January 28, 2013

Clouds and Stars

Clouds and Stars by Astronomr
Clouds and Stars, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

It's that time of the month again! Full Moon, hiding stars for the last 4,000,000,000 years with it's round, white glowy face!

POTD 28: Night for Day

Algies Bay Panorama

Algies Bay Panorama by Astronomr
Algies Bay Panorama, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

27th Pic of the Day .. having fun with Panoramas! This is the Algies Bay Boat ramp, with the Full moon reflected in the water, and Jupiter visible up in the left hand side there. Roughly 180 degrees

January 26, 2013


Pirongia by Astronomr
Pirongia, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 25. A Darker shot, with a slightly lower ISO

January 25, 2013

The City From Afar

The City From Afar by Astronomr
The City From Afar, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Repost from a while ago, Auckland from the Conical Peak

January 24, 2013

Otorohanga Never Looked So Good!

POTD 23. Shot in the Waikato, this might just be the best face of Otorohanga

January 22, 2013

Ribbons Of Light

Ribbons Of Light by Astronomr
Ribbons Of Light, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD22: It's a bit of a tramp, but worth it :D

January 21, 2013

Waikato Nights

Waikato Nights by Astronomr
Waikato Nights, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 21.

January 20, 2013

Jupiter, It Moons Us!

Following an unfortunate accident recently involving a falling camera, our latest astrocam candidate, an Ixus 125, arrived in the mail the other day. Great little camera, it shoots full 1080 video making it a hopefully-ideal planetary and moon shooter.

Sadly, no port of CHDK yet, though work seems to be in progress on that. Fingers crossed we'll be able to get RAW out of it soon. A trip to the local hardware store and much experimenting with the camera and an eyepiece in store ("Can I help you find something?" " No, I don't know what I'm looking for") resulted in the acquiring of an odd looking piece of plumbing hardware. A quick hacksaw and much sanding and filing later, and I had an adaptor that takes a GSO 1.25" eyepiece on one end, and slips fairly tightly over the Ixus on the other. Et voila, the birth of astrocam 3 (or is it 4? what are we up to valHallen?).

The bush fires in Aussie were casting a pall across the sky last night, so seeing wasn't the best. Unfortunately it also clouded up around the horizon denying us what would have been a spectacular sunset, if the brief glimpses of a blood-red sun an hour before it hit the horizon were anything to go by. I pointed valHallen's scope at the Moon and then Jupiter once the sun was sufficiently in hiding, and was quite stunned at the details on the camera screen. I shot a few movies and fed one of them to Registax, and below is the resulting shot of Jupiter with (L to R) Ganymede, Europa and Io in tow through the 15mm GSO 1.25". Registax is quite daunting to the newcomer, so I'm sure we can do better with some practice, better focus, and better seeing! Very happy with the result though. Click the link below for Flickr, as usual.

January 19, 2013

Moonset on Snells

Moonset on Snells by Astronomr
Moonset on Snells, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 19: Moonset, single shot 14mm Samyag lens

January 18, 2013

Lightpainting with Subtlty

Lightpainting with Subtlty by Astronomr
Lightpainting with Subtlty, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 18: Quieter Lightpainting

January 17, 2013

Summer Motes

Summer Motes by Astronomr
Summer Motes, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 17: Summer motes in the sunset

January 16, 2013

14mm Panorama - For Jax

14mm Panorama - For Jax by Astronomr
14mm Panorama - For Jax, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 16.

jacqui has been after me to do a vertical Milky Way pano for ages. Well this is the first try ...

January 15, 2013

The View From Pirongia

The View From Pirongia by Astronomr
The View From Pirongia, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 15:

Pirongia Panorama

January 14, 2013

Te Awamutu, Pirongia and The Sky

POTD 13. Te Awamutu and Pirongia township with the milky Way

January 13, 2013


Fireball! by Astronomr
Fireball!, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

Light up the night like a camera flash ... pure luck I got this. POTD 13 January.

January 12, 2013

Reaching in the Night

Reaching in the Night by Astronomr
Reaching in the Night, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD 12:

Goat island Trees ... unfortunately Lightroom is not playing nice with Windows 8 right now :(

January 11, 2013


Monolith by Astronomr
Monolith, a photo by Astronomr on Flickr.

POTD: 11 on the 11th

January 10, 2013

Magellanic Clouds, in all their glory

POTD, 10th, 2013

2013, A New Committment and an Early Tragedy

Hey Folks, anyone heard from Bill?  Last I saw him he was making a tinfoil hat and muttering about twin satellites ... he also wants me to call him "Fox" for some disturbing reason.

Seriously tho, welcome to the new orbit, the 43rd since I arrived here :D

To try and improve my photography, and maybe to get something awesome going later on, I am starting to ramp up on the photography again ... to whit, I will be posting a picture a day this year - not necessarily taking a picture per day, but posting one.  So here's the first nine, it's a Flickr link, sorry.

From here I will be posting from Flickr as I upload.

And now the tragedy ... Just before Xmas I bought a new compact camera for my telescope shots, just after Xmas I dropped it :(  It's knocked the focus/lens assembly out of true, so if anyone knows how to get the lenses out of a Canon IXUS 120, please let me know :(

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January 5, 2013

Black Heli... er, Satellites

  So ValHallen and I headed north last night for some shooting, motivated primarly by the arrival of a (working) USB OTG cable so he could control his 60D from his Nexus tablet. I'll let him post about that in his own time. For now, let's cast our minds back a few weeks.

  On our Geminid shoot, I'd taken a stack pointing towards Auckland, above Crux. When I reviewed the shots for the stack the next day, I was startled to see satellite trails through the images. "Startled by satellite trails? You must be new to this..." you say. You would be well within your rights to say so. Except in this case it was twin trails, offset by a few degrees and one trailing the other, but dead parallel. "Ah! Now that is more interesting!" you exclaim. And again, you'd be right. Subsequent extensive and intensive research (ie, I Googled it and it came up right away) leads me to think it's likely they're these. Fun! Nasa's new radiation-belt-studying twins have only been up there for 4 months and I snapped them quite by accident. Here's the stack, with the sat's photoshopped back in, as stacking killed them of course. If you don't know why stacking killed them, you must be new to this...

Trails just left of centre, near the top of the image, click to embiggen.

  That was a few weeks ago, and should have been the end of a mildly interesting story. But at this point, things start to become a little Sinister! Yes, Sinister! Capital S and exclamation mark fully intended!

 Back in the present,I sat down this morning to go through the shots from last night, up on a beach near here. I'd barely glanced through the first dozen of the forty-odd snaps when there they were, brighter and bolder than ever - the same two satellites! Shooting towards Lesser Megallanic this time, but no doubting they're the Twin Streaks I'd caught above.

  This the first time we'd been back out on photo safari together since the Geminids.What are the odds the satellites would again be overhead? I don't think they're studying the Van Allen belts at all. I think they're spying on our photo safaris! Two astro-photogrophers, two satellites... think about it, people! We've reached the point where Nasa is clearly getting jealous of the quality of our photos, and our bang-to-buck ratio, and is concerned about their funding. That they're not trying to hide suggests to me a veiled threat. I'm posting this publicly before they can get to me. If I disappear tell my family I love them.

Look to the skies, people! Look to the skies!

- gfkBill

January 3, 2013

Happy New Orbit!

One more revolution about the sun completed! Well depending on when you start I guess :)  It's 2013! Last year contained the worst apocalypse ever, and we're moving on :)  So, as I started last year, here's the Flickr set for 2012. containing the shots I liked from last year, heavily focussed on stuff posted here!


- Val