images and then to Adam Block Studios to learn not just how to use it effectively, but Adam's video tutorials taught me the skills required in effectively think through how to solve problems you'll encounter processing astronomical image data.  Adam Block Studios remains a cornerstone of advancing my journey of learning.

My skills as an imager have greatly improved from where I started almost 10 years ago, but when I review the work of others posted in the Telescope Live gallery, I find I still have a lot to learn.  I really enjoy using my own equipment to image which I do from my backyard in Los Angeles or from dark sky sites I travel to.  My inventory equipment has also grown considerably; I still use my Orion 8" Astrograph, but I also have a collection of refractors (125mm, 102mm, 80mm) and cameras (QHY 268C, QHY 294C, QHY 294M).  I still use the iOptron CEM60 mount but I have 2 of them.  

Feel free to contact me to talk about equipment, astro imaging or bicycling which is where I spend my time when I'm not doing astronomy.  Also, I am a volunteer Telescope Operator on the Mt Wilson 60" telescope.  We run observing sessions for the public between April and November.   If you're in town and would like to look though a piece of legendary astronomy history, contact me to find out how you can join a session.


Paul Winn - 1.jpeg

NGC7023 MtPinos 2014 - 1.jpeg

NGC2944 Lum 1stTLImage - 1.jpeg


Orion Astrograph.jpeg

AT125EDL - 1.jpeg

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On 9/29/2023 at 1:56 PM, Reggie Jones said:

Thanks Alexander; now I just need clearer skies.  I forgot to mention that I also work at Mt Wilson part time as a Telescope Operator for the 60 inch Telescope, helping to run sessions for the general public.  We have professional astronomers we work with and its loads of fun.


I can imagine this can be a real joy to collimate 🙂

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Hi Reggie,

Love your work and posts! I'm based in Wood Ranch in Simi Valley - possibly the closest to you in proximity among other TL users? 🙂

It would be quite amazing to participate in a Mt. Wilson observing session - please let me know about upcoming opportunities.

I can also vouch for Adam Block Studios. His detailed tutorials have definitely upped my PixInsight game.


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Hi Phil.  Sorry, I am just now seeing this.  Guessing Wood Ranch has better skies than I do here close in the City.  The current Mt Wilson observing season is almost over; next season should begin again in April.  Check the Mt Wilson website (https://www.mtwilson.edu/public-ticket-nights/) for next season's public ticket nights.


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