Thursday, 18 February 2016

When the North wind blows.

Gibbous moon February 18th 2016 - Jason 60mm/f15 refractor.

I think I might have the makings of a cold, so I've been keeping away from that Northerly biting cold breeze that has been hanging around our village today.

The gibbous moon looked glorious in the early evening sky..... I just had to grab a quick photo of it.

Out came the Jason refractor, the digicam at the ready....

Part of Gassendi's crater wall was brightly lit, Copernicus looked magnificent, Eratosthenes was amazing and the Moon Maiden looked beautiful... 

I didn't stay out long, the cold was eating into my bones.... must be getting soft in my old age!

Polaroid type photo of tonight's Moon

I will no doubt be out later on this evening.. but for now it's feet by the fire time and something to eat.

Clear Skies


Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Solar day - Cold Lunar night.

Jason 60mm/f15 refractor

Today the Sun came out to play....
I grabbed the Jason refractor and took a solar projection of the  Midday-ish Sol.

Solar projection

Later I cropped the above photograph and processed the image to within an inch of its life!

The active region (AR2497) at the ten o'clock position could easily be seen in the projection.

There was another active region (AR2501) at the three o'clock position, this only showed up after a bit of teasing with Photoshop.

It's time again to buy some solar film and set up my digicam.

With solar film I will be able to photograph sunspots with higher quality, as you see below:

August 2nd 2011


Later in the evening, the Moon was up high, I couldn't resist setting up both telescopes and grabbing some Lunar images.

Lunar light on a cold February evening.

Schmidt C8 40mm Kellner - Afocal

I wanted to try some Jupiter sketching , but as it was so cold last night, after half an hour of Lunar watching I packed up the telescopes.

It was time to go indoors and sit by a warming fire.

Observing and sketching Jupiter would have to wait for another night.

Clear Skies


Saturday, 13 February 2016

No Preseli Perseids in 2009 - Hello to HIYA.

Morning after the Preseli Perseids.... Blue skies and sunburn!!! 2009

It was one of the nights of the 2009 Perseids...Up on the Preseli Hills

Two camper vans, tea and cakes, plus guitars, harmonicas, and the company of several good friends, we waited for the night to unfold.

We were all hoping to see the Perseid shower at its maximum that evening, but the sky gods had different ideas, we ended up with total cloud cover for the entire evening!

No matter, we still had good company, lots of tea and cake and we spent several hours talking, laughing and playing guitars.

Everyone was fast asleep by 3.00am, I was awake peeping at Jupiter through a gap in the cloud, but no meteors. My mind then turned to the syllabic count of haiku poetry.

I couldn't get back to sleep, a haiku type seed was germinating.

Hello to HIYA.

That morning I had an idea for a form of poetry that might be of interest to poets, I called the form HIYA.

Firstly you make a chart as follows:

Then you choose any word you want to make your poem.
For example I will use the letters of my name:  MARK.

Look up each letter of your word on the above chart. My word MARK would read as follows:
M=4, A=1, R=9, K=2

Once you correspond a number to each of your letters, you then use this number as a syllable count for each line of your poem.

Poem for the Perseids
                                                            Syllable Count
Throughout the night                                  4        M
Clouds                                                      1         A
Rest upon the Preseli hill tops                     9         R
I sigh.                                                        2         K

Any word or combination of words can be used, plus the poem can be split up into any length verse you see fit. 

I find the HIYA format handy for crafting poems, plus it's a lot of fun to simply play about with the syllabic count of random words.  Have a go, see what you think.

Tea Party for the Perseids

We sit so patiently waiting
Surrounded by clouds
Time for tea
Time for cake
Time to talk with old friends.

Have a guess what my initial word was in the above poem. 

Looking towards the Preseli Mountains

Why call it HIYA?.... 
As a child there was a lady I once knew, who lived at the end of my grandmother's street.
Everytime she spotted me she would shout out "HIYA" at the top of her voice.
I would often be startled out of my daydreaming by this high pitched screech....

I think she would have smiled (probably shouted!) at my use of her phrasing - plus HIYA sounds a bit like HAIKU..!

That evening back in August of 2009 may not of revealed any meteors, but I'm glad it revealed the HIYA.

Clear Skies


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Simply the Analogue Sun.

February Sunlight

Pencil and paper
Simply the Analogue Sun
I capture the day.

Today's big idea was to take a picture of the Sun with my digicam....NO CHANCE!!! 

The digicam refused to focus, then the battery died. 
After a quick recharge I tried again..... Still no luck!.... The camera again failed to focus...

After a bit of tutting and mumbling I thought stuff it. The "digital" gremlins had won the day......

I grabbed a HB pencil.

Pencil and Conte Crayon

I simply sketched the Sun, nothing complicated, just a quick outline of the features that I could see, namely the Active Region 2489.

The sketch only took a couple of minutes, nothing went out of focus, batteries didn't run out, and there was no tutting and cursing.

It was a lovely "analogue" solar observation.

Sometimes all you need is a pencil and a piece of paper.