Author Archive.

Observing Report 17th-18th November 2017 (Leonid meteors session 2)

Posted by on November 20th 2017 in My vids, Observing Reports, Video (YouTube, Vimeo etc.)
Tags: ,

Over 650 pics... plenty of clouds and more than a few planes, but only two Leonid meteors.
I'll post separate pics of them later, but for now here's a time-lapse of 45-second frames compiled to play at 2fps.
Leonid meteors at UTC 03:05:12 and at UTC 05:00:15
It's best viewed in full-screen after it has finished buffering.

Canon 1000D, 10-18mm zoom @ 10mm, F5.6, ISO 800, captured with APT v 3.33 (
Post-processing with PS CS3, Irfanview, K3CCDTools3 and VDub.


Where once there was a big tree…

Posted by on November 6th 2017 in In the garden
Tags: , ,

... there are now small forests:

Posted by on November 4th 2017 in In the garden

Some of this autumn's new strawberry plants, grown from this summer's runners, have decided that it's already springtime:



Astro Imaging – Works in Progress from October 2017 Observing Sessions

Posted by on November 2nd 2017 in Astrostuff, Pics

I've managed to get out for a few observing/imaging sessions recently. So far I've only stacked four sets of sub-frames in DeepSkyStacker, I've yet to throw any Photoshop Actions at them.

Here's what I'll be fiddling with when there's nobody looking:


The Horsehead and Flame Nebulae in Orion.


The Double Cluster in Perseus.


IC1848 Soul Nebula in Cassiopeia.


M45 Pleiades in Taurus.


I'll post the finished articles as and when.


A sign of the times

Posted by on October 30th 2017 in LMAO!, Lost in translation

Looks like I've fallen behind again. There's plenty to post about, but not always plenty of time to post.

I'll start at the stagnant end of the gene-pool and work my way across to cleaner waters.

Here's your starter for ten:




It's heartening to see that someone else tried to apply a suitable spelling correction.

A fine pair

Posted by on August 24th 2017 in LMAO!

As brand names go, this one's fairly apt:


I wonder if her name's Melanie?

Observing Report 5th-13th August 2017 (Perseid meteors)

Posted by on August 22nd 2017 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

From the 5th to the 13th of August I managed four nights watching and photographing the Perseids. 1799 pics later and I'd caught nine good meteors on camera, and I'd seen about 75 while lazing on the garden bench. Bearing in mind the low hourly rates, several bouts of cloudiness and the rising Moon, nine on camera is about as many as I would have expected.

Here's the best pic of the bunch, captured on the 12th - looking towards the zenith, West is more-or-less downwards. Click it to see a bigger version:

A pair of Perseid meteors heading west-southwest.

Behind the times

Posted by on August 18th 2017 in Rambling on...

Still trying to catch up here, by now I should have posted the holiday pics, some Perseid meteor pics and some more examples of piss-poor parking. Life keeps getting in the way!

Normal service should be resumed after I've finished a few more off-line tasks.

Roll me over, lay me down and do it again.

Posted by on August 5th 2017 in Dehydrating

So, after 12 hours, they should look like this:



Now it's time to peel them off and flip them over, a process helped by having those overhanging lips. They'll still be quite squidgy but with care they should peel off cleanly with flat shiny bottoms, if they don't then they need a bit longer.

After the flip you have to ask yourself which you prefer - bendy or stiff. Either way, don't bother with the drying sheet, it's not necessary. Another 8 hours should produce wedges which, when cooled, are bendy and chewy, if you like a bit of a crunch go for 12 hours instead. Bear in mind that they'll still be bendy until they are cool, so don't be tempted to go beyond dehydration and end up with incineration.

They should end up something like this:


Bendy on the left, stiff on the right


Now, if you can resist scoffing them, you can bag them up and store them.

Or you can experiment with them - I've been quartering them and adding them to pots of Oats2Go porage, they rehydrate well when the hot water is added.


At this rate I’ll have none left

Posted by on August 4th 2017 in Illness and injury

I hate carpet-grippers!

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