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About AstroTasmania

  • Rank
    Termination Shock
  • Birthday 01/01/1938


  • Biography
    Med.lab.Scientist. Histologist, Research, Forensic, Imaging Specialist, plus other stuff.
  • Location
    Cambridge, Tasmania, Australia
  • Interests
    Playing flute, clarinet, landscape painting, Ultralights, 4WD, Engineering, Building scopes & Obs.
  • Occupation
    Retired-too busy to work!

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.taao.has.it Also: http://picasaweb.google.com/AstroTasmania
  • Skype
  1. Major discovery announcement to be made overnight tonight Hi, Is this the event: NASA'S SWIFT SATELLITE CATCHES FIRST SUPERNOVA IN THE ACT OF EXPLODING, or is it something more recent?? maybe an asteroid streaking in our direction?? I heard it on radio Monday night Clear skies...
  2. Top 50 Astronomy Sites

    Top 50 Astro Sites Hello Pat, Actually working on them today, a lot of work on each one, when I have done a task on one I think, just 7 more to go!! Been crook since Easter with some sort of flu-like thing, so not firing at my best. Trust things are well with you, and thanks for the kind comments. Clear skies... AstroTasmania
  3. Hi All, Check this one out: http://amateurastronomy.toplisted.net/ Clear skies... AstroTasmania
  4. New Website

    New Website Hi Ray, Looked doing that but they are all various sizes to start with and in the new site I want to resize to suit the space/importance etc. I have a pretty good handle on it - just a heck of a lot to do! Regards Shevill
  5. New Website

    Hi All, Not been here for a while, reason? at last had a go at my own website!! Using Google apps, it cost me $10 for my domain name www.astrotasmania.com and I have used their easy to use program, which gives me 100MB free space. Really easy to use and without all the bells & whistles. Some limitations which will improve over time as this is a new Google product. So, what I am doing is downloading my Picasaweb albums of pics I want to use and working through them, resizing etc. as time permits. It will take time to get them all done but I will do one or two a week. http://www.astrotasmania.com-a.googlepages.com/home Happy Easter All, Clear skies Shevill
  6. Disappointment Easily Overcome

    Auroral Displays Hi, Saj, What got me thinking about aurora and a modified DSLR was that, for many years I have been able to observe aurora with a filterless sensitive B&W video camera, when these events have been invisible to the naked eye. I routinely do a quick scan to the south on any clear dark night. From Hobart we have a clear over the sea uninterrupted view to Antarctica. They get fantastic displays down there, as you can imagine. Some years back, I wrote an article for a glossy magazine called "40 Degrees South", on the 'Aurora Australis" which proved immensely popular, and some of my aurora images now appear on various tourist websites from Tasmania to Japan. I am always asked to give illustrated talks to various groups on the topic. http://outreach.atnf.csiro.au/education/senior/cosmicengine/sun_earth.html http://www.leatherwoodonline.com/index.php/weblog/comments/a-special-night/ I have even taken digital camera images when I thought I could just perceive some activity and the camera has recorded an auroral glow. So now I am just waiting to see what I can do with my variously modified cameras. I check every night before I turn in, but being little solar activity, I am not surprised. A very interesting topic though and well worth pursuing. Digital cameras are very sensitive compared to the naked eye - especially at the red end. Clear skies...
  7. Disappointment Easily Overcome

    Auroral Displays Hi Saj, Yes, a lot depends on the camera, whether film or digital and the make of digital SLR. Now that I have a Canon 350D modified for H-alpha and cooled, plus a Nikon D50 modified with no filter for Infra-Red etc, plus my Nikon D200 & D300 DSLR's, I am well set up to do a wide range of auroral activity shots, when we have a, clear skies, b, auroral activity down here. Most of my shots were to record the type of auroral display for the university climatology experts and capture the very rapid pulses etc, rather than make a more longer exposure picturesque type of image. I agree, with my very short exposures, the images are more 'grainy' but it is accuracy I am after. However, with the various cameras I have since 2006 accumulated, will be able to do a much wider ranger, including longer exposure shots. I am always checking solar activity on SpaceWeather, plus I regularly observe the sun on a daily basis when possible, which lets me know what is likely. What I have noticed is that you seem to get more auroral activity up around your polar regions. It is good to exchange ideas and experiences. Clear skies...
  8. Barlow vs Power Mate

    Barlow Lenses Hi Matt, Here is a thumbnail sketch. 'Google' search and/or books on optics will provide a wealth of information. Barlow or negative lenses basically come in three variations. The original low cost two-lens achromat was invented by English engineer, mathematician, Peters Barlow- (October 15, 1776—March 1, 1862), so capital B in Barlow. It produces an enlarged diverging virtual image which can be focused on a screen, film and so on but not 'seen' with the eye. Used with a primary lens it produces a low magnification -2x to 5x approx. When used in conjunction with an eyepiece, it increases the original magnification by a factor, 2x to 5x approx. The basic Barlow lens is achromatic two lens design. Its apochromat design uses three elements to correct for chromatic aberration. The modern flat field combination telenegative designs contain more elements to correct for spherical and other aberrations, the TeleVue Powermate is a fine example and worth the extra cost if looking for sharp flat field images. My 4x 2" TeleView weighs more than some small scopes - handy to be aware of if you have a lightweight scope! Clear skies..
  9. Disappointment Easily Overcome

