Andrew Thornett

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!


RAG Mid-month Meeting 16/11/18

With some new members present, Ed gave the group a fun and exciting update on the observatory build which is now actually happening and I led a group on a microscopy session where those taking part had to make their own slides of pond weed.

(The picture of the slide below is taken with hand held phone through Leitz Laborlux microscope – it is the end of a flat worm.)