Archive for June, 2012

While I have been trying to tune up scope 1 and camera 1 on the mini-WASP array, I have not wasted good imaging time 🙂  During the tuning periods I was imaging the same region with the well-tuned scope 2 and camera 2, a Sky 90 and an M26C one-shot colour camera.  So I have added around 3 and a half hours to the earlier 1 and a half hours worth of data taken in the same area.  Looks quite nice with a Milky Way backdrop and a ton of faint emission nebulosity coming through.

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Got today’s Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) with the recent M13 image captured at the New Forest Observatory and expertly processed by Noel Carboni in Florida U.S.A.  Looks very nice on the site Jim – thank you for continuing to publish our work 🙂

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Today being the summer Solstice for 2012, and seeing as it has rained all day, I opened up the two Tea caddy pinhole cameras that I put up last winter Solstice.  So here we have 6-months worth of Sun trails along the southern horizon of the New Forest Observatory showing what sort of weather we’ve had since December last year.

 

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I managed to get runner-up in the “Split Second” category of the 2012 Sony World Photography Awards 2012 with my “eggsplosion” high-speed flash image.  Hoping to do just that bit better in 2013 🙂

 

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I have just downloaded the 60-day trial version of PEMPro from CCDWare (I already use their brilliant CCDInspector software) for evalutaion.  PEMPro allows you to polar align and train the PEC for your mount.  As I want to be able to take 1-hour sub-exposures with the mini-WASP array my polar alignment needs to be pretty much spot-on and I want the smallest periodic error I can get out of the Paramount.  The publicity material that comes with PEMPro suggests that you can get the periodic error for a Paramount ME down to 0.8″ which is going to be good enough for me 🙂

If I ever see a clear sky again so that I can try this software out – I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

 

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Below I published images of the beginning and the end of the transit (downloaded live from the Solar Dynamics Observatory satellite) – but for some reason I did not include an image from near the middle of the transit.  Rectified here 🙂

I take that back.  Looking more carefully at my own post I see I DID have an image from mid-transit.  Oh well – I’ll leave this post up as a reminder that I’ve hit “that age”.

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I used all the individual frames of the animation to put together this montage of the 2012 Transit of Venus.  In the very last image of the Sun, Venus has just passed the edge of the Sun and we will not see such a transit again for another 105 years.  See you then 🙂

 

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Some single stills images of the 2012 transit of Venus from last night/early this morning.

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This was the view of the 4-monitors in the New Forest Observatory Control Centre last night/this morning during the Transit of Venus.  Screen top left was Norway – this was the first to show ingress, a good few minutes ahead of Mauna Kea.  Top right screen was the NASA link from Mauna Kea.  Bottom left screen was the best link of the evening, some guys that work on the Kecks as technicians had taken the day off work to set up a link with a small (completely home built) purple refractor imaging the Transit and they hooked up to the Internet with not only real time live images, but also with a really great question and answer session.  Well done guys – you put on a great show AND you managed to keep me entertained (i.e. awake) for the whole event – brilliant stuff!!!  Bottom right screen is the image download from the Solar Dynamic Observatory (satellite) that I used to create the animation.  The first image was taken at ingress – the second image was taken around mid-transit – and the third image was taken as the 2012 Transit of Venus was coming to an end – an unforgetable evening (and early morning).

 

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I pulled an all-nighter downloading the orbiting Solar Dynamics Observatory solar images during the period of the Venus transit and put this animation together 🙂

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