Saturday, December 10, 2011

Eclipsing Moon Sets Over the Pacific

I just managed to wake up in time to watch and capture the last lunar eclipse of 2011.

This is the time lapse I shot of it. Not too great as I only spent about 15min thinking about doing this then getting everything together and climbing onto our roof to shoot this at 5am. I only have a 18-55mm kit zoom lens for my DSLR so the moon is pretty small. That's what I get for not planning ahead. Still this is better than the last lunar eclipse I made a movie of a few years back and my failed attempt earlier this year when I was standing out in the rain waiting for a break in the clouds that never really came.

Here is an animated gif of the same movie looping back and forth to make it easier to see the eclipsed moon. It did not do this while I watched because the moon set while still eclipsed.

Here are four stills from the time lapse. I wish I had not been sick all week so it wouldn't have been so hard to wake up earlier. I woke up at about 4:45 just in time to look out the bedroom window and see the moon starting to go into shadow. I think it was 5am or later before I got myself bundled up with all my gear onto the roof to start watching and taking pictures.

Here is the view I had. It was pretty great except for the one big street light almost directly below the moon. I should have lowered the camera more to block that but then you wouldn't be able to see the ocean. It was pretty great to watch the eclipsed moon setting over the Pacific Ocean! Be sure to click on these pictures to see them nice and big. Right clicking and view in another window/tab is even better now that they have the odd new image viewing thing going on.

Here i s a little closer view. The lights on the horizon are crab boats. It's crabbing season and the one time of the year the pacific isn't totally dark. The crab boats some times make it look like a small city out there. Good thing the moon even when eclipsed is nice and bright.

Be sure to open this one in a separate tab/window. This is a panoramic from just before the moon disappeared into the low clouds on the horizon. Can you spot the moon? I love the views at sunset and sunrise (and moon set as well in this case)from our roof.

Monday, October 31, 2011


This is what happens after late nights of astrophotography, early morings surfing and long days making animated films. I was turned into a Surf Zombie!

Kitties are wary of the Surf Zombie!

Inky makes for a super good Halloween Kitty while hiding from the Surf Zombie!

But his brains are irresistible and I must feed!

Surf Zombies Poo Too! Especially after a large helping of Kitty Brains! EErrr, EEERRRrrrr, Ahhhh...

From Planets to Nebulas

10-28-2011, Tonight Jupiter is in opposition (closest point) with earth this year so I went out to take a few more pictures.

Not to bad. You can see the Big (aka Great) Red spot just about to disappear around the left side there.

Here is Jupiter's other side. I think this might be the most detail I have managed to get of Jupiter yet.

As usually here is a 3D image so get out those red/blue glasses!

And here is a short little animation I put together with some of the images I took. This probably spans about 10 minutes. Jupiter spins really fast making a complete rotation in just a little less than 10 hours. Maybe one long winter night I will see if I can capture a full rotation.

In between shots of Jupiter I did a little looking around and took a few other images. Here is the Ring Nebula or M57. It is a planetary nebula because some of these look a bit like planets through the telescope.

Next on the planetary nebula list I took a look at the Little Dumbbell Nebula or M76. This picture didn't come out to good but you can make out the core section and just a tiny bit of the fainter outer ring. I'll have to try this one again.

And then I turned the scope to the first planetary nebula I tried to image, the Eskimo Nebula or NGC 2390. This came out a little better than my previous attempts but I'm sure I can do better.

Finally I turned to one of the easiest targets the Orion Nebula or M42. I think this is my best nebula image so far. The thumbnail is a bit blurry because I scaled it up a bit but if you click on it you can see a nicer large version.

Here is a self portrait of me at about 1:30am imaging the Orion Nebula. If you know your constellations you should be able to make out Orion. The 3 stars of his belt are almost right above my head and I'm kind of looking at his sword which are the 3 stars just to the lower right of his belt. The Orion Nebula is the middle star of his sword. If you click on the image to see the larger version you might even notice that middle star glowing which is the nebula. Oh, and how the hell do I fit in my tiny little car?! It's clearly half as big as me or at least that's what the wide angle lens on the ground does. Lucky or unlucky as it was the last people to leave before me happened to turn on their car lights just as I took this picture causing the nice glow and probably screwing up an image or two. But it was all good since the Orion Nebula came out just fine.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Big (aka Great) Red Spot

I managed to find/process a better image of Jupiter from the other week.

And now it's time to get those red/blue 3d glasses out for 3D Jupiter!

And here is a 3d version of Jupiter and it's moons.

