Monday, April 1, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
I took the kids out, and went with a friend and his kids, to see Comet Pannstars C/2011 L4, at my usual 10-miles-out-of-town observing site. Well, not quite the usual one, but a little ways from it where we had views almost down to the horizon to the west. It was hard to find in the bright sunset sky, but eventually the sky got a bit dark enough to see the Pleiades, and then I could just go straight down from them with binoculars (while the Pleiades were much higher than the comet, the azimuth was within about a degree). And there it was. Lovely tail streaking away from the sun. Looked great in my 15x70s, and pretty good in my 8". Naked-eye, I could see a fuzzy dot, and maybe a hint of a tail.
We also had a nice view of the Orion Nebula, the Double Cluster, and that big open cluster in Canis Major, and some naked-eye cluster which resolved in my 7x35 binoculars I didn't get around to identifying. But then it was time to get the kids home to bed.
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
If you preferred the way the old Lite version worked, the last such version is available here, at least temporarily.
LunarMap also works great under Bluestacks on a Windows 7 laptop.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Sunday, August 5, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
I am working on a better red night mode for rooted Samsung phones. The usual way to do red mode for rooted Android devices is to use ChainFire3D. However, ChainFire3D does red mode simply by dropping the green and blue components, and as psonice once pointed out to me, that's not the best way. After all, then, green and blue stuff on the screen is invisible.
The right way to do it is to combine the color components, using an RGB to grayscale conversion, and then use the red component.
I just managed to do it on my rooted Android 2.3 Epic 4G Touch using Samsung's MDNIE profiles (see screenshot) and some simple shell scripts. But I don't know if this will work on other Samsung phones, though I assume all Galaxy S2 family phones will work with my method.
A good rule of thumb is that a version of this hack should work on all rooted Samsung phones that have the Dynamic/Standard/Movie color mode switcher under Settings | Display | Screen mode.
If you want to help me with this project and have a rooted Samsung phone, there are some things you can do:
- (Easy, and you can do it even if your phone isn't rooted.) Go to Settings | Display | Screen mode and see if you have Dynamic/Standard/Movie switch. Tell me (either by email or by commenting) which phone and OS version you have, whether it has the switch, and whether it has these three or some other modes there.
- (A little more advanced and needs root.) Email me your /system/etc/mdnie_tune_movie_mode and /system/etc/mdnie_tune_ui_standard_mode files , also telling me which phone and OS version you have.
You can email me at arpruss at gmail dot com, with subject line "red".
The resulting switcher will be free and open source.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Notice in the screenshot how the labels hard-printed on the map get combined with the yellow labels added by LunarMap, without any duplication of labels.
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
This is from my 8" F/4.5 scope, stopped down to about 3", with photo taken hand-held with my Canon G7 camera off the projection funnel.
Here is the last photo in a larger size. The sunspots were very nicely visible in the funnel (I counted about 15), and I could even see two without a telescope in the #14 welder's glass. The photo doesn't do justice to the sunspots, especially the nice bright area that was just barely visible at the bottom of the disc.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
And for reference, here's the sun in the afternoon, before the eclipse:
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
I noticed that they were very much in pairs. Apparently sunspots come in pairs with opposite magnetic polarity.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
I played with it today to see how far away from the eyepiece I'd need to get to have a 4" image in my 8" F/4.5 (stopped down to two 3" apertures). Answer: ~26cm. When I projected the sun on a piece of cardstock, at that size, I was blown away by the richness of the structure of the sunspots today. And the sun was quite low, as it was shortly before sunset. Here's today's LMSAL photo. I saw the two larger groups but somehow missed the smaller group that's down from center.
It's time to build a sun funnel as soon as my projection material comes.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
I was just playing with looking at stars reflected in this platter through my 15x70 binoculars, with only one eye. There was some unidirectional glare from Venus, but stars looked pinpoint. I was only hand-holding the binoculars, so the test isn't great. And it would have been better if the central hole was blacked out. This isn't a very demanding test, higher magnification would be much better, but it's a promising start.