Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Pretty Good Joke

What do Winnie The Pooh and Alexander The Great have in common?

>>>They have the same middle name.

(Highlight the text to reveal the answer.)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

M57, the Ring Nebula Again

A definite improvement over my 2006 attempt. This is the center crop of the full frame. The DSLR @ f/6.3 may not be the best camera for this small object; some day I'll try the DMK @ f/10 on it--if I can keep my guiding running smoothly enough.

30 x 240 sec, 10" LX200 @ f/6.3, 350D @ ISO 800, Astronomik CLS, guided with ST80/DSI/PHD Guiding

Saturday, July 19, 2008

M27, The Dumbbell Nebula Again

Shot this for the July Digital Astro challenge. 30 x 240 seconds @ ISO 800, Astronomik CLS filter, Rebel XT, 10" LX200 @ f/6.3, captured & DDP with Nebulosity, guided with PHD Guiding. Definitely a step up since my 2006 attempt. The amazing part is that I shot this under a full moon.

Third Jupiter of the Year

Jupiter at 35°. Pretty good seeing at 1:30 this morning with just a moderate ripple. Jupiter was far enough west that it wasn't directly over the roof of the house. LRGB with the DMK21AF04 in the LX200 @ f/25.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Copernicus Crater

Click for full size.

Not the first time I've shot this crater, but definitely my best results to date. Mosaic of five shots, best of 2500 frames each with the DMK and a green filter through the LX200 @ f/25.

Plato and Vallis Alpes

Click for full size.

This may not be the smoothest, sharpest photo I've made of the Moon, but it does finally show the rille in the floor of Alpine Valley!

Second Jupiter of the Year

Should have shot this the night before when we had some 4/5 seeing, but tonight's not all bad. Call it 3/5. Best of 1000 frames each LRGB in the DMK through the LX200 @ f/25. Jupiter is at 36° altitude.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Life Lesson #53

Never date a girl whose daddy calls her "Princess." Odds are, she believes him.

Monday, July 07, 2008

NGC 6888, The Crescent Nebula

Man, I had everything working--dead on focus, great tracking, and good, clear skies. How come this always happens on Sunday night? So I only shot NGC 6888, the Crescent Nebula for an hour, when it could probably stand about five. First run with the new Moonlight focuser and Astronomik CLS filter--I'm happy so far with both.

20 x 180 seconds, LX200 @ f/6.3, Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D), ISO 1600
Capture & processed with Nebulosity 2 (beta), guiding with PHD Guiding.

Happy Birthday To Me

Here's a real groaner to help me celebrate my birthday:

A couple lived near the ocean and used to walk the beach a lot. One summer they noticed a girl who was at the beach almost every day. She wasn't unusual, nor was the travel bag she carried, except for one thing; she would approach people who were sitting on the beach, glance around furtively, then speak to them.

Generally, the people would respond negatively and she would wander off. But occasionally someone would nod and there would be a quick exchange of money and something she carried in her bag. The couple assumed that she was selling drugs and debated calling the cops, but since they didn't know for sure, they just continued to watch her.

After a couple of weeks the wife said, 'Honey , have you ever noticed that she only goes up to people with boom boxes and other electronic devices?' He hadn't -- and said so. Then she said, 'Tomorrow I want you to get a towel and our big radio and go lie out on the beach. Then we can find out what she's really doing.'

Well, the plan went off without a hitch and the wife was almost hopping up & down with anticipation when she saw the girl talk to her husband and then leave. The man then walked up the beach and met his wife at the road.

'Well, Is she selling drugs?' she asked excitedly.

'No, she's not,' he said, enjoying this probably more than he should have.

'Well , what is it then? What does she do ?' his wife fairly shrieked.

The man grinned and said, 'She's a battery salesperson.'

'Batteries?' cried the wife.

'Yes', he replied - 'She sells C cells by the seashore!'

Friday, July 04, 2008

Texas Star Party Panorama for Starry Night Pro

I've posted a horizon panorama for the Texas Star Party for Starry Night here.

Refer to the Starry Night documentation for instructions on how to copy the .txt and .psd files into the Horizon Panoramas folder.