Archive for April, 2008

Full moon madness

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Moon, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Uncategorized on April 21, 2008 by Andrew

Finally,after months of shivering and snow I was able to get the scope out for some eye piece time.It was almost completely dark (or as dark as it can get on a full moon lit night) when I decided to set up.After not setting the scope up for night viewing in almost 5 months it was like having to relearn the scope again.The setup went well until I became ready for alignment and that is when all hell broke loose.To begin with,the power cord that I was using has a loose wire which caused sporadic power loss to the scope.I found the problem and replaced the cord with a better one and proceeded with the alignment.After performing a 2 star alignment I slewed the scope to a few different targets to check for pointing and tracking and all was good.My first target was Saturn and 3 visible moons.I connected the laptop and LPI for some imaging and for some unknown reason,my Autostar imaging program kept crashing my Pc.It took almost 2 hours of restore and reinstalling the software to get the camera to work properly.Heh,sounds easy huh?.Try doing it in the moon light and cooling temps.My temper level rose dramatically in a very short period of time!.Finally,when I got the problem fixed I only had a short period of time to get reacquainted with the imaging program and take some shots before Saturn set behind a building.The shots I took were less than desirable but,when full moon madness set in I didn’t really care.I then slewed my scope towards the moon and was almost blinded by how bright it was.Heh,been there done that!.

During the course of getting shots of the moon with the DSI,the noise level in town kept getting louder.Their were as many people on the streets at midnight as their normally would be at 2pm.Is this activity due to the full moon or it caused from cabin fever?.My personal opinion is that it is caused from cabin fever (which is real by the way) and not the full moon.Again,in my opinion,a full moon  has zero effect on people!.The only thing it effects is the amount of light reaching  Earth at night.I have heard about police officers saying “yup,full moon tonight.Going to be a busy night”.Heh,going to be a busy night because,everything is so well lit and they can see the crimes being committed.

The image below is a result of might efforts last night.It is a stack of 65 images and was proceeded with Photoshop.The orientation is off as east is up.Note Mare Smythii at the very edge of the eastern limb.

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Crescent moon

Posted in astronomy, Luna, Moon, Photo, photography, Solar on April 11, 2008 by Andrew

Not much going on at the moment.I wanted to get some images of the creasent moon occulting the Pleiades on Tuesday but,as the usual luck would have it,the skies turned cloudy about a hour before the show and departed about  2 hours later.Oh well,I did manage to get a few images with my DSLR on Monday night.It isn’t a overly fantastic shot but,it will do in a pinch !.This image was taken via my cars roof.I tried to get the dark blue that is seen just after the sun has set but,since I drank one too many coffee’s,my hands kept shaking to the point of causing most of the shots to be ruined.NOTE TO SELF……Decaf!!!.Heh,well I know that isn’t going to happen!!!.

Sunspot #988 with the DSI

Posted in astronomy, astrophotography, Photo, photography, Solar, Space, Star, Sun on April 7, 2008 by Andrew

Isn’t Spring wonderful???!!!.After a long Winter of cold and snow,it is finally beginning to warm up.Today,it is forecasted to be in the mid 40s F with calm winds.This may seem chilly to some but,just having the sunshine without the wind makes it almost balmy 🙂 !.I will even go  out on a limb and say Winter is officially over.Although I say that with a bit of hesitation as I have seen it snow in mid May,in which a rather thick coating of snow covered the already blossoming peas.Being just a little guy at the time,I remember how fun it was.Now….being four decades older I don’t believe I would find the excitement in a fresh snow so late in the Spring.I guess we will just have to wait and see!.

The new sunspots have since drifted and faded from view but,I will still post some images.I took these shots with the Meade DSI early last week.They came out ok but,I need to comeup with a way to reduce the glare on the laptop screen.I decided to use a black umbrella to block the sun but,it just wasn’t good enough as I was getting a lot of reflected coming from the melting snowbanks and everything else in the general area,which makes it almost impossible to get a sharp focus.If someone has any ideas please let me know!!!!.

I also want to make a correction on my last post.I stated that ( my opinion) these new sunspots were part of the new cycle or at least I was hinting at this.That information as it turns out is wrong.Well,not completely wrong but,close enough.While the sun HAS begun it’s new cycle according to SOHO,these sunpots are actually part of the last solar cycle (as I understand it).So,my apologies for the misinformation!!.

Images by:Andrew

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