Author Archives: Andrew Thornett

Microscopy of fungus from plant pot in kitchen 9/12/2018 – Leitz Laborlux 11, Bresser Mikrocam SP5.1 camera, oil immersion objective

This fungus was growing on the earth around the base of the plant in a plant pot in our kitchen in Lichfield. Interconnecting hypae can be seen but the stand-out difference between these photos and those of fungus on bread and cheese I have posted in past is the lack of spores.

  • Leitz Laborlux 11 microscope.
  • Magnification 10-100x objectives. The 100x objective was oil immersion and I could not find the proper oil so used extra virgin olive oil as my immersion oil!


x10 objective:

SIngle hyphus:

Branching hyphae matrix:

x40 objective:

x100 oil immersion objective, using virgin olive oil as immersion oil (as I could not find the proper immersion oil bottle!):

Sructures at edge of algae from pot pond

The following two photos show structures on edge of an algal strand from my pot pond – not sure if these are part of algae or other organisms which are using it as a platform to base themselves….

  • Leitz Laborlux 11 Microsocope
  • x40 objective
  • Bright field
  • DCM-310 Camera for Microscope.
  • ScopePhoto 64 bit software
  • GIMP2 post-processing.


Present from Heather and Dave to Andrew for his 50th birthday – the inky ever produced RAG Martian Regolith Simulant Material

I turned 50 this week and Heather and Dave presented me with a present when I arrived at the RAG meeting on Friday night. Having watched the movie, “The Martian”, I expresses the desire to grow my potatoes in my own Martian soil, similar to the main character in the film. He is stranded on Mars and needs to grow his own food there.

Heather and Dave’s present consisted of a tray of sandy Martian-like soil from ca. 1m down under the Peter Bolas Observatory now bring built at Rosliston Forestry Centre for RAG.

Pictures below!

Watch this blog for what will happen next to the simulant….



Algae growing on Pot Plant Slide 1/12/2018 – Zeiss IM microscope; QHY6 mono camera vs. Bresser Mikrocam SP5.1 colour camera

About a month ago, I placed a slide in my pot pond outside and the algae on the photos below are those that have grown in situ. The slide was in the top ten centimetres of the pot pond – where sunlight would hit the slide every day.

This has also been an opportunity to try out my QHY6 mono astronomical camera on my Zeiss IM microscope & compare photos taken with that camera with those taken with my trusty Bresser Mikrocam SP 5.1 camera – the main issue is the small sensor on the QHY6 gives highly magnified image & loss of detail as in monochrome.


x4 objective, QHY6 mono camera:

x4 objective, Bresser Mikrocam SP5.1 colour camera:

x32 objective, QHY6 mono camera:

x32 objective, Bresser Mikrocam SP5.1 colour camera:

RAG Monthly Meeting 30/11/2018

Thirty folks attended our November meeting of Rosliston Astronomy Group.

Ed gave us an update on the Peter Bokas Observatory build – the wall of the done is about 2/3 if it’s final height and the building is starting to appear!  In another few weeks we will have a completed shell which we will then need to outfit ourselves.

Ed also gave our main talk of the evening on Fractal Cosmology. We have never had a talk on this subject before and he linked the astronomical aspects of fractals to where they are seen elsewhere in nature.

After coffee, Alan and Angela Rodgers talked about weather predictions and equipment – useful for predicting clouds and rain in your garden/observatory location!


Adding categories to posts on the RAG Blog (

Please could I remind all members that, when adding new posts to the Rosliston Astronomy Group blog, please ensure that you choose at least two categories for the post before you save it.

You should add the following two categories:

The first is your name – choose this from the contributor list – if your name is not there you can add it in the box below the category list.

The second category should be the nature of the content of the blog itself (eg. “Astrophotography – deep sky”) from the choice available in categories. If this is not covered in the categories available please contact me using the RAG contact page on to say what category you need creating.

It is acceptable to add more than one category for the nature of the content of the blog if appropriate to the post.

Please ensure that the category “Uncategorized” is NOT ticked/selected – this will default to being selected if you save a draft of the blog post without choosing categories for it!