"Astronomical imaging gives you a new perspective on the Universe."
- Matthew T. Russell
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Everyone always seems to remember where they were when Pearl Harbor was attacked, JFK was shot, or when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. I was born the day after the first moon landing. (A fact that no one seems to have forgotten as I still get memorabilia from that moon landing for my birthday.) Of course, I don't remember the moon landing, but I have been interested in rockets, space, and the stars ever since I was quite small.
It wasn’t until college that I really had the chance to learn more about astronomy. There I took an introductory astronomy course that opened my eyes to the universe. We viewed the Moon, Jupiter, Saturn and the Crab Nebula (M1). Although more than ten years have passed since that course, I still remember those nights like they were yesterday.
In July of 2000 I received a Meade ETX telescope as a gift. Since that time I’ve been hooked. Observing not only gives you a new perspective on the night sky, but a completely different perspective on life as we know it. During the day I run a computer consulting firm and, any night that I have the energy and weather permits, I look at the skies.
Star gazing is a wonderful marriage of three of my interests: astronomy, photography, and computer science. I seem to be constantly upgrading my equipment and purchased a wide range of accessories for the telescope including a high quality CCD camera. While just looking at the stars is extremely rewarding and peaceful, there is so much that the human eye cannot see which a highly sensitive camera can reveal.
By far, the most gratifying part my hobby is when I can share my knowledge, experiences and photographs with others. I have found that most people are truly interested and have excellent questions, many of which I had asked myself at one time or another. Many sit in amazement when I explain and show what the night sky can deliver.
I live with my wife Joy, and two children, Alexandra and Brandon, in Black Forest, Colorado. I want to give thanks to all of my family for their support with this venture. This hobby is expensive and is very time consuming. If it weren’t for them, all of this wouldn’t be possible.
Enjoy the images.
-- Matt --
Copyright © 2004, Matthew T. Russell. All rights reserved.