the guy behind the lens

I am an avid photographer and astrophotographer who enjoys observing and imaging the night sky through my telescopes and cameras. At age 12, I saw Jupiter's four Galilean moons through a pair of 10x50 binoculars. At age 15, I witnessed Venus's crescent phase and Saturn's rings through a cheap department store telescope. And at age 17, I took my first image of the Moon through a Bausch and Lomb Criterion 4000 Schmidt Cassegrain telescope with an Olympus OM-1 film camera. From very early in my youth, I've always had a sense of wonder and curiosity for the night sky that developed into a passion for imaging its wonders and teaching others about our vast Universe. Astronomy, particularly astrophotography, is my lifelong hobby and provides my greatest antidote to daily stress. I currently own several telescopes, digital single-lens reflex cameras, and dedicated ZWO ASI cameras, allowing me to capture a variety of wide-field celestial events or very close-up detailed images of the Moon and other deep-sky objects.

I thoroughly enjoy this hobby and its challenges. There's always something more to learn about the night sky or capturing and processing images. It is certainly a hobby that requires one to keep up to date with imaging tools, techniques, and processes. I am also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador. As an ambassador, I am passionate about conducting educational public outreach and bringing astronomy concepts down to the human level of understanding. It is a way for me to educate, engage, and inspire individuals of all ages and diverse backgrounds. Aside from my astronomy-related activities and astrophotography, I do enjoy trekking out to image wildlife, nature, and scenic landscapes. But, when it comes to astronomy and astrophotography, the darkness and beauty of the night sky bring light to my day. Follow me on Astrodon Social: @Starguy Mark or visit me on Facebook