Saturn attempt 2

Saturn

Made some further progress. Then the cloud rolled in again.

The Lord of the Rings

Saturn

This was taken through my TAL 2M 150mm reflector with a Toucam Pro II webcam at prime focus, the resulting image was stacked and processed from 5 frames.

It's just a shame the barlow lens I've got is too long for the webcam to be in focus, so I'll have to consider my options on that. As I'll need a longer focal length to get more resolution on Saturn.

Seeing tonight was terrible constant clouds rolling in, the telescope also needs some work done on the alignment of it's optics, as I believe they're slightly out, the primary mirror appears to be the biggest problem. Although I'll need to wait for some crystal clear skies so I can perform a proper star-test.

Overall relatively pleased, although I'll still need an infra-red filter to get some perfect focus, and a barlow lens that actually works, and I need a way to holding the camera's adapter onto the scope better - because the focal point is about 2cm beyond the reach of the focus mount - paper isn't a long term solution.

Update: This is the video that was captured.

http://files.dasmirnov.net/20060126saturn.wmv (10MB).

Saturn fading in and out is due to cloud. The reason Saturn is drifting to the bottom right is because of the Earth's rotation. Other vibrations are probably a combination of me moving, a car going down the road or the wind.

Darth.. WTF?

Adam's scary thing, thought this was cool.


New extra-solar planet

The European Space Agency is making a very big announcement tomorrow at 16:00 UTC. Nobody knows quite exactly what, other than it's at least related to an extra-solar planet. But the rumour mill is in over drive - an Earth-like planet?

Who knows for sure, but it seems pretty special, a lot of hype is building - a lot more than when they announced the planet with half the mass of Uranus orbiting Gliese 876 - until that point all the planets had been huge, tens and even hundreds times more massive.

I'm thinking this has got to be a terrestrial planet for sure.

Update on the day: Full story here, terrestrial planet with 5 times the mass of the Earth - and get this - it was detected 25 000 light years away.

Kameo - soundtrack of the year

Well since Wester seems to be in a bit of a Lord of the Ring soundtrack mood at the moment, I thought I'd talk a bit about one of my now all-time favourite soundtracks - Kameo Elements of Power, yes it's an Xbox 360 game and it probably has one of the best game soundtracks ever created.

It's composed by Steve Burke and performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and Kings Choir.

Kameo Soundtrack

The soundtrack itself covers a wide range of styles, from the usual cartoony melodies to huge epic pieces that easily compare to the Lord of the Rings. Check out the Amazon.com page, where you can preview the tracks - some of my favourites being Shadow Realm, Hero's Theme, Forest Glade, The Badlands and Thorn's Pass.

New Horizons 3rd time lucky

New Horizons finally got the all clear to launch at 18:52, resumed the countdown at 18:56 and launched at 19:00 on an Atlas V rocket. It's on it's way to Jupiter and then on to Pluto where it should arrive on the 14th of July, 2015.

New Horizons launches
New Horizons launches
New Horizons launches
New Horizons launches

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