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  • in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576493

    Posted by Phillip Hudson at 21:02 on 2014 Mar 02

    Nice video

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576492

    Posted by Bill Ward at 20:09 on 2014 Mar 02

    Hi,Not quite all sky from here (North Ayrshire) and frequently obscured by cloud but it was nice to catch glimpses of the display through the cloud.I put my NLC camera out to see what it caught.Here’s the timelapse.,Bill.

    in reply to: M31 – H-apha enhanced view #576491

    Posted by R J Andersson at 17:21 on 2014 Mar 02

    Hi folks,Reprocessed: here’s M31 without additional Ha:

    and with some Ha (Hydrogen alpha emission) blended in:

    For your additional viewing pleasure I’ve made the 4096×4096 pixel versions available here and here respectively. All four images are copyrighted so please do not edit and/or repost without permission.This is old data from 2012 but it’s taken me until now to successfully apply my natural colour workflow (description). The relative RGB values at each pixel have been preserved during stretching with the white balance for the entire image determined by M110. Whether that was a valid white balance choice is for wiser heads than mine. How much prominence to give the Ha data was a matter of personal preference: in the end I chose what I hope is a subtle blend which doesn’t overpower the rest of the galaxy and limited the Ha to the spiral structure.I provided links to the full-sized versions not because they are pixel perfect but because they do offer an ability to see some of the hot blue stars associated with the structure of M31. I hope you enjoy the flight. 8)Bob.5 x 1000 seconds in each of R, G and B plus 10 x 1500 seconds Ha. TEC 140 plus ML16803.

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576490

    Posted by Callum Potter at 17:41 on 2014 Mar 01

    Yes – it does not seem to work with my ancient canon 300d – am thinking about upgrading the camera – maybe a 650d or 700d…Cheers, Callum

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576489

    Posted by James Fraser at 11:53 on 2014 Mar 01

    Hello, Callum.Yes, I have certainly found that software useful in the past couple of years for day and night photography. Works very well with NLC timelapse. Many other convenient features such as an internal intervalometer and help with focusing on stars etc. Just a pity that it is restricted to certain models of Canon cameras. Another bonus is that "it is as free as speech!"James.

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576488

    Posted by Callum Potter at 10:29 on 2014 Mar 01

    Thanks for sharing these videos James, I have been wondering for a while whether DSLR movie modes could usefully capture auroral displays – so clearly can! And interesting to hear you have been trying out Magic Lantern.Cheers, Callum

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576487

    Posted by James Fraser at 19:38 on 2014 Feb 28

    Also in Easter Ross so the description by Denis is very similar to my experience though I have more streetlights.A couple of youtube timelapse can be found here. were made by using the ‘movie-mode’ on the Canon EOS 600D. The frame capture rate was slowed down to about 2 frames per second by adding Magic Lantern software to the card.James Fraser, Alness.

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576486

    Posted by Nick James at 16:36 on 2014 Feb 28

    It looks as if it was an amazing display. Just my luck that I am north of the arctic circle at the moment and the display was too far south for us to get a good view. I should have stayed in Essex!Great images though and it is the top story on the BBC News website!

    in reply to: All sky Auroral display tonight in Highlands #576485

    Posted by Grant Privett at 23:57 on 2014 Feb 27

    It was even faintly visible 10 miles west of Salisbury. Though I think i missed the best bit…

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576484

    Posted by Steve Holmes2 at 15:51 on 2014 Feb 19

    In reply to Grant’s recent post, while I would agree that it is not the BBC’s remit to keep the membership of the BAA and the readers of Astronomy Now happy, it is very much in their interest to ensure that the programmes they make are as good as they can be, within the usual budgetary and air-time constraints of course. This can, in part, be achieved by recruiting excellent presenters and showing excellent content, which is of course what the original Sky At Night was very good at.However, I can’t agree that the BBC is trying to recruit extra viewers for Sky At Night from the bulk of the population by means of the recent re-vamp – this seems to have been much more the remit of Stargazing Live, for which the use of "populist" presenters and a rather more basic treatment of the material was entirely appropriate, and several recent Horizon episodes. Surely you don’t put a programme on BBC4 (usually considered a more "highbrow" channel than BBC1 and BBC2) if your intention is to lower its intellectual level? On BBC4, TSAN is up against many programmes with content which would usually be considered "difficult", with presenters who are acknowledged experts in their field or are known for presenting (mostly) adult-targetted (often) science-based programmes seriously and with a high level of competence. I am thus somewhat less pessimmistic than Grant in his assessment of the BBC’s motives. That doesn’t mean to say I am yet entirely happy with the way they are progressing these motives in the case of TSAN though!In response to Terry Byatt, I suspect that the problem with Dr John Mason (and many other TSAN guests of his standing) is that he is male and of "a certain age"! Even if he (or other contenders) turned out to be willing to do it – by no means certain, given his/their other interests – there might be a feeling in the upper echelons that he/they would not be improving the profile of the programme. As previously mentioned, I would strongly support the introduction of young(er) female presenters, of whom there are several strong candidates. Just make sure they can present in a convincing style and at least give a good impression that they know what they are talking about! (as opposed to Dr A-P).Steve Holmes

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576483

    Posted by James Fraser at 16:03 on 2014 Feb 17

    Not sure if the link will work here but Chris and the team have recently started a hopefully regular google+ hangout which also appears on youtube. I feel that this is a very positive step – it reminds me of the long studio discussions that made the old show so special. Some good astronomy to be found there.

