Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Wednesday, 5 August 2009
wasn't available in the deskbar. It wasn't even available as a module
to add. Just not installed at all. Quite why, I don't know. Fixed with
"sudo aptitude install" libdeskbar-tracker, then it became available
to select in the deskbar preferences.
Thursday, 23 July 2009
The first thing I did was point towards cygnus's rear end, to drink in the multitude of stars in the milky way. Pretty awesome in the 1.8 degree field of view and a mere 40x magnifiation.
Next I thought I'd find the Andromeda Galaxy. It wasn't hard to find, once I'd worked out how huge the Andromeda constellation is. The core was nicely visible as were two companion galaxies, all in the field of view at once. Despite the light sky, it was possible to see the orientation of the disc, a hazy elongated ellipse stretching out of view either way. Nice.
Wednesday, 15 July 2009
Jupiter was looking very neatly flanked by a pair of moons either side of it. The atmosphere was quite stable, so I could use highest magnification (about 300x currently) and really get a good look at the banding.
Sunday, 5 July 2009
Jupiter is that tiny striped blob! So this is my first real attempt at using RegiStax to combine more than one frame in an image. Given the raw material, it's done a reasonable job. It was pretty hazy and the moon was almost full too. Jupiter's moons are too dim to be seen in theis shot (apparently Io was in transit during the exposure.)
Last night I reconfigured (cobbled) a webcam to hook up to the 10" dobsonian. All I had to do was remove the lens and then find some way of fixing it in place of the eyepeice. Turns out a sligtly modified 35mm film case works well. Amazingly, the focal plane lay well within the normal range of the focusser, so things were pretty straight-forward and stable. The only issue is that the CCD in the webcam is tiny, so the images are very zoomed.
Features on the surface stay in the field of view for about 45 seconds. The earth rotates at 360 degs/24 hours => 1/4 degee per minute. This makes the FOV is about 0.2 degrees, pretty narrow. With the barlow, I can only make that narrower.
Being a rubbish old webcam, literally from a skip, it is only 640 x 480. Am now playing with the awesome-looking RegiStax to see if multiple images will get better quality.