Tadpoles – Happy New Year

These are the Tadpoles of IC-410.  They seem appropriate for the New Year when we are celebrating a fresh start or a new beginning.  This emission nebula lies about 12000 light years away, and the Tadpoles are about 10 light years long.  This is a stacked composite of 17 half hour h-alpha exposures taken through my 5 inch Astro-Physics Starfire refractor with a .75 focal reducer.


Solar Image (2)

imageFor this solar image I used an Imaging Source DMK51AU02.AS video camera. With its large format it can capture the whole sun in a single image with the Lunt Systems 80mm solar refractor. I used a video frame rate of 7.5 frames per second and combined 80% of 2000 images to produce the final image. The image was inverted and sharpened in Photoshop.  The white spot is actually a sunspot.


Solar Image (1)

This solar image was taken with a dedicated Lunt 80mm solar refractor. Out of 5000 images, 80% were stacked and the resulting final image was inverted and sharpened in Photoshop. The original video was taken with an Imaging Source DMK 21AU618.AS video camera that produced solar images at a rate of 60 frames per second.


Orion Nebula Work in Progress

This time of year Orion is visible all night long. It rises in the Eastern sky at about 6:30pm, it reaches its highest point at an altitude of about 50 degrees in the Southern sky at around midnight, and it sets in the West at about 6:00 AM. Since it measures a little more than one degree square, you can see it with binoculars. This is a stacked composite of eleven 30 minute H-Alpha images. My goal with this image will be to enhance the details over time. With clouds in the sky, it can take awhile.



Why a drone?

My new “Blueangel” is a drone!


My previous “Blueangel” was a Piper Cherokee 180 which needed to be registered with the FAA. It had propellers, gps nav system, 50 gallon gas tank, altimeter, and various other instruments, but no belly cam and no autopilot.  It required expensive AV fuel, upgrades, repairs, insurance, a hangar and flight lessons. I could fly it and land it  at airports. My life was in jeopardy every time I took off or landed it. After buying it, it’s ongoing costs were at least $1000/mo.  What is the cost to replace the propeller at a certified repair location?  Don’t ask!   I named it “blueangel” because of its color scheme. It was a blast to fly, but I sold it when I moved to Prescott.

My new “Blueangel” drone needs a new blue decal that was provided in the package to have the correct blueangel color scheme, but so far it has not been installed.  It also needs to be registered with the FAA.  It has many of the same instruments as the Piper Cherokee as well as an outstanding belly cam that shoots 4K video or 12 megapixel stills, an autopilot, and a lithium battery to replace the 50 gallon gas tank. It required a carrying case and in the rare event that it crashes, I will not be in it. No flight lessons were needed, but it can be flown virtually on my IPAD. After buying it, the ongoing expenses are close to zero.  What is the cost to replace a propeller?  It can be self installed for $3.50.  It cannot take off or land within 5 miles of an airport, but it does not need one.   It is also a blast to fly.

What is not to like?