Monday, 24 February 2020

well, I wasn't expecting that!

When I arrived in York last night at about 10:30, it was (relatively) warm, and dry.

This morning, I got a bit of a shock looking out the window:

But it had all gone by lunchtime.

Thursday, 20 February 2020


It was pouring with rain, then the sun came out.  So I rushed to a window on the other side of the house, to see:

16:33 GMT, looking east

Sunday, 16 February 2020

sequestering carbon, several books at a time CIII

The latest batch.  They didn’t all arrive at once; they’ve been slowly piling up, but I’ve only just got around to databasing them.

Saturday, 8 February 2020

bigger bird feeder

When we bought our new telescope at the weekend, we got a few peripherals, including a gadget to attach a smartphone camera to the eyepiece.  The gadget also fits binoculars, and I’ve been playing around with it today.

This is the view of our birdfeeder with the phone camera, and, from the same spot, with the camera attached to a pair of 8x42 binoculars:

small, far away
through binoculars

So, once there are actually some birds around, I should get some much better pictures.

The picture through the binoculars is cropped, because it gets a circular image.  Amusingly, from a distance, if you squint, the full picture looks a bit like Jupiter on its side:

not Jupiter!

Later in the evening, I tried the gadget on some 15x70 binoculars, looking at Venus, which is very bright in the west at the moment:

Venus, smeared; 17:33 GMT

Hmm.  Even firmly bolted to binoculars firmly bolted to a tripod, the camera wobbles when I touch the shutter button.  So I’ve now ordered a bluetooth remote shutter control…

Once the telescope is all properly aligned and calibrated, I'll try it on that, too.

Monday, 3 February 2020

view from a hotel window

I’m in Manchester for a meeting today.  So, another day, another hotel.

sunrise over Manchester: 8:15 GMT

Saturday, 1 February 2020

view from a hotel window

I travelled down to Kensington from York last night, staying at a hotel near the AstroFest event.

view from the (very grubby) hotel window
a more downward view, explaining the noise
I attended only today’s talks this year (as I had to work yesterday); they were all fascinating as usual.  This year we had people watching out for asteroids that might impact Earth, solar flares, that image of a black hole, ESA missions, Hubble and art, the history of the Royal Astronomical Society, a mission to an as yet unknown comet, and the next 200 years of astronomy. The Director General of ESA has the most wonderful sense of humour!

And, after having been talking about it for several years, we finally bought a new, bigger telescope, to be delivered next week.