Jun. 10th, 2017

thewayne: (Default)
We had a monsoon storm system parked over the mountain for the last two weeks, and yesterday it finally broke! I was at the observatory until about 1:30am and am very happy with the results.

This first photo contains something interesting: the International Space Station! It was pure luck. I was testing everything before I told it to start shooting 30 second exposures forever (299 was the final image count) and it just so happened to catch the ISS! My wife pulled up a web site that maps your location over what satellites will be overhead on a specific date and time and we matched the time of the exposure and BINGO! I couldn't have caught that if I had tried.

This is a composition of 299 images. The little jag that you see at the beginning or end of a trace is the first two images of the ISS track. They were taken before I told the timer to have at it.

I was pleased to find that Photoshop CS6 had no problem accepting 299 layers in one PSD file, but it didn't like a file size greater than 2 gig. Once I flattened them, the file size dropped to 41 meg or so, well within Photoshop's capacity.

And finally, a video that I composed from the 299 still images. It's fun watching the dome of the 3.5 meter spin like a dervish. I showed it to my wife this afternoon and she said that she knew which slews those were. She was working with a group of on-site Chinese astronomers on a visiting instrument, so she was the one choosing targets for them in an attempt to keep the dome slit out of the wind: their instrument was very sensitive to the slightest breeze.

And I'll tell you, I LOVE MY NEW IMAC! It's not the utmost latest which just came out this week, it's a Late 2015 with a 4 GHz i7, and this thing handled sucking those 299 images and turning them in to a movie or making them in to Photoshop layers or flatening them with absolute zero difficulty.

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