Archive for the “Other Magazines” Category

In their latest edition, Astronomy Technology Today have published two very nice Hyperstar articles, one written by the Starizona boys and one by yours truly. Astronomy Technology Today have kindly allowed the New Forest Observatory to host these articles, and the cover of the magazine which shows an early Hyperstar 1 image of M42 taken from the NFO. Thank you ATT!

Download Astronomy Today Article

Click the download icon to download a PDF version (be warned: it is over 3 megabytes in size).

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I found this review of the Making Beautiful Deep-Sky Images book by Michael Bakich titled Easy Pretty Pictures.

It is a great review – thanks Michael! :)

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Our deep wide-field M42 image made the cover of AstroPhoto Insight magazine.  Al Degutis did a great job on the printing for this one – thank you Al!

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Dick Miller, who took many of the images in the “Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies” book, visited the New Forest Observatory towards the end of Summer [September 2007] and wrote this report (warning: it is a 2MB PDF file) for the November issue of the Johnson Space Centre Astronomical Society magazine.

It certainly was a pleasure to meet Dick and I promise to consider his invitation :-)

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 I’ve submitted a portfolio of my work to the British Journal of Photography for the Nikon Project Assistance Awards.

So why am I entering? Well,  if I win an award, I would purchase a second colour CCD camera and computer to be mounted on a long focal length telescope to get a high resolution, narrower field of view image.

Placing the two images side by side would give a widefield view of an object, with a ‘zoomed in’ section of the same object next to it. For example, we could have a widefield image of the Horsehead nebula region in one frame, and in the accompanying frame a close-up of just the Horsehead itself.

There is tough competition!

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Faith Eckersall has written an article titled “Shining Example” for the March issue of the Hampshire Society Magazine. 

A lot of the article is about Greg’s background which you also can read on this site.  The article has been published with one of our favourite images – the region between NGC1977 and M43 in Orion taken using the Hyperstar/SXV-H9C combination.

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Faith Eckersall has written a great article for the February issue of the Dorset Society Magazine titled ”Twinkle, twinkle” using a set of Hyperstar/SXV-H9C images.  If you see the magazine, you will find the article on pages 48-49.

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Southampton City Council plan to fire giant lasers across the county which could ruin our view of the night sky – we hope it won’t but when you want dark skies firing a laser isn’t going to help.

An article has been published about this on ThisIsHampshire.Net.  Use your favourite search engine to find even more people concerned about the laser gateway.

Read about the laser gateway on the council website.  The laser gateway is due to be turned on to coincide with the 95th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. 

Now wasn’t this a genius idea from the Southampton Council.  A laser “gateway” spreading out in 4 directions for over 15 miles – and the really great thing about this laser lightshow is that according to the Southampton Council “spokeswoman” – there would be no light pollution.  Amazing!  See the comment from a spokeswoman for Southampton City Council below:

We conducted extensive consultations on the scheme. The designers assure us that lasers generate virtually no light pollution.

All that will be visible will be a pencil thin 2.7mm beam which will not affect star gazing in the way that street lighting or illumination from sports fixtures do.

The project, which is the brainchild of Southampton Partnership would see lasers shining from the Civic Centre clock tower which would be visible for up to 14 miles from the city centre.

So let’s spend about a microsecond analysing this statement shall we?  A pencil thin laser beam of 2.7mm I would also agree would cause no light pollution.  Also to someone with average eyesight it would be just about invisible from ground level, some 50 feet away from the beam – hardly the stuff that’s going to attract much attention. 

Of course the “spokeswoman” wouldn’t have realised that you couldn’t see a 2.7mm diameter beam at 50 feet – but then again, that’s not what we would have seen anyway.  As anyone who has worked with lasers knows, there will be considerable scattering off dust, particles and water vapour in the laser’s path all of which will blow the beam up to diameters much greater than 2.7mm – that’s what will allow you to see the beam from ground level, and from several miles away from the source.  Even if there were no scattering particles in the air at all – there is the natural divergence of the laser beam caused by diffraction from the output aperture, so even if the divergence is a milliradian or so, you will still get a beam diameter of 1 foot at 1,000 feet distance from the source.

It’s not bad enough the Council wants to create its own artistic form of light pollution, they also clearly have no understanding whatsoever about the physics involved either, this actually annoyed me far more than the potential light pollution.  Below is a comment I made to the Southampton Daily Echo.

In my opinion, the council’s plans amount to “vandalism” of the night sky.  There is a very good chance it will affect us. There will be light pollution with a great big searchlight across the sky.  I am very strongly against it.

 August 2007 – I am pleased to hear that this ridiculous idea has been dropped – for the moment at least.

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The Bournemouth Daily Echo magazine is running an article called ”Shooting stars in the New Forest”.   The cover picture and article has been written by Faith Eckersall.  You’ll find the article on pages 6 and 7.

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Someone actually wanted to do a profile on me instead of just printing pictures!  Ok, they are printing pictures as well – Hyperstar/SXV-H9C images.  Dark Sky Insights is the magazine of the Our Dark Skies (ODS) community where myself (as cybermystic) and Noel  regularly contribute to the forums.

My thanks go to the editor Vincent Trigili  for giving me the opportunity to take part as this editions member profile.  if you are interested you can purchase a copy online at lulu.

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