I am sure hoping that next week as we get to new moon that the weather here clears up. We had one really nice night but the moon was a waning gibbous at about 90% of full. I didn't go out but almost did. Besides the weather I have really suffered from some health issues of late and that has been finally starting to clear (?) up, I hope. We had a new recreation center open so I have started to lap swim again and it feels so good to get in 45 minutes of a constant exercise. Though boring to some I guess, I just love being in the water and do different strokes. Its the one exercise I can do that doesn't bother my bad low back or my bad left knee. It truly sucks getting middle age, especially when I view myself still as being around 35.
I have three items to post about tonight. The first two come from the Bad Astronomy Blog at Discovery. There Phil Plait shares a video from YouTube (embedded, which I cannot due here) on how NASA takes a Hubble Image and makes it into a beautiful picture. You can find over at YouTube and you can find the link here. I really recommend you go and check that out! For research they study and refine the image in much more detail. Check out Bad Astronomy for more info on that part of the process.
The next thing is for astro-photographers. The Greenwich Observatory is having a contest to award the Astro-Photographer of the Year. This link provides you with information and a link to photos that have been submitted and that are the favorites right now. This link will tell you the areas that you can submit for and the prizes (awarded in British pounds) for each category. There is also a grand overall winner. Though not an imagining currently, I still enjoy seeing their work. If your into that, give it a go!
Two items to finish up this post. First is I am working on a couple of other sketches and will post them up when I am done with them (time, end of a term and I've been entering grades etc this week).
Next, is something I want to do. I want to highlight another site on astronomical sketching here so others can find more info. Today's site is Rony's Astronomy Site. Rony is based in Belgium and is a fantastic sketcher! His site and program on his site is designed for small telescopes and gives a view of his sketch and of the object in a very organized and orderly way. I encourage you to head over there and take a look, and explore Rony's first class work.
Rony's binocular section provides a wonderful treat to those using binoculars (and you may see the inspiration for my own digital sketches) and what certain objects look like not only through binoculars, but through some telescopes as well.
His Mars 2005 Opposition sketches are marvelous and I encourage you to take a look in that section also to see what this neighboring planet looked like in 2005. I could continue but I highly recommend Rony's site and think you should spend some time there looking over things.
So, lets hope this weather pattern in the western U.S. breaks next week and I can get out three times next week! I need that to happen so bad. Rony also has a site at this location which is more current. It is in Dutch so if you use Google Chrome you can translate it.