Archive for March, 2009

We are very pleased to report that we are getting some great reviews for Star Vistas from our readers across the pond on the U.S.A. Amazon web site.  Thank you everyone, we are happy that you are enjoying Star Vistas – makes all the pain worthwhile 🙂

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Now that the package of A3-size photo-paper has arrived (the Royal Mail is notoriously unreliable in this part of the country it seems!) I can now offer comet Lulin prints in size A3 for just £25 including U.K. p&p.  As before this uses the HP Designjet130 with its 6-cartridge ink system and high quality HP photo-paper to give you a high resolution, high quality print of our recent visitor.

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I shall be giving a talk (mostly a pretty-picture PowerPoint presentation) about imaging from the New Forest Observatory at the University of Southampton’s IYA2009 event on Wednesday 1st April 2009.  From 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. there will be various astronomical activities including scopes set up for both observing and imaging on the top of the Physics Building.  Venue is the School of Physics & Astronomy, Building 46, Highfield Campus.  I shall bring along some copies of “Making beautiful deep-sky images”, “Star Vistas”, and A3 & A4 images of comet Lulin – all of which can be purchased on the night.

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More good news!  Managed to get the Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) image for 13th March 2009 – with a “real” Earth Science picture – not a deep-sky image 🙂  This time it was a crepuscular ray sunset over North Weirs (New Forest) in mid-winter.  We had a succession of spectacular sunsets for several consecutive days around this time – and then it all reverted back to normal.

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I have just been contacted by a couple of people who have told me that Star Vistas is now being shipped and delivered in the U.K.  A quick check on Amazon U.K. says delivery in 2-days if ordered now using Special Delivery – so Amazon must have their stock in too.  So to all of you that have been patiently waiting over the last few months – thank you – and it looks like the long wait is at last, finally over 🙂

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This Friday, 13th March 2009, I shall be giving a talk to the Hampshire Astronomy Group at their Clanfield base entitled “The Hyperstar returns to the New Forest Observatory”.  In addition to the talk there will be a couple of signed copies of Star Vistas for sale (literally just a couple of copies as we don’t have U.K. delivery of the book yet), plus signed copies of “Making Beautiful Deep-Sky Images” and finally signed and numbered A4 prints of comet Lulin all available on the evening.  7:30 p.m. start.

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I purchased a good quality microscope for those (many) evenings that are unsuitable for deep-space imaging.  The idea is to fit the Canon 40D to the microscope’s third eyepiece (it is a trinocular microscope) and take some photomicrographs – using Helicon Focus to get those SEM-like images (except these are in colour!)  Took the attached 40-frame mosaic of a bee-head which Noel Carboni stitched together in Photoshop CS4 (not without difficulty!!).  Next time I will focus stack as well to get a truly 3-D looking image.

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As mentioned in an earlier post, Parker Technology entered into an agreement with HighSpeedFlash dot com whereby HSF dot com could make and market Parker Technology’s design of HSF equipment.  Parker Technology has now taken delivery of a set of  high speed flashguns and some preliminary test shots have been made with the equipment.  It all looks very promising so far with the high powered “Pro” unit kicking out 150 Joules in 50 microseconds and the more specialist “Ultra” unit providing 30 Joules in a staggering 9 microseconds.  The image below shows 3 glass pebbles dropped into a tray of water taken using a sound-triggered “Pro” unit.

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In this International Year of Astronomy, the New Forest Observatory is offering you a very special deal for 2009.  You may purchase signed, (year) dated and numbered prints of comet Lulin for only £15 which includes U.K. postage and packing!!!  Prints measure 27cm x 18cm and they are printed on A4 [29.7cm x 21.0cm] using 6-colour HP fade resistant inks [HP Designjet 130] on high quality 240 g/m2  HP premium photo-paper.  This unique image of comet Lulin taken on February 28th 2009 when the comet was in Leo shows a sprinkling of galaxies in the comet’s tail, just behind the comet’s head, making this a totally unique and iconic image of Lulin for you to frame and keep.

To arrange the shipment of your comet Lulin print please contact sales@newforestobservatory.com

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Unexpectedly the clouds shifted for a few hours on Saturday 28th February 2009.  I thought that I was going to completely miss comet Lulin with the appalling (imaging) weather we’ve had these last two months.  However, someone was looking kindly down upon me and I managed to get 77 subs at 3-minutes per sub on beautiful comet Lulin.  The head region is green just like last year’s comet Holmes, but quite unlike last year’s Holmes we actually get a tail as well with Lulin 🙂  Expertly processed in double-quick time by Noel Carboni in Florida U.S.A. we proudly present to you one of our best images (or so we think) – comet Lulin!!!

Note the little bunch of galaxies in the tail just behind the nucleus – wonderful stuff!!!

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