Archive for January, 2009

Nasty Game of Chicken

Saturday, January 17th, 2009

It just dawned on me. Why did it take so long? The economy is in a tail spin. People are losing their jobs, their homes, and their dignity. Oil is plummeting. Companies are going out of business. Prices will soon begin to drop on just about everything. The vultures will watch and wait for the onset of the stench of death. The spiral will tighten and pick up speed. … and then they will step in and start buying. It will be those that have survived: people, corporations, banks, & governments. Paying pennies on the dollar, they will scoop up everything and then breathe life back into the economies.

It is a nasty game of chicken – one that I do not want to play.

Capture the moment

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I’ve been working on a special project at work. I can’t talk about the subject just yet, but hopefully soon. Let’s just say that it has the potential to change everything for just about everyone on the planet. I had the opportunity to present my work to management and it went exceptionally well. I have complete support for the next phase of the project. The events of the day are still soaking in and I wanted to capture the moment – here. This is really great news for everyone. Wish me well and I’ll do my best for you.

New Lunar Mosaic

Sunday, January 4th, 2009
New Years Day evening Moon

New Year's Day evening Moon

After way too many days of cloudy nights/mornings and poor seeing, the new year brought a welcomed gift of a clear sky and calm winds. Seeing was OK – good enough for f/10 and a red filter on my C-11. I shot video of Venus, Mercury, and 44 views of the Moon. The latter I processed and combined into a mosaic. Click on the thumbnail to view the full resolution version. It is 8MB – be patient and don’t give your network a hernia.

This was done partly to relieve the frustration with the weather and also to test out a new version of AviStack (v1.74) before it is released for general use. This new version has several new features, one of which is a Wavelet enhancement tool. This mosaic is comprised of 34 frames, each of which were derived from the best 100 frames out of 1300. They were enhanced with the new wavelet tool using three layers (0.20 @ 120, 0.32 @5, and 0.45 @ -2).

I used my Celestron 11 at f/10 on my AP 900GTO mount with a red filter and a TIS DMK31AF03.AS firewire webcam. The gain was set to 350 and the expsosures were 1/38 second. AVIs were captured at 30 fps using the Y800 codec. Each 1300-frame AVI was captured in just over 45 seconds. I captured all of the data in about 30 minutes, but it took me two and a half days to process it and build the mosaic. I guess I need a faster computer.