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Everything posted by Ptarmigan

  1. It would have to be atleast sigma5 to warrant such publicity and a Nobel, but why were there no earlier 'indications' at sigma3 from the previous equipment,,,, maybe there was, they just didnt say to anyone,,, except to the fundraisers for the upgrade !
  2. Waves of excitement rippling through the scientific community, even APOD is speechless till the press conference ! This comes AFTER the recent LIGO upgrade, does this mean that the gravity waves are much 'weaker' than previously estimated and where will that leave Einstein's theory ?
  3. APOD getting all excited about it, just a placeholder until the LIGO press conference has begun at 11 Eastern time (what's that in real units ! ? an astro site that doesnt use UTC, shocking )
  4. Oh ! any links ? How does one keep tabs on all of this social media stuff ? ! I got the usual alerts (Aurora watch, amateur radio, WingKp etc) and went out in N.Somerset, a little south of John and saw only a thin haze of blue-white tending greenish white at times 8- 8.30 ish and again 9 - 9-40ish ) very low on the north horizon. Thought it was all a usual damp squib ( no pics here ! ) Thought it was the usual "might have been" as Kp was at 7 predicted 9 Wow Bz is still high and south but no aurora and AuroraWatch not hopeful, oh , , / crashed again ! correction : back but still only amber blocks under a (nice!)wiggly line perhaps another trip in the car is indicated >>> hope springs eternal
  5. Why ever not, think of the flavour ! Think of giving the mother-in-law a saw and ,, father-in-law could fetch it Anyhow, TonyRobinson et.al. says that's what the previous folk did with pigs from all over at near Stonehenge, dont deny your ancestry
  6. I was going on to an edit but got timed out to say Well perhaps not in exactly those forms, but exigencies of the times ( SuperMac and the bomb, and it was a learning curve) ; had we not been prevented (by you know who) from continuing an inhouse industry we would now be leaders in a much safer Uranium interim base, and more importantly leaders in the Thorium process which suffers not from the meltdownChinaChernoble3mile syndrome ! we sadly acknowleged our errors, the French, Chinese, and others did not need to do so and now look ,,,
  7. The news reports that I saw/read said " for the first time they excersized their new 'powers' to require the heavy industrial users to reduce their demand " AND paid them to do so ! Due to several techinical failures --- In a mild autumn evening ?? does not bode well if we get a hard winter day and some more 'technical' failures at the same time. They did not say what the margin of spare 'on demand' capacity and 'reduced industrials' was ?? Yep I remember the 70's, which is why I have coal, logs and gas (in extremis candles also but not lets get carried away ! ) the irony is that thatall was caused by a miner induced panic over coal supplies for the etectric/use-of errr ? did we learn nothing ? Bring back AGR and Magnox they were ours, not EDF and China.
  8. True ! and it used to be such a good alt. to the Gimp (for which we have waited so long for the 16bit version ! ) I dont know if I should suggest ImageJ, I think I am losing the will to live lol! http://imagej.nih.gov/ij/index.html It used to be a wizzard software but a dreadful user interface, dunno about recent versions,, ymmv, good luck
  9. Oh, that's a shame, I'm still on Vista as well so maybe I cant upgrade to his ver5 then ver3 is fine on Vista, wonder if 3 is still lurking on his site, else give 5 a try - it may be that he just didnt bother to include elderly OSs in the list of needs ? EDIT There is an archive for older paidfor Plus but cant see an archive of the free version to try. Yes, the way it is written he does sound +ve about win7 and win8 Ah well, so sorry, I was trying onnest Edit 2 FORGET IT !! the Free version no longer supports 16bit/ch Grrrr
  10. Try ArtweaverFree, it handles 16 bit and quite similar user interface as Gimp. http://www.artweaver.de/en Does very similar things to Gimp and can be run "portable" Does Lua scripts for fancy stuff ! Author Boris is very helpful on the forum Oh, I see it is now up to ver5, mine is ver 3 !! must update soon.
  11. That is 'just' a problem with our brains mahatmacoat.
  12. I am curious, why the Geminids ? Why not the Leonids in about 5wks, I was lucky to catch a storm of them a few years back but I dont know (not yet looked) what the omens are for this year's Leonids. Are the Geminids up for something good ?? Sorry OP for the deviation
  13. Morning all ! Kp went up to 7 later but by then there was too much cloud I had expected that the forum and interwebby would be full of glorious reports especially from Scotland and usual places, of a megga display when I got home, but seems like it was just a brief flash in the pan. Zodiacal Light due north, that would be a first ! Yes, as Peter says, seen lots of auroras (aurorae ?) over the past (well never you mind how many ! ) decades but never the ZL.
