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inksmithy

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Everything posted by inksmithy

  1. It just struck me that one of these would be just about the perfect scope transport. http://www.flickriver.com/photos/velden/4021253953/ I'm on the wrong continent now though Essentially, its a V8 Holden Panel Van, that particular model is known as a Sandman. When I was growing up, you would see these things heading beachwards with surfboards on the roof, the rear section made up as a bed/living area and two or three people squeezed into the front. While that might be unattainable (although hmm, how much would an import cost?) I seem to remember someone - I think it was swamp thing - saying they were modifying an old ambulance to be a mobile observatory, which struck me as a great idea. Personally, I've been looking at ex-army vehicles to do something similar. The price is generally pretty good and if nothing else, the vehicle has been designed to take heavy loads of bulky equipment with ease. http://army-uk.com has a load of vehicles cycling through it. Just be careful not to stray too deeply into the Armoured Vehicles section. The is an undeniable appeal to turning up to a star party in a tracked FV434 armoured repair vehicle, but the missus might feel the need to Have A Strong Word about parking it in the yard. Alan
  2. Apparantly there is a bit of an informal competition as to who can spot the newest moon - I remember seeing it mentioned somewhere, forget where now.
  3. Thanks very much people, I appreciate the input. From the look of it, it seems the general feeling is to go for a 450D or a 1000D/1100D, which backs up what the guys were saying last weekend. Right then, time to start gathering pennies and watching camera-price-buster.co.uk. I think that's the url. I saw a 1000D new with a lens kit on there for 350 quid the other day, but the funds were regrettably unavailable. Again, thank you people, I appreciate your time. Alan
  4. Hi all. Coming up to a time when I want to start thinking about getting myself a DSLR and I'm looking for opinions. I was at delilahtwinkle's Cumbria star party last weekend (cracking weekend it was too) and the general consensus there seemed to be to go for the Canon 450D, because it has a nice range of features. I should say really what I'll be doing with it. I'm feeling that any astrophotography done with it will be fairly short exposure stuff through a telescope at least - I'm fascinated by long exposure terrestrial photography. From reading steppenwolf's book, I feel astrophotography is a fairly advanced form of the photographers art, so before setting down that path, I'd like to familiarize myself with the first principles. So, that's what I'm looking for really. A beginners camera with live view - it was demonstrated to me last weekend and I instantly saw the benefit of having it for even basic astro work. At the moment, I'm keeping my budget at around four hundred pounds, but would prefer to spend less - I'm wanting a new telescope as well. At the moment, I've sort of been looking at the Canon 450D, the Canon 1000D, a NIKON and a Sony, but I'm sure there are others to think of. Any ideas? Alan
  5. Seriously though, drop the caps please. Alan
  6. Just as a point of interest guys, that solar viewing we did was awesome, but we didn't get any images of those amazing groups of sunspots we saw, except for David's afocal PST image. One of the people I follow on Twitter (he goes by the name @Astroguyz, but his earth name is David Dickinson) has made a habit of taking a daily white light image of the sun and when I asked him, he kindly posted it onto yfrog for me. http://yfrog.com/h3fp8thgj is the link to the image. His website is at www.astroguyz.com, check it out if you like. Not only is he a good amateur astronomer, but he's an absolute gentleman as well. If you follow that link, you'll see that image must have been taken around the same time we were looking at it - that group of sunspots is memorable, and I believe the remnants of it were what I was looking at this afternoon. Alan
  7. Gotta say, I was in sleeping in the same tent as Pete and David and without the least trace of ingratitude for their timesaving offer of a berth, I have to say they were about even. The inner partitions of the tent between their berth looked like the flagwaving barricade scene from Les Miserablè. Was good to see you got your mobile carport working there David, you never know when you will need it. Alan
  8. Hahaha no worries David, wish I could take credit for the idea but I will own up to helping with one of the barricades. Haven't been near my computer yet, or I would have put the pictures up - pretty sure Pete has some as well though. Alan
  9. That could be it yeah. It's all good, is rather look silly and learn than look foolish and remain ignorant. Alan
  10. What a superb night last night. Granted, astronomy was unfortunately limited, but everyone checked out each others gear, learnt a bit, laughed a LOT, talked astronomy and swapped experiences. We got a little astronomy in - Arcturus peeped through the clouds briefly along with a couple of others which remained anonymous. Also, we had two solar white light refractors out which gave stunning detail on a massive group of sunspots, as well as the Coronado PST Tom brought which revealed an incredibly busy sun which displayed prominences around almost the entire disk. I'm pretty sure everyone fell violently in lust with that PST. I know I silently vowed to get myself one and I don't think I was alone. All in all, we had a damn good crowd in attendance which made the starless star party a resounding success. I only wish I was there the previous night, apparantly there were some tattoos compared - I don't have any, but I do like a nice tattoo tastefully displayed. Looking forward to the next one! Alan
