May 26, 2010

Things I have found out since Saturday

Hadar is a double star!  Cool huh?  I was looking at it, thinking, that must be Rigil Kent, but NO! Beta Cen is also a double!  Also I found out that Acrux is a double double! Alpha1 is actually 2 stars VERY close together .. I didn't observe this, but the internet is awesome :D

May 24, 2010


is going to be a success .. first tests shaped up well, till the camera fogged up :(

Will try again once the moon is a little lower

But positive :D

May 23, 2010

Scotch Mount

Has been constructed .. there was much swearing, and some blood.  Now all I need is a clear night .. oh wait, 3-day storm, oh great ...

Pics as they come to hand.

Oh what a night!

In the end .. it's now 0341 and clouds have closed in ... I got to see Venus, Saturn, teh Moon, Mars, Jupiter and I'm 95% sure I saw Uranus ... for the first time, at least there was a very small greenish disc about where the planet should have been, so I am calling that a win.  That little puppy is approx 3.074 billion km away (20.55 AU + change).

Small green dot, 3 billion kilometers, yeah. Shit. That's amazing.

5 planets, 7 satellites and I resolved Rigil Kent (α Centauri) as a double and Acrux (α Crux) as a bright blob and another one (triple system, it's complicated :) Also a bunch of startrails and I made about half my scotch mount and an edit to the IXUS mount that I hope will enable me to shoot through the 25mm or Bill's sexy little 15mm.

I am happy, tired but happy. A good night!

dSLRtrails .. the first go

Here's the first results from using the SLR for some startrails, on bulb setting, with new remote ...

Started off at 12 minutes ...

Then bit the bullet and went to 97 minutes .. during which, my flatmate came home in her car ... so this one is quite heavily treated in PS to pull out the details ...

May 22, 2010

The plan for tonight

Ok, so I am planning something.  It will hinge on whether I get the scotch mount done by tonight of course (drill charging now) but, here goes.

1730-1830 Venus Setting in the NW    Awesome Crescent, using 9mm + Barlow
1800-1900 Mars in NNW ~ 35°
2100-0100 Moon - half full
2100-0100 Saturn follows Moon down the sky  Oh so beautiful, will be looking again soon
2350 Neptune Rises
0200 Jupiter Rises in East
0220 Uranus Rises in East
0513 Mercury Rises

12 hours of solar system goodness :)

Lets see if I can do it :D

Ninib, Kronos, the Protector and Sower of the Seed.

Oh yum yum .. and they're the big pictures too!

And since we're talking about one of my favorite NASA missions (Cassini/Huygens), here's this and this and this.
It seems Saturn makes everyone poetic, hardly surprising, it is magnificent.

In other news, I picked up some more gear recently - yesterday was at Mitre10 Mega in Albany, getting the ingredients for a scotch mount, there will be a photo journal of that.  I want to just say a big thanks to Mitre10 Mega tho, you guys were awesome!

Also got a remote for the 20D today, which means I can do Bulb long exposure stuff, on the scotch mount and off it (SLR StarTrails anyone?)

May 21, 2010

Two Worlds, One Sun

Two Worlds, One Sun - damn this is cool ...

Ooooo! And so's this:

May 19, 2010

Nothing tangible from last night

Which will make Bill happier as it's not quite as spooky really.  I am embroiled in an art test for a job atm, so not much to show really .. I did runa test on my IXUS capability for timelapse last night, and the camera ran out of room on SD card before it ran out of batteries :) Took 3 hours and 45 mins (approx) to fill us the card with JPGs :)

Some news coming up of a trip in the works, to My Cook and Tekapo kater in the year - so some gazing will be done there, if it all comes together :)

More as things happen ...

Meanwhile, here's this:

and this:

May 18, 2010

Star Size Comparison HD

May 17, 2010

Oh. Wow.

I set up for a timelapse of the moon and Venus tonight, 1 shot every 15s ... movie coming .. however ... look what I got :)

Yup, that's lightning over Snells :)

Then pulled out the SLR for some long exposure ... :)

Addendum:  here's the final timelapse, sorry about the black frames at the end - my bad, but as vimeo lmiits you to 1 HD/month, not much I can do :)

May 16, 2010

Last on March 11?

Oh Shit
I have been bad!  The telescope hasn't even been out  been looking for work is my only excuse I'm afraid.

Anyways, here's some shots I snapped tonight.  Enjoy!