Archive for April, 2007

Great News!  Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) have selected one of our pictures – the Wide Field Image of the Horsehead nebula as picture of day today.  If you haven’t bookmarked the EPOD site then do it now!

The wide field image of the Horsehead region near the bright star Alnitak in the belt of Orion was taken using the Sky 90/SXVF-M25C combination by Greg at the New Forest Observatory and processed by Noel in Florida, U.S.A.   You can see the Horsehead Nebula at the center of the image.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Sometimes one just gets lucky!  I was invited to go to the 50th Anniversary Sky at Night Party which was held on the 25th April 2007 at Sir Patrick Moore’s house “Farthings” in Selsey.

It was a great day, and at last I finally managed to meet up with Brian May!  I had planned to meet Brian at the Astrofest in London at the beginning of this year, but got clobbered by a migraine which was perhaps the most annoying event of 2007 for me.

 Arriving at “Farthings” I immediately met up with Dr. May (as he is now 🙂 ) and Sir Patrick, and presented Sir Patrick with a framed A2-sized image of the Belt Region of Orion region.  Although the Orion’s Belt image is not our best work – it has something awe-inspiring about it – and the main thing was Patrick was very happy with his picture.

 Things then turn a bit surreal.  Brian and I found quiet room in Patrick’s house [quite difficult, and quite an achievement with over 200 people there, but Brian knows his way around] and we had a chin-wag for what turned out to be a couple of hours.  If you don’t know him personally, Brian must be the most unassuming celebrity out there, and what’s great is he loves talking astronomy!  Brian brought out the laptop and got me involved with the PhD thesis he was then in the process of writing up.  I was very happy to go through it and hope I was of least some little help with his big day on 23rd August.  I must admit, I was highly impressed with the quality of the work, and I think Brian was also very lucky that nobody else had chosen his subject in the intervening 30 years for their own research – shows he knew how to pick a good topic.

 It was a great day for meeting fellow enthusiasts too – I met Pete Lawrence for the first time, and managed to catch my long-term supernova hunting friend Ron Arbour before taking the run back to the New Forest.  Great day, will always remember it!

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Our deep image of M42 taken with the Sky 90/SXVF-M25C combination appears in the May 2007 edition of Practical Astronomer in the Readers Gallery on Page 61.

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Our picture of M51 appears on page 48 under the article heading “Beginner’s Challenge: The spiral arms of M51.  Our image of M13 and M101 also appear on the Messier Challenge Poster – these are all single frame Hyperstar/SXV-H9C images.

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We have won photo of the month in the Sky at Night magazine with this Sky 90/SXVF-M25C image of the Rosette nebula.  The Rosette nebula in Monoceros features as photo of the month on page 26.  You’ll also find it included on the CD-ROM.

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 I’ve submitted a portfolio of my work to the British Journal of Photography for the Nikon Project Assistance Awards.

So why am I entering? Well,  if I win an award, I would purchase a second colour CCD camera and computer to be mounted on a long focal length telescope to get a high resolution, narrower field of view image.

Placing the two images side by side would give a widefield view of an object, with a ‘zoomed in’ section of the same object next to it. For example, we could have a widefield image of the Horsehead nebula region in one frame, and in the accompanying frame a close-up of just the Horsehead itself.

There is tough competition!

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