Roland Roberts's blog

NEAIC: Tony Hallas

Tony Hallas had the opening talk discussing deep-sky processing talk with a lot of useful information about his workflow. There were a number of useful tips on using Photoshop, and once again there was a large emphasis on signal-to-noise ratios. The fun part of the talk was the introduction which covered the history of astrophotography reaching back, amazing to me, into the late 19th century. The scope used was built by a A.A. Common in 1879(!) but named the Crossley reflector after the person he eventually sold it to.

NEIAC Pro-AM Collaboration Talk

Patterson's talk focussed on photometry and began with a survey of areas where photometry plays a major role: asteroids, supernovae, and variable stars. Up to about 1910--1920, the area was dominated by amateurs, the best of which were often hired by the universities. Post World War II, that changed, largely due to money as the US government poured money into all the physical sciences. Then in the 80s, things changed again with the advent of CCD cameras which had "astonishing" efficiencies of around 10% (compared to emulsions' 0.1%).

Still Wating on Mayor's Office

I contacted the Mayor's Office of Correspondence again today to get an ETA on the response to my letter of one month ago (happy anniversary?). While the front office person was again polite, even friendly, she couldn't give me an ETA saying that it was assigned to someone who was looking into why I hadn't received a response "along with some others." I think that was the wording, but if definitely implied I was not alone in waiting.


Don Parker gave a fascinating and humorous talk on planetary imaging which has got me ready to head back out with my ToUCam to try some more imaging. I'll have to work through some of his formulae to see how I ought to be setting up my camera and, given that I live under a flight path to LaGuardia, I might have to consider replacing the ToUCam with something that supports USB 2.0 so I can take images at a higher frame rate to try to beat both the seeing conditions and the lovely jet wash induced turbulence.

NEAIC Underway!

After an adventure getting out of NYC (got halfway through Manhattan and realized I had left my wallet at home, necesitating a return home to retrieve it), then finding that the first talk actually began at 9:00am, not 8:00 which was breakfast.

PS 102 Stargazing Tonight!

I have the parks department permit in-hand! They verbally confirmed it was approved a week ago, but the paperwork takes a while, so it was only yesterday that it was finally ready. Today I went over Prospect Park and picked it up. As I was walking out, I noticed it read "no vehicles in the park at any time." Oops!

Response Coming "Real Soon Now"

Okay, that's not the actual words used and the front office person at the Mayor's Correspondence Unit was very polite and helpful. In fact, everyone I've spoken to over there has been both courteous and professional and usually downright friendly. It's the people I haven't been able to talk to that are the problem.

The correspondence unit is going to contact the people to whom the letter was sent and ask them to give me a call on Monday afternoon. Okay.

PS102 Stargazing Postponed

The original plan was to meet in Shore Road Park near the ball fields across from the 77th Street entrance around 7:30pm. But the weather wasn't cooperative in spite of it looking wonderful nearly all day. The forecast was for it to turn cloudy and rainy around 7pm and the clouds rolled in pretty close to on-schedule. Rain date is this Saturday, same time and place.


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