December 26, 2011
December 24, 2011
I think we both probably ended up with one decent shot each as we were about half an hour too late to avoid the sun making it's presence felt. Nevertheless it was well worth the 4am alarm, and should reward early risers for a few more days. The wise men can't be far away...
Urrrrgh, yeah, what he said about the 4am thing. I got a couple of good shots, unfortunately, my best one was my first one, making it hella out of focus. Oh, and Bill, traditionally a comet appears when a prince dies, rather than when one is born ;)
November 23, 2011
The View from Chajnantor:
Russia, France to team up on new launchers:
CHAPS Pressure Suits Evaluated During Simulated Missions In Centrifuge:
Name That Telescope Array - News Blog - SkyandTelescope.com:
New satellite gets INSANELY hi-res view of Earth | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine:
News Update: Hubble & Spitzer Heir to Open Eye to Cosmos in Search for Signatures of Life:
NASA - Expedition 29 Crew Lands:
China plans major effort in pursuing manned space technology:
Images Captured with DMK 21 and DBK 21 Camera:
Countdown! NASA's Dream-Machine Search for Mars' Life Imminent:
Color of the Moon:
NASA Satellite "Drove Over" the Cloud Streets of Hudson Bay | Flickr - Photo Sharing!:
NASA - Claritas Fossae, Mars:
November 19, 2011
New NASA missions to investigate how Mars turned hostile
Cygnus X-1: A Stellar Mass Black Hole:
Saturn's Northern Storm:
In Wolf s Cave:
NASA Extends MESSENGER Mission
and just for a change ...
Cosmic particle accelerators get things going
And the pretties ...
A History of the Sky
Also, my partner in the stars, gfkBill flew off to Taiwan this morning for a week. No stars for him in the big cities! He did leave me the tracker tho, so I will be playing a round with that :D
Safe journey bro
November 18, 2011
Waits till 2 days after my first ever article is posted then releases the Highest-Resolution Map of the Moon Ever *sigh* no matter what you do with this hobby, NASA always wins ... here's why:
NASA Orbiter Catches Mars Sand Dunes in Motion:
NASA Spacecraft Data Suggest Water Flowing on Mars:
Close Encounters of the Galactic Kind:
@NASAJPL: A #3DThursday look at the ...
but that's ok NASA, I forgive you, just keep em coming guys!
Europa's ocean stuffs here:
Then here's some cool and pretty things ...
Midnight sun, hourly:
Marco Mahler - Recycling Art - Tom Samui:
Psychedelic Saturn storm! | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine:
Planning a Twilight Shot:
NASA - NASA Probe Data Show Evidence Of Liquid Water On Icy Europa:
Light from the Vacuum
and Just cos I like pretty things:
Pixar's New Trailer
Also, found this one from @Astro_Ron, he has the best view of the moon ...
November 16, 2011
This is my first go at making a slider. It is built from 2 shelving rods, and a small moving trolley from Mitre10. It is motorized by an old BBQ rotisserie motor and pulled along by nylon fishing line. Its just over 2m long, and this version was about 35cm wide.
Below you can see some pics of the tracker assembled. The black spray paint was an added cost, but well worth it I think, for that extra touch of class. Tomorrow, if I have a good day at work locked away writing animation lectures, I'll post pics of the electronics. And I will try to take a picture of the camera on the tracker, for which I will have to dig out a mirror or another camera, for obvious reasons!
Some of us aren't at work tonight, and great minds think alike apparently, so here's a shot of Venus chasing her speedy brother Mercury across the evening sky. New Zealand is apparently one of the best places in the world to see Mercury, I'd have to agree!
November 10, 2011
Some post, lots of contrast work. I still enjoy doing these :D
November 8, 2011
November 1, 2011
Well, this guy just leaves us for dead I'm afraid, makes us look like the amateurs we are. But hey, it's something to aspire to and certainly something to be inspired by, assuming those are two different things.
Certainly it makes me all the more eager to get our tracking mounts finished! There are some nice dark skies to be had in New Zealand so while a complete map of the night sky shot by travelling around the planet is for now out of reach, I have no doubt that for a lot less money than Nick Rasinger we can achieve something worthwhile.
To the stars!
(...when it stops raining that is)
October 31, 2011
Some notes: Galaxy tab is used for geotagging, star charts and reading books whilst waiting for timlapses. Webcam and Finepix are not in use yet, they're earmarked for prime focus stuffs, once I get them apart. Hardly ever use the 70-200mm, although its a fine lens indeed. Enough of this kit-style blather Val!
