Monday, September 19, 2011

Fly with the ISS down the West coast.

This has been all over the internet the last few days, so it's probably nothing new.  I was watching it and wondering what the ISS was flying over.  I then spotted the familiar view of the Salton Sea and Baja in Southern California and then realized it was flying down the West coast.
Backing up to the start again I saw what I was looking for - Washington State.  Easy to pick out the lights (light pollution actually) of the Seattle/Puget sound area, then a litte farther down Portland can be seen.  Very cool to see home from this view!
Notice the airglow, thunderstorms and other things as the station flies south.  Make sure you click the YouTube logo on the video and select the HD version, and go full screen for the best effect.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Familiar object just trying something different - M27

Some of the "easy" things in the sky are always tempting to try again and again.  I shot this image of M27 about a week ago.  Basically, the only thing I did different was a much longer exposure.  Took my chances, and tried to put a little more trust and confidence in my autoguiding system.  I took a few 10 minute exposures to see if I could get in deeper to this object.  Seemed to work!  You can see a little more faint details around the edges of the nebula.  Guiding errors aren't to bad either.  The Starshoot camera and PHD Guider are working pretty well now.
I'm sure I could process this better if I could remember some of the methods that Adam Black taught me when I was at Mt. Lemmon last December.  Pretty happy with the results otherwise!
This is 6 exposures at 10 minutes each, ISO800 and the 12" telescope at f/6.3.
As always, click to see bigger.

Another exploding star!

Neighbor galaxy M101 decided to show off this time since M51 blew off a couple stars in the last few years.  Ok, they aren't really neighbors, but they are both in the Big Dipper handle.  Caught an image of the new supernova last week.
It's a doozy!  I haven't tried, but I've heard it can be seen with small telescopes also these days.  Probably reached it's peak and starting to fade, but I caught it at least.  It's also the nearest supernova to Earth in the last 30 years.  Just a nearby 21 million light years away.   But don't worry, still too far away to extinquish us with a gamma ray burst!

The techie stuff:
  • Camera: Canon 350D Modified
  • Scope: Meade 12" LX200 at f/6.3
  • Guider: Orion 80ED with Starshoot camera and PHD Guider
  • Exposures: 5 x 7 minutes at ISO800

9/11/2011 - 10 years.

10 years ago the most horrible event in aviation history happened.  Don't need say much more since those visions are forever burned in our minds. 
Today I'll remember 9/11 by celebrating our continuing freedom to fly our own airplanes - by going flying!