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about jeffj astronomy




I image from my backyard, and setup/takedown each night I am out.

I was born in Germany (father was stationed overseas) and I currently live in the southwestern United States. As for my education and career, I have backgrounds in research meteorology, operations research, and computer science. I have a Master of Science degree in Engineering (focus on computer modeling and operations research), as well as a Bachelor's degree in Geography, minor Meteorology. Following my Master's degree, I was inducted into the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi .

Currently, I work as a research scientist for a large company where my work includes research, analysis and software development. My hobbies together with astronomy include computer programming, bodybuilding (me in competition: ), martial arts, and music. I started practicing martial arts (beginning with Judo) when I was 10 and have trained and sparred in multiple styles (including fencing) since that time. I have specifically practiced JKD since 2002. For music, I started playing drums when I was 11, and in high school I was in marching band (snare line), concert band, stage band (kit), and pep band (kit). I also played in local bands in many clubs for years with genres spanning alternative rock, rock, and jazz fusion. Me standing behind my drums: 

Astronomy Interest:  Reading a book that my dad showed me simply entitled "Astronomy" from cover to cover when I was 10, I have a long love of astronomy. Of course, at the time I didn't understand most of it :) For years after, I would just observe the night sky with binoculars or a small telescope that our family had. My interest was sparked and I studied hard as I knew I wanted to get into science, taking calculus in high school and advanced math and physics in college. I did my first "real" astrophotography in 1996, when I used a 35mm SLR camera to take photos of Comet Hyakutake. Some years later (2003), I bought a 10" dobsonian for viewing, and within a week was taking pictures through the eyepiece for fun. Within a few more weeks, I knew I wanted to get serious with astronomy, and moved to CCD imaging in 2006. The history of this can be seen starting with the Solar System area of this site...I then progressed to Deep Sky Objects (DSO), which is where my primary interest lies. In the Equipment section of this site, you can see my upgrades throughout this venture.

:  I have made a discovery of a previously undocumented emission nebula in the area of M47 on 15 Dec 13. I have details in the notes area of the M47 result.

:  I was thrilled to be published in (May 2014 issue), (September 2016, June 2017 issues), as well as having my work featured in, YahooNews, and the Milenio Newspaper (Monterrey, Mexico), among others.

Oh, I still have the "Astronomy" book :)

That's enough about me. Hope you enjoy the site, and please feel free to send me an email (jeffj_alias-astro at yahoo dot com) if you have any questions or just to say hello.

Best regards,

Jeff Johnson (Jeffrey O. Johnson)

Bortle Rating for my location (i.e., my backyard)

6   5.1 - 5.5 Bright, suburban sky. MW only apparent overhead and appears broken as fainter parts are lost to sky glow. M31 is detectable only as a faint smudge; Orion Nebula is seldom glimpsed. Zodiacal light is not visible. Constellations are seen and not lost against a starry sky. Clouds anywhere in the sky appear fairly bright as they reflect back light. Sky from horizon to 35 degrees glows with grayish color. Ground is well lit.

*** NOTE *** Recently (2019) built a new house in a dark site - so most recent results just now coming in are from Bortle level 3-4

3   6.6 - 7.0 Rural sky. MW still appears complex, dark voids and bright patches and meandering outline are all visible. Brightest Globular Clusters are distinct, but M33 is only visible with averted vision.  M31 (the Andromeda Galaxy) is obviously visible. Zodiacal light is striking in Spring and Autumn, extending 60 degrees above the horizon.

Airglow is not visible and clouds are faintly illuminated, except at the zenith.

Some light pollution evident along the horizon.  Ground objects are vaguely apparent.
(Bortle info edited on 11 Nov 20)

Las Cruces Clear Sky Clock

Air Mass - RGB based on data from IR & water vapor (animated)

New Mexico LAW for outdoor lighting (since 2000):




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