Archive for December, 2009

I have just purchased some incredibly powerful registration software called Registar.  I played with the free download version for a few days before deciding I couldn’t live without this one and bought it today 🙂  It is really useful to put together mosaics I have been working on for a couple of years – to see where I have gaps missing, but that’s the easy stuff.  Registar will overlay frames obtained from different imaging systems so I can put Hyperstar I/H9C data together with Sky 90/M25C data together with Hyperstar III/M25C data – extremely powerful software indeed!!!  I am going to have great fun with this over the next few days.

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Here is a short clip from the Meridian weather forecast from December 28th 2009.

Copyright Meridian TV.

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I believe that the Cone nebula and Christmas Tree cluster will feature on tonight’s Meridian weather.  Keep an eye out around 6:45 p.m. 🙂

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Yesterday, following publication of our Gamma Cass and friends image on Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) – the New Forest Observatory (NFO) site got 4,341 visits!!  Usual daily visit rate is around 150.  Such is the power of APOD 🙂

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Happy Birthday Noel!!!

Looking forward to even more great collaborative images for 2010 🙂  Hopefully by the summer we’ll be working on data from the mini-WASP array – that’ll set the cat amongst the pigeons 🙂

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The surge of hits from our recent APOD has now pushed the number of hits on our site to over 110,000!!  Great way to be ending 2009 🙂

A couple of hours later and we’re now over 111,000 hits 🙂 🙂

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And to follow on from yesterday’s EPOD, Noel & I managed to get today’s APOD (Astronomy Picture of the Day).  This time it’s the Gamma Cassiopeia nebulosity and Gamma Cas itself in a wide field image taken using the C11/Hyperstar III/SXVF-M25C combination.  A rather nice Christmas Eve present for 2009 – thank you Rob & Jerry 🙂

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Great news!  Noel & I managed to get today’s EPOD with a festive Christmas Tree cluster and cone nebula shot (EPOD have the picture upside down at the moment – but I’ve told Jim so it might turn up the right way later on today).  Thank you Jim for continuing to show our work to your huge audience 🙂

Managed to get 4-hours of imaging on little NGC1333 in Perseus last night in sub-zero conditions.  I think there was some high lying mist/fog but hopefully the image turned out o.k.

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A couple of nights ago conditions were perfect for imaging – freezing cold, crystal clear, and no Moon to worry about.  Excellent!  I am going to get a ton of data on little NGC1333 in Perseus.  I do a two-star align on Capella and Aldebaran (close together so I don’t spend too much time on aligning) – focus up using the robofocus and off it goes, imaging away for 5 hours – brilliant!  Next morning I check the data.  No NGC1333 in the frame, in fact very little apart from stars, and an uninteresting star field at that, in the frame.  By being lazy in the 2-star align the goto was actually way out, so I managed to end up in a region of Perseus with very little in it.  I was around 0.1 degrees out in RA (which is recoverable) but 1.5 degrees out in DEC (which is not).  5 hours of perfect imaging time down the drain.  Merry Christmas!

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I opened up the pinhole cameras a couple of days early just in case they were set in the wrong position, and also to check if the wettest November on record had made its mark.  One pinhole camera unfortunately DID let in some water (not surprising really) – but the other pinhole camera was bone dry (and that was surprising!).  The view is towards the south, so the pinhole camera is imaging the Sun’s path across my southern horizon.  Breaks in the path are due to cloud – and you can see there are quite a few days where we didn’t see the Sun at all.

I spent quite some time trying to work out what that object is at the middle/bottom.  Shows you how slow I am – that is my fibreglass (observatory) dome!  The bright bits are the hinges/locks on the door.

Well – not a resounding success, but also not too bad for a first try.  I will attempt to do better next time.

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