Here's the first results of what can be done with them.
Here's the first shot through the camera projection mount, taken by Jacqui, so qualifies as her first astro shot ever! Didn't she do well? It's the crescent moon, shot on the 20D, using the 25mm mount inside the Camera projection tube.
Then toinght I bodge mounted the noise pollution filter on the IXUS80 and took 2 shots through it. Done nothing but reduced the noise here.
As you can see that knocks the streetlights right the hell out, so I am defintely looking forward to using this both in the scope and in the camera projection mount.
I just wanted to give a big Thank You to Lance for selling me this stuff oh and the 62mm lens up there in the first Kit picture.
October 27, 2011
October 26, 2011
This is of course part of one of my erratic drives to do more with this space. There's some new things coming, hopefully soon.
Also, gots a little piccy from the Bill tonight ... our trackers are on their way! w00t.
October 25, 2011
October 24, 2011
However. It's nice and dark up there, with the worst noise pollution visible in the two shots above. That's the glow from Warkworth/Snells Beach.
The shot on the left is taken with the EF 28-80mm Lens, aperture 3.4, the shot on the right Sigma Super-Wide FD 24mm, aperture 2.8.
Trouble with the fast lens is how fungal it is (the stars are actually in sharp focus.
So a small success, a nice dark place to shoot, and to transport scopes up to. Also gained a burning desire to procure a faster lens, as the 18-55 is nice, but could be a lot nicer. When I get more $$$ I think a fast 50 might be the order of the day.
Unless of course y'all want to donate something? :)
Ok, just asking!
Here's a pic of the hunter to leave you with.
October 23, 2011
Also, I have discovered a new photo site for uploading of cool things. Wander on over to Pixoto and take a look at things there. My stuff can usually be found int he Astronomy section :D
October 18, 2011
Bill however, should have some tracker construction shots up soon ...
SO, a vote or two wouldn;t go astray :)
October 11, 2011
October 10, 2011
One of the Church Attempts, this is the Church of the Good Shepherd in Tekapo - the clouds were pouring in fast that night, so I was rushing around trying to get some shots. This is perhaps the best of the evening.
October 7, 2011
October 6, 2011
Here's what happens when I get a little fired up over post. This is from the same mt john tracker batch, with heavy contrast adjustment and post. Also some NR.
Makes we wonder where to take this blog really. Can't afford the top-end gear, so hence the journey ... anyone want to lend me a 5D Mk II for a year?
I should say tours. We stayed up there for 3 tours. The Earth and Sky guys and girls were just the best. I wanted to say a HUGE thank you to Chrissy, Matt, Christian and Chris, and of course Maki who put up with a totally spastic amateur astro-photog asking all kinds of dumb questions and gonig squeeeeeee all over the tracker.
The photos going up on Flickr and here at the moment are a combo of my own efforts, and the ones I got up at Mt John with the help and support of the tour guys. I really couldn't recommend these guys higher.
K, K, shutting up now.
October 5, 2011
October 3, 2011
August 29, 2011
August 18, 2011
August 6, 2011
July 29, 2011
July 26, 2011
July 8, 2011
This kinda makes it all the sadder. Sort yourself out, America - show some freaking leadership and common sense, you're due!
May 19, 2011
May 17, 2011
April 27, 2011
I did it, I got a star!! Well 2+ stars, binary system.
I have honestly spent years with this no-budget Astro-odyssey trying to get one, tonight I did.
For my single digit readers .. this is Acrux, one of my favorite stars, one of the brightest in the southern sky, a complicated binary star system. 11 shots, stacked in Photoshop - one of the first shots to utilise my new stacker tool set I am writing - and 321 light years. It's noisy, fuzzy, flared and a boring shot but gorram it, it's my first star!
Enough rambling! Get to the picture!
BlackFrame NR - Noise reduction using Black frame method
NASA Blueshift » [Blog] Weekly Awesomeness Round-up – 4/19/11
"Earthshine" Discovered: The Search for Earths Twin Just Got Easier - StumbleUpon
NASA - NASA's Hubble Celebrates 21st Anniversary with 'Rose' of Galaxies
"Zapping Enceladus": Saturns Electric Link With Its Moons - StumbleUpon
Australian outback time lapse | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine
April 21, 2011