“Holy cow, a citizen scientist took THIS picture from his backyard!?”

 Science Cheerleader subscriber (and close friend) Roz sent in this news tip. Turns out we CAN generate sparkling images of stars even in light polluted areas. (A little more on light pollution here.) Her neurologist, Steve Mazlin,  is also an amateur astrophotographer who has set up a mini Hubble telescope-of-sorts in his backyard, not far from where my parents live in light polluted Bucks County, PA. Who knew?  The picture on the left, is one of HIS!


Here’s an excerpt from a recent Philadelphia Inquirer article on Mazlin: 
“Ten years ago, the convergence of high-tech computers, sophisticated telescopes, and digital cameras with their high resolution and sensitivity to light allowed Mazlin to begin realizing his childhood dream – making detailed pictures of the wonders in the sky. Mazlin has never taken an astronomy, photography or computer course. He didn’t own a computer or see any need to have one until 1996, when he saw the possibilities of using it for imaging deep into the sky.”

“With what is available today, anyone can do it,” he says, “provided you’re willing to invest the time and the money, roughly $3,000 to $5,000 for the basic equipment.”  

Read more about Steve and view his awesome images here.