    Aurora Australis Hi Pat, Depends entirely on solar activity and whether CME's are ejected from the sun in our direction. Obviously a lot more frequent during the more active part of the sun spot cycle, currently at its lowest!!! Clear skies...
  10. Disappointment Easily Overcome

    Auroral Displays over Southern Tasmania Hi Pat, No need to go up north, just a short trip to southern Tasmania the views are spectacular. Note* My auroral images are taken with very short exposures (5 seconds) to record the actual detail. which is blended & lost in longer exposures, which does produce more spectacular looking images, which I will do one day. See Link for a few images: http://picasaweb.google.com/AstroTasmania/AuroraAustralisFromSouthernTasmaniaCopyright Clear skies...
  11. sky and space mag

    Sky and Space Magazine Hi Pat, I did post a couple of time re-the magazine status, to recap, late last year, Lyle became quite ill - to the point he was admitted to hospital for some time. He is now back at work slowly building up strength and increasing the number of hours he can spend in the office. The magazine is certainly NOT dead, just rather delayed, unfortunately. The next issue is underway as I write this. When the next issue is finished, S&S will be moving to new and bigger premises (a BIG task) and they will eventually appoint a full time Editor with a view to him/her working full time on the magazine. There will be a small delay when the move takes place but we are working behind the scenes to minimise the delay. After that, the magazine will be back on track on a more regular basis. The management apologies to all its customers & subscribers for any inconvenience Lyle's illness has caused. On behalf of Sky and Space Magazine Clear skies...
  12. Saturn, second attempt ToUCam

    Saturn Hi Baz, Looks like you need an IR blocking filter in your nosepiece, that pink looks very much like a missing IR filter. When you remove the ToUcam lens you also remove the IR blocking filter that is stuck on the rear lens element. You will not get accurate colour unless you use one. Keep em coming, Clear skies...
  13. Hi, Should read Mercury, not Jupiter. Almost missed this one - just about 10 minutes earlier would have been better to get some earth shine. Timing is critical with these sort of shots, especially to get Mercury (top). Just love these fleeting one-off's, something special about capturing conjunctions, right time, place & equipment. Nikon D300-Nikkor Zoom 80 - 200 f/2.8 ED Clear skies...
  14. Omega Centauri NGC 5139

    Omega Centauri Hi Paul, Up to your usual high standard I see, nice pinpoint stars from the Takahashi - and certainly one of the better digital images I have seen of the cluster. Just keep them coming, Clear skies... Shevill
  15. Hi All, For many, buying the RIGHT type of converter for its intended application is important, many people buy a bog standard USB 1.1 converter without knowing there are significant differences and subsequently have all sorts of problems, as I did before I researched the subject. A good example is using such a device with your mount & computer planetarium software, hit the mouse key to make a command, the mount does not move, hit the key again, and again.....commands are taking too long and then it is overloaded with multiple commands all the same. Restart everything!! bummer. The key issue appears to be the use of an FTDI chipset, in whatever brand. For instance, the EQMOD EQ5/6 user needs a fast response device not a slow one. What I have outlined here is what to buy and where to buy it in Australia. Knowing what to buy is the key, once you know that a Google search will come up with a supplier in your area. Here is the result of my research, which I hope is of some use with Website url and item data/link/s. For the critical USB converters with the FTDI chip set, here is a place to shop, with Free post in Australia. Excellent service and products (based on my personal experience) http://www.dontronics-shop.com/ US232R is our new premium USB to RS232 adapter cable. This new design sets the standards in appearance and functionality with its high gloss white enclosure and side-lit blue traffic indicators designed to appeal to discerning PC and MAC users alike. For additional connection reliability, both the USB connector and DB9 serial connector are gold plated. Based on the very latest FTDI "R" series chip set technology the US232R offers outstanding performance and quality at a remarkable price. The US232R is supplied in full retail packaging including driver CD. MAC users will be pleased to note that the US232R supports the new Intel based platforms as well as the traditional Power PC based models. http://www.dontronics-shop.com/EasySync-Premium-GOLD-USB-RS232-Adapter-cable-10cm-cable-p-16139.html This unit is available in 10cm & 1-metre lengths The TTL-232R is a USB to Serial (TTL level) converter cable which allows for a simple way to connect TTL interface devices to USB. http://www.dontronics-shop.com/FTDI-USB-to-Serial-TTL-level-5V-converter-cable-p-16493.html PS, I hate it when someone says I bought such & such that worked, but gives no detail about or where from!! Clear skies... Shevill