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576482

    Posted by Grant Privett at 21:23 on 2014 Feb 16

    It isnt the BBC’s job to keep us happy. Even if the whole BAA membership and Astronomy Now readership watched every episode it wouldnt be enough people to keep the programme viable. So I cannot see them feeling any need to satisfy our wish for a speaker popular with us – and wouldnt it be fun trying to get everyone to agree on one.They are seeking to create bigger audiences from the 99.9% of the population who are not astronomers. They target people, children often, who have some casual interest in the subject and are willing to be entertained and informed for a while. This may involve less well informed presenters, snazzy graphics, some background music and what we might consider dumbing down. But that is the reality. That the old format Sky at Night lasted as long as it did was a miracle. We have enjoyed a privileged 30 years purely because Dr Moore was viewed as a great British eccentric.Were the BBC fielding a programme on stamp collecting, train spotting or gravestone rubbing that was watched by tiny audiences, we wouldnt think our licence fee was being well spent. We need to be realistic.

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576481

    Posted by Terry Byatt at 20:13 on 2014 Feb 16

    I just wish Dr John Mason was the main presenter of the new Sky at Night. He was a guest of Patrick’s on several episodes and would be perfect for the job (BBC please note!).

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576480

    Posted by Steve Holmes2 at 23:12 on 2014 Feb 12

    Yes – I’m afraid Dr A-P’s presentation style is always like that. You’ve done yourself a favour if you’ve not come across it before! As well as the infamous ‘Do We Really Need The Moon’ she presented a fairly recent programme on earth satellites (which is at least something she should know a bit about) which was equally breathless and rather dumbed-down. As was commented in the DWRNTM topic, her "science populariser for schools" background does rather show through.There is no doubt that Dr Helen Czerski (the "Jupiter lady") or Dr Lucie Green (as seen in the previous incarnation of ‘The Sky At Night’) would have made an infinitely better job of co-presenting than Dr. A-P, but maybe they didn’t want the job. Even the ubiquitous Liz Bonnin would have been a better choice!Still, let’s hope the new batch of programmes maintains the standard the first one did well to set, and that Dr A-P is kept well in the background to avoid giving her and us any further embarrassment.Steve Holmes

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576479

    Posted by Grant Privett at 21:50 on 2014 Feb 12

    Watched it this evening. I must say it seemed to "flow" fairly well and did a passable job of combining science and popular appeal. Hopefully, it will do well.That said, I did find Dr Aderin-Pocock’s presentational style rather offputting. Is her presentation always like that? I’ve not seen her before. Her voice overs were fine, but when she was presenting to camera I found myself thinking that a monocle would appear at any moment. I don’t mind lightning fast presenters, but the diction needs to be there – something Dr Moore sadly lacked in his later years – combined with real content. Regular "Wow, isn’t the universe impressive!" declarations just don’t cut it for me. By contrast, the lady presenting the item on Jupiter was far more measured. But then again I’m a grumpy 50 something and so probably not in the demographic the Beeb are seeking to attract.

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576478

    Posted by Steve Holmes2 at 23:45 on 2014 Feb 11

    I agree that, overall, the "revamped" version was very good. I liked the way it was explicitly divided up into sections by use of the "Sky At Night" title, and the sections themselves certainly covered some excellent and high-quality material. However, I think Pete Lawrence’s guide to the skies was perhaps a little too basic, as almost all the information has been covered many times before. Still, we’ll see what subsequent programmes bring.As to the presenters, while I am not his greatest fan I must say that Chris Lintott is certainly growing into his "anchorman" role. But then we come to Dr Aderin-Pocock. I am, of course, somewhat biassed as far as she is concerned (see the forum topic "Do We Really Need The Moon") but even so I felt she looked (and, judging by her body-language, felt) completely out of place – as she did on Stargazing Live. One might call her style "intense" but equally accurate would be "gushing". While Sir Patrick was definitely "enthusiastic" in his delivery at times, one could be confident this was based on real enthusiasm rather than the "oh – wow, isn’t this cool" approach we seem to get from Dr A-P. Also, one always felt that Sir Patrick knew exactly what he was talking about. Chris also seems to give this impression, but I have severe doubts about Dr A-P. Her delivery felt more as if she had simply swotted up a few "populist sound bites" to throw into the articles. I was relieved that she wasn’t used more but the flip-side to that is – what exactly was her contribution to the programme? One could have re-dubbed the voice-overs and edited her out of a few scenes and the casual viewer would hardly have noticed.So – a great start but not 10 out of 10 yet.Steve Holmes

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576477

    Posted by Nicholas Evetts at 22:08 on 2014 Feb 10

    I just watched it on iPlayer I’ve watched Maggie in other things – she is very intense when talking Science and yes she reminds me of Patrick when discussing topics close to the heart so a thumbs up from me ……So far the show seems to be returning to serious science. Chris comes over as a Prof who is enjoying the lecture he is giving these days

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576476

    Posted by Paul A Brierley at 18:48 on 2014 Feb 10

    I’ve just seen Sky at Night. I was also impressed.I thought the content was better, and it was good seeing Pete and John.I thought the item on Ison was good, but why didn’t they mention Lovejoy?

    in reply to: BBC Sky at Night #576475

    Posted by Phillip Hudson at 16:59 on 2014 Feb 10

    The latest edition of the Sky at Night under the new format was really very good and hope it continues

    in reply to: sad news of death of John Dobson #576474

    Posted by Terry Byatt at 18:57 on 2014 Feb 01

    Very sad. John brought the opportunity of owning (or building) a large telescope to those of us with limited funds to spend on our hobby.

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 1,309 total)