Sunday, 23 January 2011

I have nothing to declare but my genius!

It’s been rather quiet on the homestead except for the randy ruminations of a certain pup who is swathed in the aroma of a girly pup in full season. the noises that poor Richie’s making are not pleasant and I can fully imagine the thoughts going through his little doggie brain. After all there’s a lady mutt wandering around the house giving him the full “come on then!” and every time he give it a shot me or the missus storm in and scoop one of them up, poor little fella.

On Tuesday i managed to get out with a telescope, a nearly full moon presented some fantastic viewing even if if it can be a bit blinding. It also means that a great amount of other objects get washed out by the glare of the moon, although I could just make out the Andromeda Galaxy and the great Nebula in Orion.

I did manage to get some rather good images of the moon and I’ve made a small discovery that should, if all goes well, allow me to get some rather stonking images of the night sky. All I need to do is read the manual for my camera and the end product should be quite good. I say quite good because the camera’s only small and not a DSLR. I’ve had various results with previous experiments, from holding the camera to the eye piece and using the camera on my phone in the same way. Some of the images have been good, some not so good, I think I need to sit down with the camera and muck about with the settings and take some more pictures to work out what produces the best results. I’m fairly sure that shutter speed has something to do with it.

There are three pieces of kit that I want to get for the Meade, the first is a webcam adaptor that will enable me to mount a webcam on the scope so that i can take video images of the moon and planets and then, by using some very complicated software, turn the video into a photograph, at least that’s the theory. The second item is and extended focuser, this is basically a flexible rod that replaces the focusing knob (ooer) so that the scope can be easily focused when pointing vertical as the knob is located in a very awkward place and my stubby little fingers can’t get to it very well. Finally there’s a piece of kit called an alignmate, it’s more gadget than functional, but it does serve a couple of good purposes, firstly it aids the user in ensuring the scope is level at set up, this is achieved by the bubble level on the top section, the whole thing sits in the eyepiece socket. Once the scope is levelled the user flips the unit over and using the compass mounted in the other end makes pointing the scope north relatively easy, once again that’s the theory. Finally the way the alignmate has been designed it makes for an excellent dust plug. I think my use of the Meade would benefit from the addition of a dew shield so I may have have a go at knocking one up, flexible black plastic and some Velcro fastening, how hard can it be?

It’s Astronomy Club at the end of the week and I’m looking forward to it, hopefully we’ll have clear skies and with the moon now waning I should be able to get some nice images. I also have a trip to London to look forward to on Wednesday, you never know I may even be returning with some news on a certain series that returns in the spring.

Just some of the images I’ve taken over the last few weeks, the top two were taken with the camera on my phone, the third is from a 2 megapixel camera and the last one is from a 10 megapixel camera. I hope that with a bit more practice I’ll get a better idea of what i need to do to get better quality images, and if I’m really mean, I’ll post some on here.







I must admit that I’m rather pleased with the results, and look forward to seeing my efforts improve.


Unknown said...

Fantastic pics!!