Photography

When I have time, I do a little photography. You can see where I've been recently from my flickr photostream. Occasionally some of these have some astronomical content:

One hour stacked exposure of the sky over Boston, MA, viewed from the northwest.

One-hour (120 x 30s) stacked exposure of the night sky over Boston, MA, viewed from the northwest. Mouseover to see major stars and constellations labelled.

I was interested to see how strong the effect of light pollution from the city would be. It turns out the sky glow limits the camera to picking up stars brighter than about 4th magnitude, even near the zenith. By eye I could only see the brightest stars, maybe down to 2nd magnitude. Lower down no stars are visible, but you can see the trails left by aircraft flying over the city. For locals, this was taken from Robbins Farm Park, in Arlington.

Click on the image to get the full size version on flickr.

IRAM 30m observatory VI Antenna group

The IRAM 30m telescope (left) and three dishes of the Giant Meterwave Radio Telescope (Right), from visits in 2013 and 2012 respectively. The former is a microwave instrument, mostly used for looking at emission from molecules in cold, dense insterstellar or intergalactic gas clouds. The latter operates in the 150-1500~MHz band, and can be used to study a variety of sources in cluding active galaxies, pulsars, neutral hydrogen clouds, and particle acceleration by intergalactic shocks in galaxy clusters.

Indian sunset Moon and feeds

Two more shots taken at the GMRT in 2008 - the one on the right has the advantage of showing the four standard feeds on the dish.

Wast Hills Star Trails V Wast Hills telescopes II

Two shots from the University of Birmingham's Wast Hills observatory. The observatory is used for teaching, public outreach, and by the university astronomy society. On the left, a wide-angle star trails shot looking west past the dome. A video of the same scene is below. On the right the telescopes themselves (since replaced), the original 16" Cassegrain with spectrograph, and the side mounted 14" Meade with imaging camera.

Lunar eclipse montage A little cloudy for observing

Both taken around Boston, on the left some shots of the February 2008 lunar eclipse, on the right the dome of the 15-inch Great Refractor and the 1.2m millimeter-wave telescope at Harvard College Observatory.

Galileoscope Moon Gibbous

Taken with a Galileoscope, a cheap, simple, lightweight refracting telescope produced for the International Year of Astronomy, with my old Nikon FM2 film camera attached. The grain comes from the high-speed film, Ilford Delta 3200. For the first shot I only had one tripod, the camera was supported with a huge pile of books - a pleasantly Heath Robinson setup.

A time-lapse video constructed from the images used to make the star trails image above. It covers about 4 hours around midnight at the Wast Hills observatory.