Archive for February 2011

Observing Report 7th-8th February 2011 (More Messiers)

Posted by on February 28th 2011 in Astrostuff, Observing Reports, Pics

Just this one and then I'm up to date...

It was a really cold night but at least it was clear - there haven't been many decent nights here lately so it was a case of "use it or lose it". The main purpose was to get in an intensive imaging session with the baby R-C scope, taking light, dark and flat frames for objects at various image scales.

Target-wise, I had a bash at a couple Messier Objects - M100 and M101. Neither of these filled the D50's sensor, and they're both quite dim objects, so more and longer exposures and a lot of post-processing ops were going to be needed to get decent-sized crops from the data. As ever, it didn't work out as intended - all of the flats were rubbish due to a problem with the lightbox, and a fair few lights had to be scrapped due to issues with guiding.

Anyway, after much jiggery-pokery, here are the results:

M100 (aka NGC 4321), a face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices.
NGC 4327, 4328, 4323, 4322 & IC 783 are also just about visible as faint fuzzy bits.
Subs: 10 light @ 300s, darks, ISO200.
D50 on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

 M101 (aka The Pinwheel Galaxy, NGC 5457), a face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major.
Subs: 20 light @ 300s, darks, ISO200.
D50 on the
6" R-C, guided with PHD.

Next time I'll get it right and hopefully the results will be much better.

Another bimble – Beacon Hill

Posted by on February 26th 2011 in Great Escapes

 Last week was half-term here. The kids were reluctant to go out, but we persisted in our efforts to drag them with us.

Beacon Hill Country Park was the venue for Thursday's walk. It's an interesting place - at 245m (802 feet) Beacon Hill is the second highest point in Leicestershire and the site of a Bronze Age hill fort. The walk up from the Lower Car Park is through pleasant wooded areas with good access, and there are many opportunities for geologising. Add in a few wonky trees, some interesting fungi and some weird moss, and it's a good day out.

As you will see from some of the pics, the kids didn't enjoy it at all...



Through the woods

Searching for sticks

Bracket fungi


The Den

Bracket #1

Bracket #2

The Old Man

Rocks near the summit

The Old Man again



Chris at the trig point

More layers

Chris on the rocks

Anna and the little people


Dip and strike

Panorama - full view


Panorama in a scrolly-thing

Anna #1

Anna #2


Anna #3

3 of a kind

One up, two down

Bedding planes #1

Bedding planes #2


The Great Unwashed... washed!

Stone Angels

On edge #1

On edge #2


A herd of moss

Wonky trees #1

Wonky trees #2

Wonky trees #3

Holey tree


Another bracket


Not a bad day out, I reckon we'll be going there again.

The Great Unwashed

Posted by on February 25th 2011 in Camera kit, Great Escapes, Pics

Note to self: next time you're out with the camera, remember to clean the lens before taking 150+ pics.


Expect a report on yesterday's outing sometime after I've worn out Photoshop's clone tool. Don't hold your breath - I may be some time.

Kipper tie?

Posted by on February 17th 2011 in New tricks for an old dog

You never know, this might be just the stuff to encourage me to get out more:

Now, where can I lay my hands on a sledge and some Burberry gabardine?

Common sense prevails

Posted by on February 17th 2011 in Campaigns and Petitions, In the News
Tags: ,

This is brilliant news: Victory! Government to scrap plans to sell our forests.

Thanks to all of you that supported the protests and the petitions.

Well done!

A bimble around Braddie Park

Posted by on February 15th 2011 in Celebrations, Great Escapes

Chris took yesterday off work so we went out for a Valentine's Day walk at Bradgate Park. Despite the cool breeze and the cloudy weather it was good to get a few hours out together without the kids.

Old John and the War Memorial

Old John and the War Memorial again

Holed tree



The Bennion Memorial Plaque

Chris heading back towards the car



The War Memorial

Being watched

Old John

Remember why they stand

Posted by on February 15th 2011 in Campaigns and Petitions, In the News
Tags: ,

 "Through God's good grace, through strength of English Oak
We have preserved our faith, our throne, our land.
Now with our freedom saved from tyrant's yoke
We plant these trees. Remember why they stand."

Plaque at Bradgate Park

Some of these trees have stood since 1946, accessible to the public and surviving many storms and governments.
It's just plain wrong for the current government to even consider selling off land bearing treasures like these.
The petition to stop the immoral sale needs more support - please encourage everyone you know to sign up to the cause.
Click Here.

Half A Million!

Posted by on February 11th 2011 in Campaigns and Petitions, In the News
Tags: ,

That's a fair wedge of folk that want the Government to leave our forests alone.

If you've not signed up yet, click the pic above and get on with it - it's a doddle!

Two odd snippets

Posted by on February 5th 2011 in A bit of a rant, Campaigns and Petitions, In the News, Wildcamping

Sorry, this is old news (Thursday, December 02, 2010) but I thought I'd share it anyway.

First up:

East Yorkshire MP and Procedure Committee chairman Greg Knight was keen to know what progress there was to report on the electronic petitioning of Parliament:

"Is he aware that as long ago as 2008, this House was promised a debate in Government time on the electronic petitioning of Parliament? It is now nearly 2011 and we are still waiting. When, oh when, can we debate e-petitions?"

Sir George Young indicated that the Government was keen on making this happen:

"He will know that there is a commitment in the coalition agreement to take the issue forward. I hope that my office will be in touch with his Select Committee shortly to indicate how we plan to bridge the gap between House and country by taking forward the agenda of petitions. The commitment is that when a petition reaches 100,000, it will become eligible for a debate in this House. I am anxious to make progress on that agenda."

So before too long, all you'll need is 99,999 friends to agree on an issue and you'll be able to get it debated in Parliament.


Yeah, like we really believe that it will happen. If they ever did introduce such a policy, they'd be inundated. The "Save our Forests" petition is not far off having half-a-million supporters, so it would have to be debated properly and that would be devastating for the Government's axe-wielders. Imagine for one minute that, instead of debating how they should sell off the forests, they had to backtrack to debate the fundamental issue of should they sell of the forests. Nah, it won't happen - they don't have the balls for it.



David Tredinnick (Bosworth) (Con): Further to questions about the situation in Parliament square, is my right hon. Friend aware that there are now tents on the pavement outside at least one Government Department? Does he not think that that reflects very badly on the Government, the Greater London authority and the Metropolitan police? Why is this part of Westminster the only area in the whole United Kingdom where people can pitch a tent and not be moved on by the police immediately?


I've underlined that last sentence - read it again and tell me which planet this eejut's from. Has he never heard of campsites? Or have they outlawed them now? You can bet your life he never actually read neither my letters and emails to him regarding wildcamping, nor Jonathan Shaw's response to him regarding that same matter.


Just to prove that I'm not making it up, the source is here.

Impaired egress

Here's a big sarcastic "WELL DONE" to Jackie - mobile hairdresser and inconsiderate parker of Suzuki Ignis, registration number Y847GDU.

Please note that the next time you park either partially or wholly across the entry/exit of our driveway, I'll be reporting you to the police, and I'll be telling them just how often you block us in/out. That might make you consider apologising for making my wife late for work, rather than just walking off in a care-free manner and saying nowt.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...