Posts Tagged ‘in’

Watching Sunset on the Moon, and things that go bump in the night!

August 20, 2011

Well it’s a start.  Sunset on the Moon!

This is the time lapse of sunset on the moon, taken at prime focus with a cpc11 with a focal reducer and a canon 60D.  The conditions were less than perfect.  This was about 9 hrs all in, and really quite an infuriating 9 hrs.

Firstly, since my ‘run in’ with the mountain lion, I’ve become VERY twitchy about things that go bump in the night, and would periodically scan the torch around, looking for ‘eyes’.  There was also an amusing part when a piece of paper blew out of the car.  The ‘sudden noise’ in the dark elicited an immediate reaction from me, which to the impartial observer must have appeared quite funny and disproportionate! (twirling around ready to attack the piece of paper…… hmmmm….  time to switch to decaf!)

Not all bad though, amazing what the heightened senses can find!


For some reason the telescope is lousy at tracking the moon.  I think this is to do with the fact that the Earth axis, and the normal of the orbit of the moon are out by about 6 degrees.  Practically what this means is the moon not only moves at a different rate to the stars (that is it goes around the sky in about 25 hours, not 24 like pretty much everything else).  But even with lunar rate, the tracking is poor.  I think the moon is also moving up/ down due to the difference in the normal of the Earth rotation and the moons orbit, and the mount is not smart enough to work this out.  The practical upshot of which is the moon will drift out of the field of view over a period of about an hour, so I had to set the alarm to go off every 20 minutes throughout the night in order to recenter the moon.

Further recentering the frames, taken every 2 minutes in editing is also a pain in the ass.  Thankfully Sony Vegas now has a ‘motion stabilizer’ feature that takes a lot of the donkey work out of this.

This is the finished product!  Well actually, only part of it.  At prime focus the telescope can get the best part of the moon in the frame.  I just selected one crater, as it shows the shadows nicely.

Tracking on everything else is perfect, in that at the end of the evening I dialed up Jupiter, and it went straight to it.  Cute! Never seen Jupiter by the full light of day before!

Thursday July 14th (Well paint me red and call me tickled pink!)

July 14, 2011

For the large part when I’m on the road I like to fly ‘under the radar’, keeping myself to myself.  Where travel’s involved, that mostly involves sleeping in the car: it’s just you just spend minimum downtime between getting to places that way.  You can find somewhere quiet before it’s fully dark, and be on the road in the grey dawn, well before sunrise.  Sure it’s SMALL, cramped and uncomfortable, I mean the car is so full of stuff that there is zero chance of putting the seats back or anything. But it also comes with some wonderful gems of moments that otherwise you just wouldn’t experience.  Really wholesome, beautiful moments, like putting your feet up with a near panoramic view of dusk moodily creeping over the San Juans in the Rockies,

Or waking up to the pregnant imminence of the oncoming sunrise on the high plains.

In that sense Vegas is somewhere I would normally drive through.  No one knows I came, no one knows I left.  However I put out a tweet earlier this week saying I was hoping to make it to TAM (still going to be a hard days drive though (~11 hrs)).  Wasn’t even sure what was going to happen when I got there.  So I got in touch with Ashley the other day, just to keep he up to speed that it was now likely that I would actually make it, only to be told that I was expected to the level where accommodation had been arranged!

That blew my little cotton socks off!  My plans had merely gotten as far as ‘get to Vegas!’, with everything after that falling into the ‘improvise and adapt’ category and it was just really nice to find out that someone had heard that I was incoming and was looking out for me.

HAPPY BUNNY!!!!

(\__/)
(=’.’=)
(“)_(“)

 

July 8th (Westboro Baptist Church)

July 9, 2011

Friday 8th July, the Phelp interview.  The main reason I thought the Phelps would be fun would be a passage in Luke (also in another gospel I think), where Jesus is describing the end times.  Two men in a bed!  Jesus says you can get raptured if you are two men in one bed!  I also listen to a load of xian radio going across country, and I could make such a great gay sermon from this.

‘Remember Lotts Wife!  This is clearly a reference to not looking back, and the very next line is about two men in a bed.  Jesus is quite clear about his choice of sexes here, he could have said a man and his wife, he could have said a mother and her child, but no, its two men in ONE bed, ONE bed, signifying the one-ness of the two men… etc etc’.  This is always what bugs me when people start blathering about being ‘scholarly’ in Christianity.  I’ve listened to the scholars, and yes of the stupidity they issue forth, this (two men in ONE bed) comment wouldn’t even register above the noise!

Anyway bear in mind it was just an idea, and that I had driven from Columbus to Kansas city the previous day, and had no time to prepare at all.

They were very courteous when they greeted me, Megan and Megan, one young and pretty, the other as ugly as her opinions.

I had hoped to try and keep it all on a civilized, clear and logical level, but it became almost instantly obvious that this was a lost cause.  The hostility of ‘Meg the Eldar’ was really something I was unprepared for.  The volume, the amount, and the hostility in the pitch of her voice was that of a bitter, bitter woman.  Like a dog that’s been tormented daily till all it knows how to do is attack anything that comes within biting distance.  The daughter, I had the feeling was only there for eye-candy, or was just there as a spectator so Meg the Eldar could show her how to properly hate something not of the cult.  The daughter spoke softly and had it just been me and her we might have made some progress.  She had a venomfangx look to her.  Every argument had a ‘memorized by rote’ unthought through answer, but given time it might have been possible to untangle some of the mess.  But alas, Meg the Eldar, from the very start was throwing in pointless insults at every opportunity, ‘your nothing special’ ‘your country is worthless’ ‘your mother…’ etc etc.  Water off a ducks back for me of course, I’ve had more shit thrown at me than that before. Battle-hardened to the childish feces flinging 🙂 .  Eventually, I decided that Meg the Eldar could not be allowed to streamroller the events by doing 90 % of the talking, only 5% of which was relevant, but when I accosted her about it she threatened repeatedly to leave.

Realizing that she essentially had the trump card of just walking out, I  went for the ‘Jesus endorses homosexuality’ gambit.

It hit the spot, and they ‘RAGE-QUIT’.  The great thing was though that Meg the Eldar acknowledged that women should be grinding mill with rocks when the rapture happens.

PWNED BITCH.

After that back on the road, and drove for a LONG time.  Made it to Colorado Springs by dusk, and stopped off at a coffee shop to upload some stuff, catch up with email etc.  But by this time I was a spent wraith.  My plan had been to head up to the mountains and find some quiet forest road to park on.  Eyeballing the map ‘Cripples Creek’ looked fun.  Boy did I get it wrong.  I was expecting things to get quiet and empty very quickly.  Not a bit of it, turns out its all ski resorts etc up there.  Nothing worse that having to drive on and on and on in the dark when you are exhausted.  But alas no alternatives.  Eventually gave up and found a larger siding and just crashed out.  I had figured the traffic would die off quickly after midnight, but not a bit of it.  There was a steady stream of cars, every minute or so throughout the night.  I just couldn’t figure it out.  Where were they coming from and going too? To me this looked like a road to nowhere.  At any rate I woke up in the night to see Jupiter rising over the mountains.  First time I’ve seen him this year!  Hopefully nearer opposition I will get a team together to do a global planetary timelapse!