Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Return to the Moon

I went back and reprocessed some Moon shots from October with nice results. Here's a two-night series of Gassendi. Interesting how the changing angle of sunlight makes the features look different.

Then there's this shot of Aristarchus. I knew I'd eventually get it processed better. I may have pushed it too far though.

Last up is a shot of Schiller that I hadn't processed. More info on Schiller is at the Lunar Picture of the Day.

Longhorn Shuffle

Apple introduces iPod Shuffle in colors.

OK, so now that you can get an orange (sort of) iPod Shuffle, you know someone is going to do this.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another Look at the Moon

First up is an area near the center of the Moon (well, not the center, but the middle of the part we can see) called Sinus Medii, Central Bay. The three "rivers" caught my eye, Rimas Triesnecker, Hyginus and Ariadaeus. The Full Moon Atlas has more info.

Next is what I call Tranquility Base National Park. I spent a couple of nights at the eyepiece looking for Craters Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin before I spotted them; you can see here how small they are. This area is just to the southeast of the shot above. Again, the Full Moon Atlas has more.

Both shot with my new Philips SPC900NC webcam. Sinus Medii processed in Registax, Tranquility Base processed in Keith's Image Stacker. 10" LX200, 2.5x PowerMate.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturn's Back, Part II

Registax rocks. I despise Winders, but I'll admit it when a Winders app works better than a Mac one.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Saturn's Back

Armed with a new Philips SPC900NC webcam, I'm going to get a great shot this year if I can stay up late enough. We had a rare clear night last night with pretty decent seeing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is Gladys For Real?

The Austin American-Statesman tries to get to the bottom of the Gladys phenomenon:

Is Gladys Hardy real? The mystery surrounding this phantom funny woman continues to grow.

Gladys, in case you missed it, is the alleged 88-year-old Austin woman who phoned "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" last week and brought the host to her knees with a barrage of hilarious, homespun comments. more...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Gladys Hardy on The Ellen DeGeneres Show

"I'll be honest with you; I love Jesus, but I drink a little."

Monday, January 22, 2007


Why does Oklahoma have "Oklahoma is OK!" on their license plates?

Because they can't spell "mediocre."

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Entry Monitor System Panel

Still needs the graph for the reentry corridor G vs. velocity, but otherwise done. I had a hard time finding anything other than drawings, so I used the scene in Apollo 13 where Kevin Bacon's character fails the reentry simulation--there's a closeup on this panel in the film.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Currently Reading

Apollo 8 Flight Journal

December 1968, Apollo 8 is in lunar orbit. From the onboard voice recorder:

085:38:00 Anders (onboard): Where abouts are we?

085:38:02 Borman (onboard): Somewhere over the Moon.

I Need A New Hobby

As we enter week 3 of the Great Winter Cloud-Out of 2007, I'm pondering a new hobby that doesn't require clear skies. This looks like a good one.

Thursday, January 18, 2007


I've been working on illustrating the Apollo Command Module instrument panel in my spare time, and finished up the FDAI (aka 8-ball).

The drawing's not perfect--I left some detail out of the markings on the ball itself--but I'm pretty happy with the end result.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Ice Age, Day 3

The day care reopened today, and Trudy went in to work, so I'm at home updating my blog doing the work I didn't do yesterday.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Deep Freeze

It's not as cold as some parts of the country, but for Austin, it's enough to be classified as "frickin' freezing." We are expecting a thick layer of ice on everything overnight, which should make things interesting tomorrow.

Geostationary Banana Over Texas

Geostationary Banana Over Texas

I looked this over carefully, and it seems to me they are forgetting one critical thing: giant space chimpanzees.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Apple introduces the iPhone.

Brain Fart

I'm still feeling stupid about this. It's New Year's Eve and Keith & I are shooting mortar shells in the front pasture. We come across one with a bad fuse. Sucker will not light no matter what. We try several times, but no joy. I even pull the fuse out and try lighting the other end, just to see what happens. We finally toss the shell.

So the next day, it finally hits me. Why didn't I take a second shell, cut the fuse in half, and stick it into the otherwise good first shell? D'oh!

Friday, January 05, 2007

M45, The Pleiades

Also called the Seven Sisters, even though you can only see six naked eye. Shot this with the ST80, and failed to get it well-centered in the frame, so it has some pretty bad coma in the upper right corner. I processed out most of the purple halos. There's a little bit of blue nebulosity, but it's mostly washed out by the nearly full moon.

5 x 120 sec Canon Digital Rebel XT in the ST80 @ f/5, guided through the LX200.