Tuesday, July 24, 2012

What's in that Astrophoto

There is a Web site called Astrometry dot net that automatically identifies objects in one's astro photos.  Here is what the site found in my recent shot of Scorpius.  There is so much stuff in this part of the sky, that the labels overlap.  I'll try it again soon with a more zoomed in shot.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Church Group Visits

Last week we were visited by a great ministry team from the Midway Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. 

Besides enjoying the beauty and diversity of Bonaire, they helped with some construction projects and held a very successful a ladies night at the International Bible Church.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Another view of Scorpius

Just for fun, here is another shot from last night.
Besides the four minute long Scorpius astro photo that you can see in my previous post, I did get one full five minute long exposure.  The clouds obscured the bottom part, but I'm encouraged by the additional information in this longer exposure.  If I can ever get a whole bunch of five minute exposures, I think I'll be able to tease out more of the red around Antares.  There is also a huge area of faint red nebula in the upper left corner of the frame.  I can just barely detect it in this image, but not at all in the 4 minute image.

Semi Starry Night

The sky was a nice deep blue color yesterday afternoon, and there wasn't thaaat much haze on the horizon.  So, after getting home from work and feeding the dogs, I packed up my gear and headed out to a new spot out in the back boondocks of Bonaire, to try to get a good image of the Scorpius part of the summer Milky Way.

Well, the skies were indeed dark and transparent, but there were also tons of clouds floating by.  I stayed out 'till around 11pm and managed to get one good four minute long exposure.  My goal had been 20+ five minute exposures so I could combine them and get a nice clean picture.  But this one shot will have to do, for now.

In the image to the left, I've drawn in some lines showing the main stars in Scorpius and Sagittarius. This area is chock full of interesting things to look at with binoculars or a telescope.  A number of them are visible in this picture, if you view the larger size version.  I didn't label them so you'll have to get out your handy dandy star atlas if you want to identify them.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Planets on Parade part 2

Well, Jupiter, Venus and the Moon wrapped up their three day show this morning.  It was cloudy at 4:30, so I went back to sleep.  But at 5:30, I could see moon and planets.  They looked mighty fine up there.
Tried to go back to sleep, but gave up and got ready for my before-work bike ride.  I usually get up at 6 for that anyway.  The sky clouded up and I got rained on a little bit in Rincon, but I didn't care, 'cause I had already seen the moon and planets.
I shot the picture yesterday with an 85mm lens.  The wider shot today was with a 24mm lens, and gives a good feel for the scale and separation of the planets and moon.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Early Bird catches the Planets

If you happened to look to the East at 4:30 this morning, you would have seen Venus, Jupiter and the Moon forming a compact triangle in the sky.  If you missed it, try looking Monday morning when they will make sort of a straight-ish line in the sky.

Oh, I just checked and these picture look much better if you click on one of them to see the full size versions.
This picture, above shows what I saw with my naked eye this morning from about 4:30 'till 5, when I went back to sleep.  That is Jupiter at the top, the Moon in the middle and Venus to the lower right.  You might also be able to spot Aldebaran slightly below half way up on the right side of the frame.  This was a quarter second exposure.

When I shot a half second exposure, I also caught the rest of the stars that make up the V shape of the horns of the bull, Taurus.
The point of the V shape is near the upper right corner of the frame, Aldebaran is at the end of one of the horns, and the other horn points right at the moon. Aldebaran is known as a "red giant" star and you can see it has a different coloration than the planets and other stars.

There was a slight amount of haze in the sky this morning.  If it is clear tomorrow am, and if I get to bed early enough tonight, I'll take another picture so you can see where the moon moves to.  Speaking of moving, I do a picture in my files from a week ago, which shows Venus much closer to Aldebaran.  It is fun to watch the planets wander among the fixed stars.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sorobon Reef

I did a snorkel at Sorobon yesterday with Sandra's cousin, Bud Gillan.  Some sections of the barrier reef out there are really nice.  Probably my favorite snorkel these days.

We saw a couple Scorpion fish.  Can you see the fish in this photo?

There are lots of interesting channels to swim in and out of. 

We saw some sea urchins making a comeback, which is great.  They all but disappeared a number of years ago.

Saw some nice trunk fish, and loads of other fish, in a whole range of ages and sizes.  Bud saw a big tarpon, but I missed it.