Roland Roberts's blog

M31 in Andromeda

This is not a particularly pretty picture, especially compared to some, but like the others, its starting to show promise.  This was taken from a dark location north of Cape Girardeau, MO on a very warm and muggy early summer night.

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AstroTrac Performance

Well, the recent burst of image processing from my June images has revealed a few issues with my AstroTrac's performance.  Up until now, I've attributed the errors I've had to the tripod and head on which I mount the AstroTrac.  However, at this point, I'm not sure that's the whole story.

Antares - Rho Ophiuchi Complex

This is one of my favorite areas of the sky and I first fell in love with the rich variation of color and texture after seeing an image taken by Akira Fuji.  Ever since then, It's been high on my list of areas I'd like to image.  Unfortunately, it's also rather difficult to do that from the northeast US and here in Brooklyn, well you can  "fuggedaboutit."[1]

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Ten Mile River

St. Anselm's Troop 13 took its annual trip to Boy Scout camp Ten Mile River during week 2 of the summer camp season.  I was signed up to be an astronomy counselor and loaded the car with numerous props to use as enrichment items with whomever was doing the normal classes.  What I didn't quite realize was that I was going to end up teaching the class. 

Traveling Time

The summer is always busy for us as traveling has to be done when the boys are out of school.  I'm going to backfill a little of what we have done this summer as life hasn't always slowed down enough to let me write!

In late June, we left NYC a week before school finished in order to squeeze a trip to Missouri into the plans.  This year we drove.  We spent four days going there, nice and casual, but drove back in a hurry taking only two days (very long days for driving).

Rain, Rain, Go Away

This has been the rainiest June I can remember.  While I've really been too busy to have much time to get out under the stars (such as they are here in Brooklyn), even when I did have time it has rarely been possible.

NEAF and NEAIC: Until Next Year

We returned last night, tired but happy from this year's NEAF conference.  The vendor turn out was good and overall attendance appeared good, too, although it was  little hard to tell from our perspective.  We spent most of the two days in the children's area helping with the various activities including a comet demonstration (followed by a craft activity), making 3D constellation models (Orion and the Big Dipper), some informal demonstrations to understand the moon's phases, constructing spacecraft models, and more.

Alas, I did not get to attend the showing of Mars 3D, a new movie which made its debut at the show, so I guess I will have to wait for it to be officially released.

NEAIC: Tonal Mapping

J-P Metsainio is giving a talk on his techniques for using narrow-band imaging to produce very sharp high contrast color images.  The technique appears to be a very clever application of the idea of using lower resolution in the color channels and blurring the noise (to reduce grain).

NEAIC In Progress!

Well, I've made it to NEAIC (again).  This year promises to be better than ever with an opening talk by Tony Hallas discussing CCD Noise (I'm sitting here listening to him now).  Vendors have contributed some very nice goodies for Friday's raffle (and some of the vendors aren't even here).

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