Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bowie in Space.

Not quite David Bowie, but pretty darn cool otherwise.  Not the first music video from space, but probably the most appropriate.  Chris Hadfield performed this video just before he left the station "close the Soyuz hatch and put your helmet on..."

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A couple clear nights in Renton.

Yes, I'll admit once again I've been slacking on new blog content here. Do I really have loyal readers of this that get a *Ding!* new entry to the Astro-Blog? I guess I should hope so. I have unintentionally come into some more free time lately when the loss of yet another job about a month ago, so I'm wandering around looking for a job on the internet, and getting things done around the house these days. The job hunting has been pretty bleak once again. Anyway, I've had time to get some more work done on the sticky observatory dome, cussed at Windows some more (that's pretty normal), and have done a little imaging this last week in our warm weather.
First image is what the observatory looks like on a nice, stable, clear night.  Sure, there is a bit of light pollution to the west from the city of Renton, but at least it's not bouncing off the bottom of clouds for a rare change in scenery.
Next, we have a shot of the NGC4565 Galaxy.  It's a nice example of an edge-on galaxy.  It's easy to see the center of the galaxy and the dust lanes through it as we see it from the edge.  The galaxy is 50 million light years away, so I feel honored that those wee little ancient photons made that long trip just to be sucked into my camera and preserved forever.  Just like a spider captured in a jar?
The techie details for those who care:

  • Scope: Meade LX200 Classic at f/6.3
  • Camera: Canon 350D (modified).  ISO800
  • Images: 21 exposures at 5 minutes each stacked and tweaked with Images Plus

Next is the familiar M51 Whirlpool Galaxy.  If you follow this blog and your computer goes *ding!* you probably know that I have taken many images of this one.  It's probably still my favorite and it's nicely located almost straight up this time of year.   I'm still working on getting the ultimate shot of this thing, and never quite satisfied.
Again the techie info:

  • Scope: Meade LX200 Classic at f/6.3
  • Camera: Canon 350D (IR modified).  ISO800
  • Images: 12 exposures at 5 minutes each stacked with Images Plus
As always, click the small images to see these in full size. 
That's it for now, more later hopefully!