April 27, 2011

Holy Haleakala!

To coin a phrase from one of my heroes!

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!

Next attempt: M42!

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Latest Images from Mercury: Bright Peaks, Swirling Craters and Weird Terrain

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

Slacker Val is Slack

I should post bit of a journey post today, since I have added a couple of tools to the process recently, and a technique or two as well, but it's early, I'm at work and I left my links at home, so here's some pictures instead.


April 20, 2011


NASA's SDO Catches a Double Solar EruptionImage by NASA Goddard Photo and Video via Flickr"Darwin's Extraterrestrials" - A New Theory for the 'Great Silence'

Go Speed Racer! - Thanks to Chris Mac for this one :D

Also, you guys are aware I have a FB Page too right? Just Look Up!

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April 19, 2011

Nebulinks Toinght

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April 18, 2011

Three Tests

So, tonight I was committed to developing a new piece of zero-budget kit.  Using a pill bottle, craft knife and of course, gaffer tape, I believe I may have just created a mount for my camera that will work on any telescope lens.

Myself, and of course my beautiful latino assistant, got the mount cut, filed and then tested on the scope.  The skies cleared, just in time, and the test was a success .. although for one lens I bodged the focus.  Here's the aforementioned piece of kit, the one on the right is the actual mount, the one on the left is the remains :)  It's a pill bottle from the chemist, most recently used for holding antibiotics, now a valued piece of gear :)  Lens goes in one end (the one without gaffer tape) Camera goes in the other.

And here's what it let me do.

6mm Lens

9mm Lens (sorry about focus)

25mm Lens

So!  This is a good thing, oh such a good thing, and so simple! Been staring me in the face all along!
Huge thanks to Fabiano for the assist tongiht (and the company too!).  I will be trying to borrow Bill's 15mm soon :D

April 16, 2011

NebuLinks this Morning

Electric Propulsion Quantum TeleportationWeta's ApesCollection of Space MissionsCold, Lonely and Beautiful.Vintage Nasa.Old Shuttle Stuff.

Nebulinks for today

Orion is looking GOOD.from the WISE data, meanwhile there's some stone cold science going on down south, I really want to do this!

Also, this is just beautiful ...




My 1st @Twitpic #FromSpace. Anyone know where in the world th... on Twitpic

My 1st @Twitpic #FromSpace. Anyone know where in the world th... on Twitpic

Oh we know where this is!

NASA - Next Generation Space Telescope

NASA - Next Generation Space Telescope

April 15, 2011

How to Properly Clean Your Camera Lens

How to Properly Clean Your Camera Lens


NASA Delivers Millions of Galaxies, Stars, Asteroids

NASA - WISE Delivers Millions of Galaxies, Stars, Asteroids


Links today

Let the Star Parties Begin! - Observing Blog - SkyandTelescope.com

April 14, 2011

Kinect + MS Telescope = Awesomeness

This looks like too much fun... and it that Crux behind Saturn, falling apart as he spins away around 2 minutes in?

Kinect Telescope

April 13, 2011

And so it goes On

Happy Yuri's night everyone, I spent it looking at the moon, what did you get up to?

Things to remember when shooting the moon through your scope ...

ISO:  100, Shutter something faster than 1/200, sometimes Auto is better, get your focus pin sharp before attaching the camera, then LOCK IT DOWN.

Win lotto.

*sigh* close to 400 shots down the toilet tonight .. will try again on Thursday

April 12, 2011

Half a Century ...

As I sit here editing tonights images, midnight rolls over and we have been a space-faring species for 50 years.  What a thought.  What a stunning, sobering and amazing thought ...

Yuri Gagarin flew only one space mission. On April 12, 1961 he became the first human to orbit Earth. Gagarin's spacecraft, Vostok 1, circled Earth at a speed of 27,400 kilometers per hour. The flight lasted 108 minutes. At the highest point, Gagarin was about 327 kilometers above Earth.

Colonel Yuri Gagarin died on March 27, 1968 when the MiG-15 he was piloting crashed near Moscow. At the time of his death, Yuri Gagarin was in training for a second space mission.

So tonight I went on out to try some tests on stacking, with limited success.  Shooting at 400 ISO, I seem to lose a lot of detail, so much so that a 97-image stack isn't bringing up any of the milky way around Crux (my target for tonight).  However 800 ISO is giving some promising results, still a little noisier than I would like, but a step in the right direction - 13 images.

I found a nice place to shoot however, nice and dark, although the moon was washing out my shots like crazy business, it's looking like I might be back on moon shots for a while now.

So that's it for the 50th anniversary.  I don't really have the right words to express just how cool I think that is, I know that humans are out of space for now, until it gets commercial anyways, but still, as Yuri lifted off 50 years ago, our species took a step towards its maturity, a step away from the cradle of humanity.

Bad Astronomy is the WIN!

The Milky Way bridges from here to eternity  and ...

tell your Mums you want a party like this!
Life Frosting: Astronaut Training Party

April 11, 2011

Infinite Recursion FTW

Mobile Version of 1200mil

April 10, 2011

Wonder if it's visible from here?

Huge Asteroid to Pass Near Earth in November - Yahoo! News

Galaxy For Sale!

Hi all!

I find myself needing to upgrade my Flickr account to pro and having no moneys to do it, so I will sell some lucky person this shot for the low low price of a 2-year Flickr membership! That's right, roughly $60 at today's exchange rate will get you this beautiful picture to do with what you will!!

Included is the original Canon CR-2 file, for those High-Res Requirements, and I can deliver to you a ready-to-print High res version as well, should you desire it.

Please contact me for more details!

As promised

One more photo, from out at Scandretts, or at least as far out at Scandretts as we could get :)

It's of Bill plying the craft.  Totally accidental shot here, we only had the one tripod between us, so wee took it in turns to shoot, as Sesame St and our mothers had taught us about sharing, and this was from me putting the camera on the ground and just firing off a bunch of shots, much like the stack there.
Bill at Work
Am looking for new things to do with the photos nowadays, have some ideas, but all feedback/suggestions would be appreciated.  Stand by for Bills pics when he's finished post-producing them.

The boys are back in town

Well back in the countryside anyways.  Bill and I went out a-shooting tonight at Scandretts ... it's a nice spot, will do more there ... anyways, short of it is, I tried my hand at stacking ... here's 34 images, stabilised and stacked.  More photos coming tomorrow .. it's late and I'm still sick.

Also, if you visit this on Flickr, you will see that this shot has a CC (Creative Commons) licence, meaning you can go nuts with it :D

Russell Croman Astrophotography

Russell Croman Astrophotography ...

Wow, just wow.

April 9, 2011

Quietly tiptoes in ....

Hello?  Anyone here?

I don't know why I stopped updating this, but here's some shots, taken tonight.  Things have changed a little down here, I got a smart smartphone, so I can actually geotag my shots now ... as soon as I work out how to use it.

No news on a 5D as yet, even though my Bank is VERY keen to lend me money, so far am resisting that one.
I will try to post more and more here, and to "gently encourage" gfkBill to.  I want to come back, really!