And finally here are all the images I took the other night processed, set to the same scale and made into a ping-ponging time lapse animation.
Add Image

Friday, October 14, 2011

I saw Uranus and the big red spot last night

Check it out, it's Uranus. I took a picture of Uranus last night!

And here is Jupiter, it's big red spot and it's 4 of it's moons. The moons are hard to see so click on the image to look at the bigger version where the moons will be easier to see.

I think these are my best images of Jupiter yet!

Here's my telescope and a couple of guys from work, David and Mark, that were hanging out looking at Uranus and the big red spot with me -:]

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Same Stars Diffrent Night

Went out the other night to catch super nova 2011fe close to it's peak intensity and to work on my imaging techniques. I got the super nova again just fine. Not sure if my images are any better though. I think maybe the are a little less noisy but I'm not really sure.

Here is M101 and Super Nova 2011fe. I think you can tell the super nova is a tad brighter than the image from a few weeks ago but again I'm not totally sure.

I think this may be my most detailed image of Jupiter yet.

Here is m8 a.k.a. the Lagoon Nebula. It was the first deep space object I tried to image about a year ago. I think this image is much better than that attempt which you can see here.

And Comet Garradd is still up. I think this image is a bit better than the one from a few weeks ago as well.

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Exploding Star, Comet, Whirlpools and Jupiter's Pimple!

Went out to look at and take pictures of the new super nova 2011fe. Had lots of fun and met a few other guys, Warren, Corey and Dave, out doing the same. My images didn't turn out as well as I hoped but I got something. Lucky for me Warren had some pointers and I if all goes well my next outing should get me some better images. And Dave gave the rest of us coordinates for Comet Garradd so I managed to get some pictures of it too. Again not so great but better than my first attempt at a comet picture!

M101 aka the Pinwheel Galaxy and Super Nova 2011fe.

In case you couldn't spot it here is where SN/2011fe is. By the end of the week it is supposed to be bright enough to see through binocular!

And here is Comet Garradd.

M51 aka the Whirlpool Galaxy. Cool even if it is a pretty bad image with butterfly stars because of tracking issues. At least you can make it out right?

Check it out, Jupiter has a pimple! Actually That's Jupiter's moon Io just starting to peak out from behind it. Dumb luck. Not sure if it's cool or not to have Io stuck on Jupiter's side like that. Mostly I think it's kind of cool. Oh, and this is probably the best image of the night even though I wasn't set up for taking images of planets. I would have taken more shots but my camera battery died right after this. Stayed for a bit longer just looking through eye pieces and chatting with the other guy. All in all a fun night!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

3D Flying Crane

Or is that crane fly in 3d?

Here a close up of the body.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Deep Space Nailbula

I got this back in December the first night with my new 8" telescope. I just got around to processing all the photos I took of it recently. It's my first nailbula. What is a nailbula you ask?

It's what happens to your nail when it gets stuck between bits of the German Equitorial telescope mount! Ouch! Astronomy is dangerous! I think I end up with a new cut or pulled muscle every time I am out with my telescopes. Who would have thought.

And in 3d because I know you all want to see nailbula in the 3rd dimension!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Beach Block Face

Just relaxing on the beach.

And in 3D!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

It's Cinco de Mayo...

...a fitting day to post a picture of the Sombrero Galaxy (aka M104). It's not a very good picture but I was talked into posting it. Now to go get a better picture of the Sombrero Galaxy! Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Riding a Robot!

Me riding an industrial robot arm powered by a friend in the streets of Baltimore. Found this looking through old photos and videos and thought it was worthy of a post. It was years ago and believe me I tried to figure out how I could get it to my place but the thing probably weighed a ton or more. It was there for a few weeks before it finally disappeared. Still sad I couldn't find a way to get it home. Still I got to ride on it -:]

Saturn at Opposition

Saturn at Opposition on April 4th which is when planets line up in this case Sun-Earth-Saturn. This Puts Saturn closest to Earth and high in the night sky and very bright because we are looking directly at Saturn's full day lit side. Though because of our orbits we are almost always looking at it's day light side. It was also the brightest it has been in 3 years because it was in opposition and it's rings are showing more and reflecting more light at us. This is by far the best picture of Saturn I have taken yet.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Nice Green Clip

I like this rusty green clip.

I also like it in 3D. To bad everyone doesn't have a nice 3D display. It looks much better in full color. The red/blue really kills the greenness of it.

Ringed Planet Reprocessed

There is a new version of Registax and it seems to work a bit better. At least it seems to pull a bit more detail out of the same images than the previous version. Here are the same two images of Saturn using the new Registax 6.

A little sharper right?

Starting t o look a bit over processed but I think it's still a bit crisper than before.