Wednesday, December 30, 2009

50Mbps ISP upgrade.

I've just upgraded my ISP package to the Virgin 50Mbps. Seems to work OK.
The slinky black box is the cable modem, with the wireless N (300Mbps) router at the back and my 1Gbps switch sitting on top. The 1Gbps switch links to the PC in my observatory and allows me to Dameware and connect super fast from my study.

Monday, December 28, 2009

OT: Avebury Stones

We went to Avebury yesterday (just down the road for us) to take some pictures of the stones, here's a couple of them. The Moon's in one of them so it's not too off topic ;-)
Canon EOS 50D and 17-200mm lens.

Tycho 27th Dec 2009

Taken with 3 x TV Barlow and Baader IR filter, with SKYnyx 2-0m camera.
The seeing was average.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mars 27th dec 2009

Went out last night to image Mars and managed to capture some stuff, although the seeing and conditions weren't up to much. There seems to be a lot of dew recently.

I went out on the 24th as well but had to stop because everything was totally dewed over. The scope, mount, filters and camera. It was getting a bit dangerous and I was scared that the computer might blow up!.

This image was taken with LRGB and 5 x Powermate with an extension tube, Mars is still really small :-(

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Old Mars from 2007

Still sorting through some of my old Mars data and re-processing... to keep my hand in :-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The night of the planets.

It's cold... but clear!!
Haven't been out for ages, so I thought I'd try and bag a few planets.
Boy I tell you what, Neptune is faint, had to pull out all the stops to image that. With the camera running at full gain & aperture, and that was at prime focus.
Coming a bit closer was Uranus, which I could a least image with a 2.5x Powermate and RGB filters.
And then we have Jupiter with a nice Callisto transit right in the middle ;-) Taken with LRGB filters, 5x Powermate & at prime focus. Very low on the horizon.

I was hoping to get a really good Mars image tonight, but this is all I could manage, and now it's started to snow! Grrr.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boulder rolling in the Alpine Valley.

An amazing set of boulder tracks from the LROC in the Alpine Valley area of the Moon.

And the start of the Alpine Valley:-

Friday, December 18, 2009

Funny........ 42.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Live Webcast From McMoon's

Watch this USTREAM video. These people are doing a fantastic job at recovering Lunar Orbiter images from tapes that are over 40 years old in an abandoned McDonald's restaurant.

Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project Overview from SpaceRef on Vimeo.

Credit Moonviews

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mars movie from 2005

The seeing was better in the good old days!
I've been looking through some of my old videos and came across this small piece, that was taken with my 'point and shoot camera' at the eyepiece of the scope!
I don't even remember doing this, I must have been experimenting.

I've cropped the frame down from 640 x 480, but the size of the disk is about the same as the original.

27th Oct. 2005.

BTW: I only started imaging in Sept. 2005 ;-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Horsehead & Flame nebula in IR.

This image, the first to be released publicly from VISTA, the world’s largest survey telescope, shows the spectacular star-forming region known as the Flame Nebula, or NGC 2024, in the constellation of Orion.
Slightly tweaked by me in CS4.

Credit ESO

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The CFHT Legacy Survey Deep Field image.

Wow! if you thought the HST deep field image was amazing... look at this baby!
From the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey Deep Field #1. Using the "Megacam", a giant 36-CCD camera mounted at prime focus on the 3.6 meter telescope on top of Mauna Kea.

Half a million galaxies!

Terapix Data Centre. (It's just like my server room at work)

Here is the larger version at half resolution of the original Megacam image, beware it's 10Mb.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

New Study Adds to Finding of Ancient Life Signs in Mars Meteorite.

They've been looking at that rock again:-

Looks good, doesn't it?

Hubble's Deepest View of Universe Unveils Never-Before-Seen Galaxies

NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has made the deepest image of the universe ever taken in near-infrared light.

Credit NASA
... and some nice music to go with it by Tyler Rix.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Langrenus to Petavius 3rd Dec 2009

Long Plato shadows.

From the 25th Nov 2009 session.

Mars 5th Dec 2009

It's early (in the morning), it's clear (in between the clouds)... and it's Mars!
5 x TV Powermate, RGB, SKYnyx 2-0M, C9.25.
The transparency along with the seeing was not very good, with gusty winds.

Below; enlarged 150% and colour tweaked.
You can just make out Elysium Mons the white smudge on the right close to the terminator.

Below is a CalSky ref.

5 minutes after taking this image, it started to rain... that's unusual!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Clavius & Tycho - 25th Nov 2009

Lucam Recorder test with SKYnyx 2-0M

Thought I'd try some different settings on the s/w that I use to control my SKYnyx 2-0M.
See the results below.
As you can see high gain and low exposure seem to offer the best image detail.

Not a very scientific test. I took around 1000 frames and processed each in Registax to the same wavelets. With a single 128 align box in the centre of the crater.

Basic rule now - whoop the gain up.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

M33 from 16th Oct 2009

Scrapping the barrel here... here's M33 from last month, 9 minutes worth of data. Rain stop play!
Takahashi SKY-90 with flattener, Canon 50D, 30sec subs, darks & bias applied.

One of these days the rains gonna stop!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Exploring the Apollo 17 Site.

This is great, some really hi-res images of the Apollo 17 landing site from the LROC, which is now at its correct 50-kilometer mapping orbit.
Click on the link below.
LROC News System.

Above; view from the LRV TV camera after lift off.

A Moonwalker Views His Old Stomping Grounds

Clavius, Scheiner & Copernicus 28th Oct 2009

Just a very quick imaging session tonight. The seeing wasn't up to much... and I'm recovering from a bad cold, so I didn't want to be sitting in the cold for too long :-)

SKYnyx 2-0M with IR filter, 3 x TV barlow. Processed in Registax and CS4.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Rant: People with lights on all night...

... in their back gardens, don't you just luv'em. What's that all about?
Sending my skyglow up another notch!

Another work in progress.

Here's a sneak preview of something that I've been working on the last few weeks.
I just need to re-stack some frames to get them to match.

NB; Blogspot has reduced the image size.

M31 - 3 Hour 40 Minutes of subs.

A bit more data from the other night :-)

Full size version here.
Only about 20 hours to go!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

LPOD 12th Oct 2009.

These are always really nice to get; Lunar picture of the day.
Makes it all worth while :-)

Stay tuned for Chuck Wood’s “Exploring the Moon” column in the January 2010 issue of Sky and Telescope

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

M31 with more data.

I was out again last night to capture some more data for M31. This image a 2hour 34min in total, taken from 30sec subs. Darks, flats and bias applied.
Still not sure about the colour, looks a bit monochromatic green to me.

Since my scope was reaching the edge of the shed imaging M31... and everything comes to an abrupt end. I thought I'd finish off the night with an easy target.
The double cluster in Perseus, NGC 869 and NGC 884.

There's so many stars in this region :-o

Monday, October 12, 2009

M31 12th Oct 2009

Still plugging away at M31, trying different techniques. Here's 1hr 27mins from last night.

Aw gawd! I'm off again, re-processing already... I find M31 so tricky to process. My sky pollution is quite high and it obscures the nebulosity of the galaxy, so you have to make nasty compromises with the levels etc. in PS.

Friday, October 09, 2009

LCROSS Crater Cabeus taken with the Palomar Observatory's 200-inch (5-meter) Hale Telescope 10 secs after impact.

Well, if this telescope didn't catch anything, what hope did we have? ;-)
Nice image though.

Credit Caltech
Here's my image taken last month.

... and others from last year.