Saturday, May 30, 2009

Another from last night!

Another image of the Moon last night.
I have been looking through my images that I captured last night and am amazed at the detail of some of them. I have never tried imaging with a Barlow lens and the Canon 350d because it was imposible to achieve focus. I solved it last night by adding the diagonal and then adding the Barlow a treat!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Tonight's Moon with 3x barlow

Tonights Moon with a bit of colour saturation to bring out some of the detail in the image.
This picture is BIG click to enlarge the image.
It was really interesting tonight because for the first time with my Skywatcher ED80 pro I used a Barlow lens. In fact I stacked a 2x and 3x Barlow together with my Canon 350D and got some really good results. The image above was taken with the 3x Barlow, ISO800 exposure 100ms.

Here is my image of the Moon without a Barlow, again a large image, click to enlarge.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Apollo 10 launch

Forty years ago today saw the launch of Apollo 10. The dress rehersal for the lunar landing in July 1969. The Apollo 10 mission was a complete staging of the Apollo 11 mission without actually landing on the Moon. The mission was the second to orbit the Moon and the first to travel to the Moon with the entire Apollo spacecraft configuration. Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Eugene Cernan decended inside the Lunar Module to within 14 kilometers of the lunar surface achieving the closest approach to the Moon before Apollo 11 landed two months later.
The picture above shows the Apollo 10 Command Module from the separated lunar landing craft.
I followed this mission on TV and remember the pictures sent from the Moon. A great atmosphere then, lots of press and TV coverage and a big build up to the big day in July 1969.

Apollo 10 Facts

Lunar Module:

Command and Service Module:
Charlie Brown

Thomas P. Stafford, commander John W. Young, command module pilot Eugene A. Cernan, lunar module pilot

May 18, 1969 16:49:00 UT (12:49:00 p.m. EDT) Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39B

Lunar Orbit:
May 21, 1969

Returned to Earth:
May 26., 1969 splashdown 16:52:23 UT (12:52:23 p.m. EDT)

Mission Duration:
192 hours 3 minutes 23 seconds

Retrieval site:
Pacific Ocean 15° 2' S, 164° 39' W

Retrieval ship:
U.S.S. Princeton


Demonstration of color TV camera.

Second Apollo mission to orbit the Moon.

First time the complete Apollo spacecraft had operated around the Moon and the second manned flight for the lunar module.

Two Apollo 10 astronauts descended to within eight nautical miles (14 kilometers) of the Moon's surface, the closest approach ever to another celestial body.

All aspects of Apollo 10 duplicated conditions of the lunar landing mission as closely as possible--Sun angles at Apollo Site 2, the out-and-back flight path to the Moon, and the time line of mission events. Apollo 10 differed from
Apollo 11 in that no landing was made on the Moon's surface.

Apollo 10 was the only Apollo mission to launch from Launch Complex 39B.

Maximum separation between the LM and the CSM during the rendezvous sequence was about 350 miles (563 km) and provided an extensive checkout of the LM rendezvous radar as well as the backup VHS ranging device aboard the CSM, flown for the first time on Apollo 10.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Atlantis Launch

The space shuttle Atlantis scheduled for launch on the 11th May heading for the Hubble Telescope.
I have been following one of the astronauts on the mission with TWITTER. Its great to receive live messages from Mike Massimino!

Mike Massimino and Megan in the aft control centre.

Astro_Mike From orbit: Hard to sleep last night after my spacewalk, images of the work and the views still vivid in my mind.

Astro_Mike From orbit: Just flew over the US, Baja to Miami in about 10 minutes! Beautiful Day!!

Astro_MikeFrom orbit: My second spacewalk was long but all worked out in the end, team effort

Mike Massimino working the cargo bay.

Astro_Mike From orbit: At the end of my spacewalk, I had time to just look at the Earth, the most awesome sight my eyes have seen, undescribable

From orbit: This is an awesome experience, the privilege to fly in space and work on the Hubble is beyond my dreams