  11. 9pm, everyone is setting their telescopes up, a real air of optimism about the place. Booze has been drunk, politics has been discussed, we've solved the worlds problems and we are thinking about eating now. Woohoo! Alan
  12. I'm on the train, I bring beer, bacon and burgers. Hit Carlisle in 30 minutes. Alan
  13. The mammatus clouds? I saw that post too, very cool. Something this hobby has done for me is make me look up a lot more often, I seem to notice that sort of thing a lot more. Alan
  14. Well, I'm prepared to accept I am wrong, I always thought sound and light were on the same spectrum for some reason. Reading the posts above and thinking about it, I feel pretty silly. I love education. Alan
  15. No, essentially sound and light are exactly the same thing, but they are occurring on different wavelengths. The only real difference between them is the equipment we use to detect them. Slow the frequency of the reforms of visible light enough and you will eventually start hearing them. Alan
  16. I think we need someone to take one for the team and buy some expensive and keenly anticipated piece of equipment which can only be used for the study of clouds. Volunteers? Alan
  17. Fantastic! Is the map your work as well? It's an impressive bit of work as well. Alan
  18. I'm a complete novice to photography of any kind, let alone astrophotography, so I can't offer any constructive criticism at all. I'm not qualified. What I can do is say how much I like the images, to my eyes the difference between the two versions NR is so subtle as to be almost unnoticeable on the device I'm using to view it. Apart from that, lovely work, it looks like a fantastic subject and you have done some beautiful work on it. It's funny, its called the Elephants Trunk, but I see a hooded humanoid with glowing eyes. I'll admit that doesn't have the same ring to it though. Alan
  19. I think the smell of the LM was more down to the fact that the moon dust is still chemically active, with its constituent elements reacting to the temperature difference and increased oxygen levels by giving off that smell. I think I got that from Chaiken, "Man on the Moon", which is a seriously fantastically readable and informative book about the Apollo missions. I've often wondered what the rest of space would smell like. Alan
  20. I'm in awe, that is gorgeous. That hubble palette is so distinctive, its lovely. Alan
  21. I grew up in Canberra, Australia and only found out when I was driving taxis there that one of the main reasons I could see the stars so well in a place which had streetlights every 20 yards was because of legislation which said the skies had to be kept LP free for the various observatories in and around the Brindabella mountains. The reason for all those observatories was because Canberra and the ACT apparantly received more sunlight per square inch than any other capital city on earth. How true that is I don't know, but I do seem to recall leaving some gorgeous weather behind. Never appreciate what you have till you lose it. Alan
  22. Outstanding! I'm looking forward to joining you guys tomorrow. Alan
  23. Thats my plan, I'll bring all my gear ready for some star hunting, but if all else fails, I'll have some beer and sausages and be there for a chat and a giggle. Kinda wish I hadn't been so wishy washy now, but I'll be heading off bright and early tomorrow. Solved the problem of the steps to the train station, I'll use the ramp access to the newcastle bound side, catch the train three stations towards newcastle, get off at Prudhoe, swap sides, then get the Carlisle train from there. Sounds like a faff, having this trolley, but when you consider that I'll be taking all my gear a couple of miles on foot, it makes up for the awkwardness. I'll eventually go through the process of getting a licence and a car, but in the meantime, I'll be putting Britains public transport to the test. And to think, if I had posted my Australian drivers licence with £40 in to the DVLA within the first twelve months of my living here, they would have posted me back a full British licence. Wish I had done that, I really do. Hope you guys have a good night tonight! See you tomorrow, Alan
  24. Oh no, it isn't cross platform, but writing it is as simple as I said it was. Don't put me down as a microsoftian, I'm not one. But if you rememberthat c# was developed as a direct competitor to Java, then what I said makes sense. Alan
  25. Guys, I got things sorted after all, if everything goes as planned, I should be landing in Carlisle at some point between 2 and 3pm on Sunday. It's going to be a bit of an epic journey, the Carlisle bound side of Corbridge train station doesn't have any ramp axis and since I'll have everything packed in my trolley, I'll be handling it down those steps. Should be fun. David, I have your mobile number, but dt, I don't think I have yours, could you pm it to me please? I'm looking forward to this! Alan
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