  14. Thanks John, I think I was lookin over your head on the left with Brizzle on the right ! didnt think to look in imigin ! I've since found http://stargazerslounge.com/topic/254395-keep-an-eye-to-the-north-if-youre-clear-tonight/?view=getnewpost Tyntesfield star party ?? wot ?? !
  15. Was out this(/yesterday) evening 8:30 +/- local time (EDIT sorry typo 9:30 local, ie, after the Healy memorial on Beeb2 !) N. Somerset (SW Bristol) a milky-white glow / band low on northern horizon, (not an arc as seen in previous years) was it mist illuminated by newfangled LED things ? but I could see stars through it even though there was patchy cloud above, , too late in season for NLC,,,,oh my ggg ! is it ,, Lo! a vertical shaft ! ah, called friends on mobile two more shafts then 20min later it all subsided and was gone, evidently not mist nor an hallucination, friends didnt arrive in time If I saw it down here this far south then midlands and points north shoudav been spectacular ??? no one ??? nothing on BBC either. Maybe I did hallucinate after all ? (but there has been megga reports on amateur radio of auroral reflections )
  16. Nice one ! Two more variables !! Dependent - upon a good job or good marriage Independently wealthy, me ? I retired years ago, , , , but, however, back to the Op and op and the derived propositions : One reason for 'fast' mirrors ( ie, less than f8ish or f5ish) in Newts is to get away from the need of ladders to get to the eypiece. The consequent problem is the cost of eyepieces to do justice to those f-ratios my contemplation is a (almost) Lord Ross type solution ? ie. is it practicable to adopt a cheaper f8 (say) 24" mirror and accept a limited ( almost meridian) mount where the bulk of the scope can be in a pit, OR the observer platform can be raised up a bit ? In other words wait for objects to 'come by' in the field of view say +/- 20deg eiter side of south and maybe 40deg to zenith ? (with which size of mirror there should be plenty of such objects to entertain a night ? )
  17. dunno about emotions but this has played 'hob' with the day/night medication schedule, and I've got a doc. + blood test in a few hours !! ,, hope they dont get too confused
  18. Yes ! (also NSomerset, not far from John) ,, I even managed to show swmbo M31 unaided ! Didnt think to go for M33 Perfect condx, in fact been a long time since the sky was quite so transparent, well pleased we stayed up for it she is long abed now but I have only just come back in at 5am, stayed on to enjoy the rest of the sky, we dont get many as good as this
  19. Argh ! I was just about to post a +1 for Olly's excellent analysis and add my own extra on how it was ok for landscsape and portrait photographers, Fox-Talbot, Box Brownies and all that, and that 'fast' and 'focal ratio' had no useful place in what we are doing. Then he added his PS and thus ruined the need for this post ! LOL ! Focal ratio is a 'dependent variable', maths & science experiments require as inputs 'independent variables' (aperture and focal length)
  20. As an ex- IEE CEng , qual,,, no I wont bore you with all the details, "temporarily are used in and near outbuildings" and elsewhere on your patch for lawnmowers and hedge trimmers ( oh lets not go there ! ) etc. pay attention to Paul, for he speaketh the truth ! It is known as the law of unitended consequences, extension leads are thus made legion. but yes, please dont bury it !
  21. Perhaps cos there are too many old retired fa*s withowt better to do with their time > wot me ? shirly not !
  22. So you say, some may disagree ! The only way of avoiding that perception ( amongst viewers ) is to participate in the discussion that you started, , , Else what is the point ? In ancient greece there was a law passed to prevent people standing on corners gazing into the sky, because others would pause there to look up and wonder, eventually there would be a traffic jam (well the equivalent thereoff ! ) Me ? I made my first scope in '54 and confirmed Herchel's discovery of Uranus (!) amongst other interesting things. I am still looking up.
  23. I agree, trouble is that these days we have become immune to the effects of photoshopping, so we are reserved, so we begin to wonder at the value when "the scientific community is puzzled" IF (capitals) it had been presented not as a "wow look at this" but rather a "ummm we are a bit puzzled " ??? I might have reacted differently, maybe I have too much time on my hands ? I say again, if we cant explain blue scattering on Mars wot chance with the Big Bang ? Shouldnt be rocket science ! , , Sutton Surrey, or Coldfield ? Now there's some (k)nights tales that could be told
  24. Nice one DRT ! But I did not need to google having checked ( as is my wont !) APOD upon arising this morning (several hours ago ! ) http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/image/1505/TwoWorldsOneSun_Bouic_2683.jpg I know that it was on Mars The thing that caught my attention was the commentary by, in their words "a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer." "The reason for the blue hues from Mars is not fully understood," So all this guff we have been told since childhood that the sky is blue cos of scattering and sunset is red because of scattering is on a par with how we dont know how black holes work and how the universe started Yea, I know, but it makes you one wonder (if potatoes are bad for your health), dont it ? :) :) Runs for cover >>>
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