Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Astromart™ Sucks

Why does Astromart™ suck so hard? Here's one reason: You pay your $12, and in return you get "Astromart™ has the sole discretion to amend these terms of use at any time, to terminate your membership account for any reason or no reason at all at any time, to delete posts or ads at any time, and to use or copy material from posts or ads at any time." (Terms of Service 30 November 2010)

So, you send Herb your money, in return he can use your photos or descriptions of your items for any purpose, including marketing his own products, or he can simply take your money and refuse to allow you to use the site.

No thanks--I don't do business with thieves, crooks or liars.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday, November 07, 2010

NGC 7293, The Helix Nebula

Did you ever have one of those times when nothing worked right? When things unrelated would fail in sequence? That was my night last night. Just finding this stupid thing took nearly an hour, punctuated by the camera battery adapter flaking out, and not being able to figure out how to get the guide scope to focus, to plugging the autoguider into the wrong port on the mount and spending 20 minutes trying to figure out why it's not working. So instead of 4 hours on this, Here's just 12 5-minute exposures stacked with no darks and no flats. How I got as much as I did is beyond me, because I did everything wrong I could have.

EagleEye Observatory, Canyon of the Eagles Park, Burnet TX
Exposure: 12 x 5 minutes
Camera: Modified Canon Digital Rebel XT (350D)
Scope: Celestron C6, Meade f/6.3 focal reducer
Mount: Meade LXD650
Guider: Short Tube 80, Meade DSI
Filter: None
Software: PHD Guiding, Nebulosity, Photoshop

Thursday, November 04, 2010

My Living Will

Courtesy of my sister:


Last night, my friends and I were sitting in the living room and I said to them, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

They got up, unplugged the computer and threw out my Diet Coke. They are SO on my s**t list ...

Monday, November 01, 2010

My Dream

My dream is to make a photo like this one that Brad Hill made from Nashville, Tennessee, and recently published in Sky & Telescope magazine. Be sure to click and view it full-size. That's Ganymede on the right, showing detail. Astounding! Thirty years ago it took a spacecraft to see that kind of detail on the moons of Jupiter.