Thursday, February 28, 2008

Moonpie - Success!

I have been sick; I just recovered (yeah, right...) from the flu, but today was still the day; the Moon was at apogee, and I had to image it.
So, a little after 6:00am this morning, I did.
Mission accomplished. More later.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Lunar Eclipse, 20th February 2008

I have a number of devices at my disposal for imaging in astronomy but none of them really dedicated, per se; they are mostly repurposed CCTV cameras (I've mentioned this in previous posts). However, this isn't an impediment; I managed to collect a few, mainly using the Samsung and, oddly, my old Sensortech monochrome, which suddenly decided to behave beautifully (turns out the iris was stuck; it suddenly freed itself. Imagine that).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Of Lunar Eclipses & Critters

Last night I was outside getting images of the only total lunar eclipse of 2008 (I'll be writing more on that later, including pics). Not long after totality began, I felt a presence next to my left leg.
I live in a neighborhood with plenty of cats, and for the most part they are all friendly. For a moment, I thought that one of them, a little gray tabby from a few houses down, had come and decided to keep me company.
As I was prepared to say "hey there, little guy" and lean over to pet it, I discovered that it was not a felis silvestris catus but procyon iotor... a raccoon.
This raccoon we've named "RJ" (named for the one in "Over the Hedge") and he thinks he's a cat. He's not that old, probably a year and a half, and very tame. But he is still a raccoon, a wild animal.
Wild he may be, but he was just sitting there, little forearms hanging in front of him, looking up at me with a gaze that said "hey, dude! What's up? Got grub?"
I flinched. He ran, chattering. Halfway across the lawn, he stopped, turned and looked at me, and then sauntered off.
I could have shared my beer, but it was an Amber Bock. And I don't share that.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Moonpie Begins - 14th February 2008

So, tonight, I setup two telescopes and a total of three cameras to collect the first set of images for Operation Moonpie. The weather could not have been better; cool and clear. My old Macintosh 5260 "Sofia" was running beautifully.

The two scopes used were "Bruno" (my new, modified Burgess Back Packer ED65) and "Spindrift" (a classic 60mm design from Meade). Both the color and monochrome CMOS cameras and my old Sensortech CCTV with zoom lens were used; this exact same setup will be used in two weeks.

The images collected tonight will be processed tomorrow. The rest of the images will be captured on the 28th.
Here's to clear skies two weeks from hence.