I looked through a telescope for the first time in 2003 at Perkins Observatory. It was pointing at M13, a globular cluster that looked like thousands of diamonds frozen in time and space. It was mesmerizing. I felt like I could reach out and touch them and they were more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. Even after all this time, it is one of the few images I can close my eyes and see as if the eyepiece was still right in front of me.

When I picked up stargazing as a hobby, I knew that someday I wanted to do astrophotography, but I didn’t know if I would ever be able to afford it. Almost one year ago I gave up a few habits that were not good for me and set aside the money I was saving to eventually buy an astrophotography setup.

When the COVID-19 pandemic began I decided that I would stay at home with the exception of going out on clear nights to remote locations to try to realize my dream. A friend of mine and professional astrophotographer, Joe Renzetti, agreed to help me learn the craft. I bought a nice computerized telescope mount with the money I had saved and have spent the last month learning how to use it (along with a telescope I am borrowing from Joe).

Last night I was able to take my first successful astrophoto with a telescope. Fittingly, it is an image of M13.