Archive for June, 2011

Managed to get the deck treated without the threatening rain actually coming down.  Plastic over the all Aluminium pier as it is threatening to rain again, and this time it looks like it means it.

Gary is due to deliver the new dome towards the end of next week – it really is action stations at the New Forest Observatory this month 🙂

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Nobel Laureate and astrophysicist George Smoot gave a talk titled “Signals from the beginning” at the Starmus Festival, Tenerife.  Garik – how on Earth did you get all these megastars to come along?

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The coach driver took a stop here on our way up to the Teide Observatories and Noel Carboni snapped this one when I wasn’t looking 🙂  Nice picture Noel.

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Noel Carboni got this one of me in front of the Observatories at the Teide Observatories site in the Teide National Park, Tenerife.  A glorious day like every day spent on Tenerife – what a place for Sun lovers 🙂

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It is evening and the Sun is setting fast now.  Having disturbed Brian’s peaceful contemplation of the beautiful Sunset behind the distant caldera I added insult to injury by getting a photo opportunity in as as well.  Sorry Brian 🙂

Alex Cherney won the astrophotography competition with a stunning time-lapse sequence taken in the Australian outback.  As a prize Alex not only received a trip to the Starmus Festival, he also got an hour’s imaging time on the biggest telescope in the world – the GTC on La Palma.  And no I was not the slightest bit jealous or envious as I let Alex know through the whole of the Festival 🙂

Congratulations Alex – I look forward to seeing your image of the Arp galaxy.

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A star party was held at the Parador Turismo hotel in the Teide National Park.  Brilliant – I’ll be able to get some great shots of the Scorpius region.  So here is a single sub from the Canon 5D MkII.  What’s that running along the edges of the hills?  Yep – good old light pollution.  O.K. so it was a night of bad seeing (couldn’t even see the Milky Way) as the air was clagged with Sahara dust – but it shows the problems you can encounter in what’s meant to be one of the better observing spots on the planet 🙁

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I said that Garik Israelian had assembled an unbelievable lineup of mega-celebrities!  What do you make of this then?

On the left we have Bill Anders, Apollo8 astronaut who had just given a talk on “Early American Space Program”.

In the centre we have Jim Lovell, Apollo13 astronoaut, who of course gave a talk titled “Houston.  We have a problem”.

On the right is Apollo 16 astronaut Charlie Duke who gave a talk titled “Apollo: More than an adventure”.

This image was taken at question time immediately after the Apollo astronauts had given their very interesting accounts.  It felt surreal then, it feels even more surreal now sitting in my study writing this up back in the U.K.

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Yes that really is Neil Armstrong – the first man on the Moon – and he was at the Starmus Festival speaking!

The Starmus Festival was created by Garik Israelian who managed to attract an amazing lineup of World Famous celebrities to the event – how he managed this I will never know.  Over the days/weeks I will put images of this star-studded cast up here on the New Forest Observatory web site so that you can see what you missed by not attending this most amazing event.

On the evening of the final day there was a two and a half hour concert by Tangerine Dream with Brian May making a guest appearance at the beginning and the end of the concert.  Definitely the most enjoyable music event I have ever attended (and I’ve been to quite a few in my time) 🙂

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More observatory heaven on the Teide Observatories site.

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A panoramic view of some Observatories taken at the Teide site.

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