Michael A. Stecker


Michael A. Stecker, M.D.
Los Angeles, California

(see additional photos below)

Contact information


 I was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 1943, but grew up and was educated in Detroit, Michigan where I attended Hampton Elementary and Mumford High School.  I received the B.S. (1964) and M.D. (1968) degrees from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  Then it was off to Iowa City where I did my internship and a small research project in cochlear disease at University Hospital.  After internship and at the height of the Viet Nam war, I was “encouraged” to join the U.S. Army Medical Corps and spent two years on a beautiful Army Security Agency (ASA) Station in Sonoma County called Two Rock Ranch (west of Petaluma, California and about an hours drive north of San Francisco).  I did my residency in diagnostic radiology at the University of Southern California’s L.A. County General Hospital and have been in West Los Angeles continuously to this date.

Initiation into astrophotography started in 1986 when I decided to “take a few pictures of Comet Halley”, but instead became hooked on the hobby.  Most of my astrophotography was done at 8300 ft. Mt. Pinos – a gathering site for astrophotographers and observers alike in Southern California.  There I became friendly with a group of people affectionately called the “Rat Pack” (Martin Germano, Kim Zussman, Tony Hallas, Bill Fletcher, James Foster and Bob Fera).  I have also done some astrophotography at the Anglo-Australian Observatory (Siding Springs), Carnegie’s Las Campanas Observatory in Chile and Lake Titicaca, Bolivia.  I am a former member of the Santa Monica Amateur Astronomy Club.  My other interests are travel, scenic photography, reading and tropical fish.

Areas of astrophotography interest
wide field, comets, dark nebulae, rare objects

Astrophotography publications
ngkasa (Indonesia), Astronomy, Astronomy Now (UK), CCD Astronomy (Sky Publishing), Ciel et Espace (France), Coelum (Italy), Il Cielo (Italy), Deep Sky (Kalmback Publishing),  Discovery Magazine, Observatory Techniques, Sky and Space, Sky and Telescope, Smithsonian,  Southern Sky (Australia), Temmon Guide (Japan), Deep-Sky Observer (Webb Society).

Books, etc.
AFLO (Japan), Astro-Box
(Octopus PublishingGroup), Astronomy (New Holland Publishing), Atlas of Space (Aladdin Books), Bedroom Astronomy (Klutz), Build Model Solar System, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Stars (J. Kaler), Cambridge Guide to Astronomical Discovery (W. Liller), , Cambridge Starfinder, Collins Encyclopedia of the Universe, Comets! Visitors from Deep Space, Deck of Stars, DK Guide to Constellations, DK Our Mysterious Universe, EL for Africa (MacMillan), Exploring Space, Extreme Universe (Channel 4 Books), Eyewitness Astr., Facts at your Fingertips, Heaven & Earth, Killers in Space (Pioneer), Solar System (Arcturus),  Space Book (Arcturus), Pearson Education Mega Max, Myth of Americas (Anness Publishing), New Astronomer (Dorling Kindersley), One time World, Philip's Night Sky Atlas, Philip's Complete Guide To Stargazing, Philip's The Universe (Toucan Books), Space Book (3D Eye), Spektrum Sternbilder, Secrets of the Universe (M-Press), Space Encyclopedia (Dorling Kindersley), Starfinder, Starfire Stars & Planets (The Foundry), Stargazing 2005 (Philips), Stargazing 2006 (Philips), Stargazing 2007 (Philips), Stargazing With With Binoculars, Stargazing With a Telescope,  Structures in Space (Springer-Verlag), Telescope & Techniques (Springer-Verlag), Through the Eyes of Hubble (Robert Naeye), Universal Atlas (Philip), Universe (Dorling Kindersley), Universe (Marshall Ed.), Universe Bind-Up (Kingfisher), Young People's Book of Space.

Professional Journals
Journal of Organic Chemistry
Angewandte Chemie Internat

Television (BBC)
Extreme Machines III, Space, Comets, Pioneer Universe 2001 Big Bang
, Space Odyssey (BBC Worldwide)

Observing site
Mount Pinos in Los Padres National Forest of Southern California 

Astronomical Equipment
Astro-Physics 900 german equatorial mount, Astro-Physics 130 mm f/6 EDF refractor, Astro-Physics 155 mm f/7 EDF refractor, Celestron C-11 SCT


Dr. Douglas Richstone (left), Chairman of Astronomy at the University of Michigan
and Michael Stecker at the Steward Mirror Lab in 2005 (see: GMT).



My home in Cheviot Hills -- West Los Angeles, California
Photo taken just after take-off from Los Angeles International Airport

Just north (up in the photo) of Cheviot Hills is Twentieth Century Fox Studies and Century City.  It was at the Century Plaza Hotel in Century City where celebrations were held honoring the astronauts after the first moon landing in 1969.  Between Century City and Cheviot Hills, straddling Motor Avenue, are  green Rancho Park Golf Course (west) and Hillcrest Country Club (east). The other island of greenery is the Los Angeles Country Club nestled between Beverly Hills, Century City and Westwood (UCLA).  Between the L.A. Country Club and UCLA is a group of high-rise condominiums called the Wilshire Corridor.  Just northeast of UCLA is beautiful Bel Air, while to the east is prestigious Holmby Hills, the former home of Walt Disney and current site of Hugh Hefner's Playboy Mansion.  To the south is the I-10 freeway and Culver City, home to Sony Picture Studios -- formerly MGM

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