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Archive for the ‘Astronomy’

This evening’s Moon

June 04, 2017 @ 00:06 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

Jupiter

May 27, 2017 @ 23:44 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I shot this with my Tamron SP 500mm lens earlier this evening. With a bit of noise reduction in Lightroom, you can make out 4 of the moons.

A few photos from the WGS-9 launch this evening

March 18, 2017 @ 20:57 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I arrived in Jupiter, Florida earlier today. This evening, there was a launch of a military communications satellite, known as WGS-9, from the Kennedy Space Center. My parents and I headed out onto the balcony in front of the place they’re renting to see if we could see it.

Happily, we could…

For those wondering about the technical details of the photos: Canon 70D, Tamron SP 500mm, 1/160s, f/8, ISO 12800.

Springing forward

March 10, 2017 @ 19:00 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Current affairs, General

Early Sunday morning, at 2AM, we move our clocks forward an hour in a futile attempt to save energy. As I’ve mentioned in previous years’ versions of this post, daylight save time hasn’t been shown to actually save energy.

Instead of saving energy, there will be an increase in accidents because people are discombobulated by the change in their sleep pattern. As an added “bonus”, there’s a 10% increase the likelihood that you’ll experience a heart attack during the days immediately following the time change. Is it worth it? Not in my opinion. (more…)

Supermoon 2016

November 13, 2016 @ 23:23 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

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It’s not quite as sharp as I’d like, probably due to the fact that the Moon was quite high in the sky, it was cold, and it’s tricky focusing the Tamron SP 500 when your hands are cold

The Moon and Saturn

August 19, 2016 @ 00:05 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I’m still playing with the 500mm lens I wrote about a few days ago and took these from my balcony this evening:

The Moon

And with a bit of luck, I was able to capture Saturn, too:

Saturn

Saturn required a bit of processing to remove the sensor noise and clean things up a bit. But, I’m still very impressed that you can make out the planet and the gaps of the rings around it.

Catadioptric lenses

August 07, 2016 @ 21:01 By: gordon Category: Astronomy, Photography

I’m thinking about buying a Tamron SP 500mm lens from a friend, so he’s let me borrow it for a few days to try it out. It’s a manual focus lens and appears to be a fixed aperture (or I need to RTFM), so shutter speed and ISO speed are the things you play with to get the right exposure.
I set up my tripod on the balcony and aimed it at the moon. Other than cropping and some light processing using Lightroom Mobile on my iPhone, these are pretty impressive. 


One of the appealing things about the lens is that it’s roughly the same length as my 18-200mm at its shortest length. The lens is more like a little telescope than a traditional telephoto lens because it has a configuration of glass and mirrors that’s used in compound telescopes, aka a catadioptric lens. 

The bokeh (the blur of things outside the in-focus range) is pretty cool. Instead of the traditional “dots” you end up with “rings”.