Archive for the “News” Category

I have just assembled this DNA model that comes from Cochrane’s of Oxford.  It is extremely well thought out and the instructions for assembly are quite excellent given the complexity of the thing being put together.  When I first saw this kit I thought that it was a little expensive for what was being offered – I now think it is very good value for money indeed!

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The Licence Agreement between Laserscribe Ltd. and Parker Technology was formally terminated on 01/07/2015.

If you wish to purchase custom built high speed electronic flash equipment contact Prof. Greg Parker at Parker Technology.

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You too can make your own full-colour, high-resolution, deep-space images, just like the Tulip nebula mega-mosaic below – and you don’t even need to own a telescope.

However, you do need a copy of Photoshop and a copy of Noel Carboni’s Astronomy Actions for Photoshop.

The first thing you need to do is get your hands on the data which you will process into a full-colour image – I have described this process in an earlier Astronomy Now article – so if you are an Astronomy Now subscriber, look the process up there.

You will grab the data from the SkyView Query Form site.  Put in the co-ordinates of the object you want a picture of (or the object name) in the box at the top.  Go down to where it says what datasets are available and click on DSS2 red AND blue data.  Where it asks for image quality data put in 6000 pixels and leave the rest unchecked – this will give you a 6000 x 6000 pixel image at the highest spatial resolution on offer.  Send off the query and it will download the images to your monitor.  Go to the bottom of each image and click download the FITS files.  You will now have the red and blue channel data for your chosen object.  Now we need to process the data.

Open up Photoshop – and in Noel’s actions click on “Construct RGB image from channel files”.  This process expects you to supply red, green and blue channel data – but as you only have red and blue channel data you need to put the blue channel data into the green channel when the program asks you for it.  Go through the construct RGB process and at the end you will have a colour image of your object – but in the wrong colours as you didn’t provide any green channel data – fear not – Noel’s actions will come to the rescue!  Now click on “Synthesise Green Channel from Red and Blue” and Noel’s Actions will create an artificial green channel for your image giving something that looks a bit closer to “real” colour.

Now all you need to do is tweak the image in Photoshop to get something closer to what you are looking for.  I actually take the image into Paint Shop Pro at this point as it has a couple of very powerful “one click” processes.  I use the contrast enhancement tool on Darker/Normal/Normal and the saturation enhancement tool on More Colour/Normal – to get the image looking more how I want it – I then take it back into Photoshop for further cleaning up and to put on any (Noel Carboni) star spikes if I feel they are appropriate.

And that’s it.  You can produce deep-sky images of a quality far better than you can grab from your back garden with mega-expensive kit, and do it in far less time than it would take you to get just the data.  Makes you wonder why we actually bother to do it the hard way!

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I have been putting together a full-colour mega-mosaic of the Tulip nebula region in Cygnus using the wonderful DSS2 data.

As this is a pretty huge mosaic you can imagine the dataset was getting a bit unwieldy – and in fact my computer was starting to fall over – it couldn’t handle all the data.

So for now, until I get my hands on a Quantum Computer – this is it.  Won’t be adding any more to this one.

Printing out right now at A1-size on the HP Deskjet 130 6-colour printer.

Enjoy :)

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Just a reminder that you can see most of my Astronomical images on Flickr.

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If you need to hire high-power high-speed Xenon flashguns for your next photo-assignment then check Xenon Flash out :)

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I don’t have enough spare time to replicate posts on Astronomy forums and on my New Forest Observatory web site.

So, if you want to see the latest images or the latest developments at the New Forest Observatory, from today onwards you will only see these on this site.

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I can prove that we live in a Matrix Universe.  Trouble is – if I explain my proof the program will terminate.

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The New Forest Observatory is run by Prof. Greg Parker from Brockenhurst in Hampshire.  Do not be misled or confused by others using a similar name.

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I have reproduced below an e-mail conversation from a rather persistent fellow representing a very well known Publisher.  For obvious reasons the Publisher’s name is crossed out as is the guy I’m having the conversation with – but all the same I think you’ll get the gist of it.

 

Urgent Image Request Dear Sir,

I am XXXXXX XXXXX, Picture Researcher with XXXX.

XXXX publishers (part of the XXXXXX Group) would like to use an image of Gamma Cas on one of our spreads of our educational children’s book XXXXXXX.

We have really liked your image on NASA website http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap091224.html. It would be great if you could give us the permission to use the image in our upcoming book.

XXXX always clears images for world, all language, all edition rights including E-books and Digital Spinnoffs of this book.

We have a very tight schedule so it would be great if you could get back to us on this as soon as possible.

Thanks and Regards
XXXXXX XXXXX

 

Dear XXXXXXXX,

My New Forest Observatory http://www.newforestobservatory.com/ does provide deep-sky images, non-exclusively for publication purposes.  The images are not available for free.

Regards,

Prof. Greg Parker

 

Re: Urgent Image Request Thanks a lot for your urgent reply but we are interested in using the image in the link I have provided earlier. If you can provide us that image at A4 size at 300dpi we are happy to pay you 20GBP as this is what we have been paying to the well known agencies we are registered with.

We will also give you a credit in the book. I hope you will give us a chance to work with you and agree to our rights and rates.

Also, we might get in touch with you again for other images we like from your collection.

Thanks and Regards
XXXXXXX

 

Thank you – I understand what image you require, it is the one I provided from the NFO to APOD.

Your rate I’m afraid is insufficient for an A4 size at 300 DPI.  Thank you very much for your interest.

Regards,

Prof. Greg Parker

 

We wish to use the image at 1/4th size. It is not the final rate we can surely negotiate the prices. This is the rate we have been paying to our agencies. Please let me know what rate you want to give us the image at if it suits our budget we can use the image. The size of the book is really small and we have a really low budget on this project.

Thanks and Regards
XXXXXXX

 

Books are always “really small” and budgets are always “very low” but the images that are requested take many hours to acquire with very expensive equipment and very expensive programs (and computers) – so it looks like we will always have an impass here :) :)

Yesterday I sold a photomicroscopy image (about half the size of the image you are requesting) to Harvard Medical School for £196.  They considered this a “low” budget.  I think you can see that you will not be able to afford my image for your book, but thank you for your interest.

Regards,

Prof. Greg Parker

 

And finally, thank goodness, this totally pointless conversation mercifully came to an end.

Please can I ask you – if you want some “free” or “cheapo” deep-sky images, to kindly go elsewhere

 

 

 

 

 

 

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