Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Observatory, Day Two

Level & north. Suppose Meade will sue me?

I'd rather mix concrete than dig holes.

Now the worry starts--did I mix right? Is everything well-compacted? Am I going to unwrap the tube and find huge voids?

Slide show here.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Observatory, Day One

My arms are killing me.

View a slide show of the first half of the pier installation here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Jupiter at 45° Reprocessed

I re-ran my stack and got a tighter alignment. The half-size image looks pretty good, so there's that at least.

Jupiter at 45°

I don't know what I can do get a sharper image. The scope was (should have been) well cooled-off--I ran the cooler for 45 minutes, and this was shot after being out for about three hours. Jupiter was 45° up, which is still low but not awful. Seeing was good--the difference between the good frames and bad ones was very small. I tweaked focus back & forth for about 15 minutes, and am satisfied it's the best I can do. I looked at the collimation on Io, and to me it looks spot on. If I push the wavelets any harder I get ringing around the planet.

The only thing I can figure is it's my collimation skills. I get nice round concentric rings on one side of focus, but they're all spike-y on the other. I wonder if the collimation knobs are installed correctly, or if the the secondary is somehow being "pinched."

10" LX200 Classic, 2.5x PowerMate, NexImage, 500 frames (35 seconds) in alt-az

Monday, May 08, 2006

Lunar Processing, Pt. II

I used five zones this time--the 4 corners and the center. No wavelets at all--just the same three passes of high-pass filtering and an unsharp mask. It's a little noisy still, but I'm making progress with the process.



Sunday, May 07, 2006

Lunar Processing

After getting turned on to Tony Gondola's lunar processing workflow, I thought I'd give it a shot.

Here's my first attempt at a six-zone (3 col. x 2 row) stack & mosaic, followed by high-pass filter sharpening.

I enlarged my original 640x480 .mov 150% in Quicktime Pro player and aligned & stacked on six areas in Keith's Image Stacker. I did one pass of wavelets, and am afraid I used to much.

I used PS CS2 to crop the six images and automerge them back into one. I made three passes with the high pass filter at 6, 3 and 1 pixel using Tony's settings.

I reduced the image back to 640 x 480 and despeckled. Alan Friedman is safe from me for a while, but I can see great potential here.

Original version:


Monday, May 01, 2006

Friday & Saturday

Sometimes the weather just won't cooperate. Friday night I was invited to the Audubon Society's evening event to host a little star party for their members. Alas, the clouds moved in hard, and there was even hail overnight, so there was obviously no stargazing. I did bring the iBook and a projector, so we all looked at fake computer stars instead. I had fun, and several people expressed their appreciation, so I suppose it wasn't a wasted evening after all.

Saturday night was better-I took Ian and the two Wades to the Erwin Center and watched the Austin Wranglers play Arena League Football. It's a different game than the NFL or NCAA play, but still a lot of fun. The league works hard at being fan-friendly and it showed. They host an autograph session on the field after every game, and the players & cheerleaders are very accessible. They seemed pleased to have the opportunity as well.

See my pictures from the game here.

A New Version of an Old Joke

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?
Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.
George: Great. Lay it on me.
Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.
George: That's what I want to know.
Condi: That's what I'm telling you.
George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes.
George: I mean the fellow's name.
Condi: Hu.
George: The guy in China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The new leader of China.
Condi: Hu.
George: The main man in China!
Condi: Hu is leading China.
George: Now whaddya' asking me for?
Condi: I'm telling you, Hu is leading China.
George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?
Condi: That's the man's name.
George: That's who's name?
Condi: Yes.
George: Will you, or will you not, tell me the name of the new leader of China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he's dead in the Middle East.
Condi: That's correct.
George: Then who is in China?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir is in China?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Then who is?
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Yassir?
Condi: No, sir.
George: Look Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.
Condi: Kofi?
George: No, thanks.
Condi: You want Kofi?
George: No.
Condi: You don't want Kofi.
George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi?
George: Milk! Will you please make the call?
Condi: And call who?
George: Who is the guy at the U.N?
Condi: Hu is the guy in China
George: Will you stay out of China?!
Condi: Yes, sir.
George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.
Condi: Kofi.
George: All right! With cream and two sugars.