Saturday, May 31, 2008

Phoenix Mars lander... Ice?

Here's a view from underneath the Phoenix lander... is this area disturbed by the landers thrusters ice?
It does look odd.
Credit NASA

Friday, May 30, 2008

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Monday, May 26, 2008

Phoenix Mars lander being imaged by MRO on the way down.

Looks like it worked :-)

Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Enhanced image by Emily Lakdawalla

Credit: NASA / JPL / U. Arizona / Color composite by Emily Lakdawalla

M92 - re-processed yet again.

It's really difficult to get accurate colours in astro photography, well it is for me.
Here's the results of a new technique that I've discovered.

Postcard from Phoenix Mars lander.

This false colour postcard image, one of the first captured by NASA's Phoenix Mars Lander, shows the vast plains of the northern polar region of Mars. The flat landscape is strewn with tiny pebbles and shows polygonal cracking, a pattern seen widely in Martian high latitudes and also observed in permafrost terrains on Earth. The polygonal cracking is believed to have resulted from seasonal freezing and thawing of surface ice.

The B&W image below was acquired at the Phoenix landing site on day 1 of the mission on the surface of Mars, or Sol 0, after the May 25, 2008, landing. The surface stereo imager left acquired this image at 17:07:41 local solar time.

Stereo anaglyph produced my me.

... or the Stereo card version, where you cross your eyes, which I prefer.
Photos & text credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Phoenix Mars landing may be imaged by MRO.

Interesting article from about the up-and-coming Phoenix landing.

NASA/JPL-Calech/University of Arizona

Send your name to the Moon.

Sign up to send your name to the Moon. Names will be collected and placed onboard the LRO spacecraft for its historic mission bringing NASA back to the moon. You will also receive a certificate showcasing your support of the mission.

The deadline is June 27, 2008 for the submission of names.

Credit NASA

That's what I call dedication.

Found this today on Celestron; Eclipse in Québec by Jean_Christophe.

Friday, May 23, 2008

OT: Good read.

I just thought I'd mention a book that I've read whilst on holiday in North Wales the past week;
On the Moon: The Apollo Journals by Grant Heiken and Eric M Jones.

I must admit though, I'm slightly biased, I did some work for Eric and the Apollo Lunar Surface Journal a few years back and I've always been a space nut, in particular an Apollo Moon landings space nut.

This book is a concise account of the Apollo Moon landings, the technical practicalities and geological knowledge that has been gained since the flights over 30 odd years ago. All the Moon landings are covered, just like the ALSJ website, but instead of including all of the astronauts transcripts, it picks out the most interesting aspects of the flights with up to date commentary from most of the Moon walkers.
An excellent read.

Below are a couple of the landing sites that I've imaged with my C9.25.

Apollo 15 & 17 landing sites.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

M92 from 6th May 2008

M92 from the other night. 36 x 1 minute frames, 21 darks, 18 flats & 41 bias.

M51 combined images from 24th April & 7th May 2008

Here's the combined images of M51 taken in April and the ones from last night. Processed in DSS. It's getting there... wonder what it would look like with 2 hours of subs :-)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Scope setup for imaging M51 - 8th May 2008

Some pictures of my telescope setup whilst I was imaging M51 on the 7th/8th May 2008
M51 was straight up!

Homemade bracket for guide scope, homemade guidescope using 200mm Tamron telephoto lens and my DMK CCD camera with a 2x barlow lens afixed to the barrel.
Also note my homemade heater strip.
I ran out of money!

Guiding with PHD Guiding

Here's a graph output from PHD Guiding software, used to guide my AS-GT mount and Celestron 9.25 scope.
This is a great piece of free software, that along with DSLR Shutter really makes life easy when taking long exposures using a DSLR camera. I'm sitting here writing this entry while the software does all the work, all I have to do is monitor the guiding by keeping an eye on the graph and watch the images come in :-)

Mercury 7th May 2008

M92 6th May 2008

Here's M92 from last night. The seeing was average and the sky was a milky colour all night. I suppose a globular cluster was a good choice to shoot.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Moon & Mercury 6th May 2008

Imaged with Canon 400D, 400 ISO, 0.6 sec, F8, 85mm lens.

... and the Moon at the time I imaged Mercury with the DMK, it's there but hard to see ;-)
Canon Powershot.

Below a hand-held view through scope with 32mm lens.
Canon Powershot.

Mercury; first time ever!

Here's Mercury tonight. This is the first time that I've seen let alone image it!
It was very low in the sky of course, just sitting above a nearby house (in between the roof and an aerial). I could see the new Moon to the left as well.

Monday, May 05, 2008

M13 Satellite.

Just spotted this, a satellite going straight through the middle of one of the frames from my 2nd May M13 session.

Palomar Skies Blog

I've just found this blog:- Palomar Skies whilst looking for M13 images taken by Hubble. The Palomar Observatory is one of my favourite telescopes.

And while I'm at it here's another amazing blog:- CelestiaGuru

Saturday, May 03, 2008

M13 - 2nd May 2008

Normal Verion:-

Slightly more sharper and coloured version:-

Processed in DeepSkyStacker and CS2.
49 x 1 minute subs, flats, darks & bias.
C9.25 at prime focus, Canon 400D (unmodified), guided with PHD Guiding.