Astrophotography – Landscape

Using an astromodded compact camera

 

All photos taken using using a Canon compact Powershot A450 astromodded by Ewan Vellacott. All photos were taken with the camera on a photo tripod, exposure around 15 seconds (max shutter speed) at ISO 3200. All but one were taken on top of the Long Mynd, with a nearly full Moon off to left of picture, but washing out the detail in the Milky Way. The purple tint is as taken. Simple processing on IPad using Photo Express PS app shows the difference. Taken August 2017.

Tenuous Astronomy Links From Bordeaux!

J and I are enjoying our cruise around Bordeaux after winning it in a photography competition last year!

Second place photo  – featuring the sun and the ‘Cocktail of the Day’.

We arrived on Sunday and with an hour or so spare before getting together for the ‘meet and greet’, I ‘marched’ Julie off to see the German 12th Flotilla submarine pens!

We come back to Bordeaux to visit the old town and historic sites, so thought she wouldn’t mind a walk down the promenade….!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/12th_U-boat_Flotilla

An imposing site…. Although not a Nazi ‘Superweapon’, there were plans for advanced submarines that the Germans never got the chance to build, including ones with revolutionary air-independent propulsion and fully electric boats designed to operate completely submerged, unlike their diesel counterparts that mostly saw action from the surface – where they were more vulnerable to Allied counter-attack. Of course the most infamous ‘Wunderwaffe’ (Miracle Weapons) were the V2 rockets that eventually lead to man stepping foot on the moon with the Saturn V…. can you see the link below…?

We have been following one of those ‘Super Yachts’, never quite able to get close enough to see its name or registration marks…. until we moored up at Pauillac (at one of the street junctions we came across this earthenware sundial dating back to 1815).

Back to the ship…

Although ‘military’ looking, some of the people on our boat had spotted folks waving back at us, plus she flies the civilian ‘defaced Red Ensign’, registered in the Cayman Islands.

Turns out after some web searching, she’s the 75 million US$ – Skat:

Owned by Charles Simonyi, a former Software Engineer from Microsoft (responsible for the Office Suite) and the fifth…….. space tourist!

Sunset from Monday evening…

In yesterday’s (25th July) ship’s newspaper, I found this news snippet:

And whilst walking around Bourg on the River Dordogne, Julie came across this flyer in the Tourist Information Centre:

‘A Night With the Stars’ – a local town’s own Science Night, with planetarium, exhibitions and the like (plus the graphic fits in quite nicely with Rhys’ weather balloon experiments that Andy has been posting…

We had a cruise further down the river during the day before returning to moor overnight at Bourg. Julie and I went for a walk after dinner and came across a local chap feeding a…. ‘Castor’ (link Castor and Pollux being the stars in Gemini)….. so, what is a ‘castor’ in French….?

….

…..

….

Yep, I’m that close to a wild beaver – spent a good half hour with him and his two relatives, plus the ducks and enjoyed a lovely sunset before heading back to the vessel…

On our return we found another boat moored alongside us – Americans doing the came cruise, but in reverse! We had a fun chat with them and enjoyed a New Moon…

All taken with with the iPhone!

Damian and Julie

Solargraph – ready!

Yes, a day or so early… but I’m off straight after work tomorrow night to see my mum at her caravan in South Wales – so it was today or never!

This is second time lucky for this location (between Leominster and my run to my B&B). Two years ago (after waiting for the full six months) I returned to collect to find the hole had been, I think, pecked through!

The best way to get a fine pin hole you see is to drill a bigger hole first into the tin. Then cover with strong (turkey) foil and then pierce that with a needle to get a nice fine hole. Only for the birds to be attracted by the shiny foil and peck it out!!!

Well not this time birds! Used a No1 drill to go straight through the can – see how you get on with that…

I suppose we’ll find out in six months then!

It’ll be interesting to see if the wire fence (which the camera is behind so the sheep don’t rub against it), will come out in focus or be a surreal blur with the Church as the main focus…

Julie has instructions to start the one at home, my sister has hers, J’s dad has his and Andy has two as well…

And you can have one as well come the meeting at the end of the month. Yes, we’ll be a few days past the longest day, but still loads of time to get a great image – I’ve used up the paper and got six new ones ready to go. £5 a pop – first come first served, monies going towards the observatory fund.

Damian

All Sky Camera Workshop 11/6/2017

What an exiting morning! Hats off to Ed Mann for organising such a fantastic session. Thanks Ed!

This is the second if two workshops – for those who could not make the first and for those from first needing extra help.

A great idea – an All Sky Camera is one which takes picture of the whole sky – brilliant for meteor observing during showers or for cloud monitiring.

The camera is protected by a dome against the weather and needs an inbuilt dew heater. The camera boards Ed chose use Ethernet so can be accessed on a network.

Andy