June 30, 2010



One planetary evening

So far .. Saturn, Venus, Mars and a passing airliner :)

Coming up - Jupiter, Uranus, Luna and will have a go at Neptune, although that may be too close to the Moon tonight :)

Also, resolved the double in Acrux (one of my FAVORITE stars) :D

6mm for the win!  I can resolve a planetary disk for Venus and Mars .. for the first time!!! Well Mars for the first time FOR SURE anyways.


June 27, 2010


Almost missed it!  That will teach me to go thinking if was Northern Hemisphere only .. so rushed out to grab shots of it (thanks Pip and Rust) and found my IXUS was dirty and scratched and yeah - not happy .. got some, but they suck.

Today is clean camera day and wait for 6mm to turn up :D

June 17, 2010

Southern Stars


Starting to get there!

Crux 1600ISO 36s f5.6

Pointers 1600ISO 68s f5.6

June 5, 2010

Long Exposure ...

ok, before the clouds closed right in tonight :(  I had some small success! :)

Here's the best results .. after some Photoshopping of course.

I started here:

Which was me, forgetting I had left the camera set to 3200 ISO! One of those happy mistakes!  Look at all them stars!!  Everything is yellow due to the sodium streetlamps of course - next time I do this, it's backyard for me!  206 seconds (3:26) at f/4.0, ISO 3200.  Then I moved onto this:

Which actually caught a bit of the milky way there! (top left cnr)  This one is 219s (3:39) at f/4.0 and ISO 400.  So then of course battery went flat, so went inside for charging, came back out and just as it was clouding over, got these:

123s (2:03) at f4/5, ISO 400

163s (2:43) at f4/5, ISO 400

So I have so far stabilised the mount, and got a minute of metronome clicking (60bpm) for my mp3 player, so I have a stable mount and WAY more accurate timing .. however I do end up outside for hours, in the cold, listening to clicks :)

According to the met service, we are facing rain until thursday next week :(  But I live in hope!

All in all a good night!  :)

June 4, 2010

Today's things ...

BREAKING: Another Jupiter impact? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Mars Rover surpasses Viking -1 record

and this is very interesting, and inspiring ...

June 3, 2010

Clear Skies tonight

Have recharged the camera battery 2x so far, and have trusty Ixus on car doing timelapse of milky way as we speak.  Lenses keep fogging up - I think it's lack of dew shield on camera.

But so clear, so beautiful.  Milky way is very visible, Coal Sack stands out well, now if I could only get everything working right .. grrrrrrrr

Will post anything good I get.

AAaaaaaand it's a bust on the long exposures :(  Lenses fog up fast and my mount is just too wobbly - re-engineer tomorrow methinks, for stability, especially around the screw mounting.  Never give up :)

Timelapse is still going, so won't know how that looks for a little while .. hope it's good.

Here's the best of the shots.

82 seconds at f 4.0, 75mm lens. When I am using the 75mm (18mm fogged up FAST) I have to turn the mounting 17 degrees every 3.5 seconds, so yeah .. I'm not too unhappy with this one, some wobbling and trailing ...

Ok, timelapse came out pretty naff ... I have to learn that the tiny CCD in the IXUS is not going to do the biz for high-iso stuffs ... *sigh* oh well, bed, then more ideas tomorrow ...

Man Conquers Space

Just found this. Oh. Wow. I looked all over for a way to contact the director to offer my meager services for free, but can't find a link there :( So get over there!

Love the trailer too ...

June 2, 2010

Goodness from Bad Astronomy

Is Betelgeuse about to blow? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine

Testing new "Blog This" extension :) That and it's a cool story, and my mancrush is still going strong :D

aaaaand ....

This is just beautiful ...

Proof of Concept

First tracked shots are in .. not very good, BUT they prove that this is so totally possible with the barn door ...

Focus is an issue, as well as wobbly tripod and lens fogging up, but ...

Here's a patch of sky along the Milky Way, "down" from Crux ...

and here's the same shot on Flickr

This is 240 seconds (4 minutes) at fStop 3.5 :D

I'm quite happy with this, it's a first go, but hey .. now it's time to get better and refine.  Shot on home made barn door rig, for about $25 all up, plus what I could find in the garage.

Speaking of which, does anyone out there have an old tripod head they don't want anymore?  I need one to be able to take pics of different parts of the sky, and I has no job right now :(  All replies welcome :)