Posts from October 2005
For those new to this place, my wife and I share our lives with two pet Rabbits, Herbie and Chloe. Well, the last year has been pretty hard on Chloe: so far she’s developed four Abscesses, three on her back feet and, now, one on her front. It’s been fun. Real fun.
Well, her most recent abscess has required me to come up with some method for protecting her foot. The problem is, it needs to be fairly tightly fit, reasonably durable, and most importantly cheap and easy to replace, since she will destroy them, even with the damned cone on.
So, I decided it was about time I actually used my knitting skills for something useful and came up with this:
Pretty basic, but it works surprisingly well. I can custom fit them, which is really nice, and I can bang one out in around 20 minutes, meaning if she does destroy it, I can just make another. I’ve also experimented with a couple other variations, like using decreases near the top to tighten it up, and I even created one using reinforced heel stitch, to see if would stand up to more of a beating. But, in the end, the basic Stockinette pattern seems to work the best. Maybe next time I’ll throw in a couple cables, etc. ;)
Tonight I decided to get my Red Green on and hack together a really crappy camera mount for my telescope! It’s made from various pieces of vacuum tubing (which happens to be 2” in diameter, the same diameter of the eyepiece holder on my scope), some hardboard, and much tape (unfortunately not the duct variety… yes, I am ashamed. I had to settle for electrical). The end result was this thing:
Yes, it’s as hackish as it looks. The idea is that it sorta fits over the eyepiece holder and has a separate sliding component which allows the mount to adjust for the camera lens position, differing eyepiece lengths, etc.
So, with it, I decided to take another crack at lunar photography. I captured the following image with my wide-field 25mm eyepiece (for about 60x magnification) (in this image, north is to the left):
I’ve sharpened the image to adjust for some atmospheric turbulence and poor focusing on my part. In addition, there appears to be some blurring toward the left edge of the image which is probably a result of the camera not being evenly positioned against the eyepiece.
After staring at a Lunar Map for quite a while, I managed to identify some of the more interesting features. Among them, toward the right edge of the image you can see the famous crater Tycho (it appears smaller than some of the others, but has a prominent central protrusion). This particular crater is the epicenter of a set of lunar rays which, while not incredibly prominent in this image, are visible.
Well, I decided to try and do a little astrophotography with my el cheapo Casio digital camera and my binoculars (the moon being the selected target). I was inspired after an article in Sky and Telescope which discusses the astrophotography possibilities with regular, consumer-grade digital cameras, and so I figured I’d give it a whirl. The result was this:
This was done with my 7x50 binos, and the camera set for a 640x480 frame at nearly full digital zoom (I was quite surprised by the suggestion, in the article, of using the digital zoom feature of the camera… I had assumed this would result in poorer image quality. It appears I was wrong!) ‘course, I was going to attempt a higher-resolution image at the maximum zoom level (hoping to capture more crater detail), but, as you’d expect, clouds moved in and interrupted my view.
About the only problem I have with the image is the brightness. I tried to set the camera to the highest ISO setting (which also has the nice effect of reducing noise, due to the higher shutter speed), but apparently that wasn’t enough. I’ll have to toy around some other night and see if I can get better results.