Thursday, February 28, 2008

Stargazing Tips From the Onion

Stargazing tips from the Onion.

Some may scoff at the hobby of astronomy, but sitting in an empty field in the middle of winter is a great way to see tiny little dots.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Third Saturn of the Year

This one's a keeper. 2000 frames LRGB in the DMK in the LX200 @ f/25.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eleventh Mars of the Year

Same scope setup, and shot just minutes after the tenth Mars, but this time in LRGB with the DMK21AF firewire camera. Much cleaner. Both were 2000 frames and processed in Astro IIDC. Sure, LRGB takes a little longer, but the results speak for themselves. I'm very happy with this Mars shot.

Tenth Mars of the Year

Getting much smaller and distinctly gibbous two months after opposition. Shot with the SPC900NC at f/25 under pretty steady seeing, 3/5.

M81 & M82, Bode's Galaxy & Cigar Galaxy

Shot this from the Eagle Eye Observatory in the AT80EDT on the LXD650, guided with the ST80. 25 x 150 seconds. That's the irregular galaxy NGC3077 in the lower right.

A little nicer than last time, but shooting with the moon just three days past full didn't help.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Plato and the Alps

(Sounds like a 60s band.)

Not quite as nice as the last couple, but still better than anything I've shot until now. This is the last of an imaging session last week. 3 x 3000 @ 60 fps in the 10" LX200.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Is It 2009 Yet?

We interrupt the lunar imaging for another political observation:

Speaking in Kigali, Rwanda, President Bush said Tuesday that the resignation of Fidel Castro “ought to be a period of democratic transition” for Cuba, and said the country must hold free and fair elections to pick a successor after half a century of Communist rule.

“And I mean free and I mean fair,” Mr. Bush added, “not these kind of staged elections that the Castro brothers try to foist off as true democracy.”

Mr. Bush continued, "Cuban elections should be more like American elections, where your Dad seats members of the Supreme Court, which then decides that you win the contested election in the state where your brother is the governor."

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tycho to Clavius

I may have surpassed my previous best.

Gassendi Again

This may very well be the nicest shot I've made of the Moon. Compare with this version from a year ago.

650/3000 frames with the DMK @ 60 fps, green filter, 10" LX200 @ f/10. CSC said 2/5 and the wind was moving things around. Used 26 alignment points in Registax.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Theophilus to Tranquility Base

Three-shot mosaic from Theophilus to Tranquility Base. 2000 frames each, stacked in Registax with 10-20 alignment points each. Assembled in PS CS3 and high-pass sharpened. Not quite Alan Friedman quality, but I'm pretty happy with my progress.

Atlas & Hercules

21 alignment points in Registax. Still not as smooth as I'd like.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Apollo 17

More of that 2/5 seeing. Aligned in Registax using 9 alignment points. 2000 frames at 60 fps with the DMK21AF04 and a green filter. 10" LX200 at f/10.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Second Saturn of the Year

FInally some better seeing, maybe 3/5. Not perfect, but it'll do. Still trying to learn all about LRGB imaging, but I think I'm making progress.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

M42, The Orion Nebula (Modified Camera)

My buddy Daniel brought his new EOS 350D over last night. His camera is different from mine in that on his, the IR cutoff filter has been removed, so the camera is much more sensitive to the red colors in many nebula. Here's a stack of 20 (10 x 30 sec, 10 x 90 sec, 10 darks) of M42, the Orion Nebula with the AT80EDT. Compare the color to this version with my unmodified camera. This was also my first attempt at auto-guiding the LXD650 mount, and it looks like I need to adjust the settings a bit.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Water Treatment Plant

Drawing in progress for work.

"We can't show that to the client! The labels are in the wrong font!"

Monday, February 04, 2008

How Fights Start

I rear-ended a car this morning.

So there we are alongside the road and slowly the driver gets out of the car, and you know how you just-get-sooo-stressed and life-stuff seems to get funny?

Yeah, well, I could NOT believe it . . . he was a DWARF!

He storms over to my car,looks up at me and says, "I AM NOT HAPPY!"

So, I look down at him and say, "Well, which one are you then?"

The doctor assures me the swelling will go down in a couple of days, and my voice will return to normal at the same time.