Moon Artwork?!

Every summer in Abbotsford, BC there is a concert series held at Jubilee Park. For six Thursday evenings in a row, three bands will play each night. It is a great atmosphere with food vendors, booths and community artwork all on display. It is a family-friendly event that I have volunteered at as of late. For the second straight year, I submitted a pin design that would be handed out at the event, named Jam in Jubilee, to the first one hundred people who donate a dollar or more. My design has the backdrop of a moon photo that I took with my telescope and put on this blog! I put some text in the moons shadow creating a dash of color in an otherwise black and white photo. I encourage everyone and anyone in the Valley to try and attend even just one evening…it will be worth your time!¬†Image

Cold, Clear and Crisp

A rainy morning in the Fraser Valley finally broke to reveal a blue, open expanse. Night soon fell and with a three quarter moon, these were the perfect conditions for taking out my telescope. I only spent twenty minutes outside, but that was stunning enough! The viewing was so great I got a clear look with the often blurry 13mm lens. Note: it is near impossible to take pictures through the 13 mm since the focal point is so small. Yet the craters shimmered through the light haze and the sight was dramatic. The first photo is a neat shot showing the lens which I look through every time with the moon in focus. With the flash on it gives it an interesting composition.
The moon in all its glory is the next photo (I know, same old, same old).
I couldn’t decide which photo to include between the next two, so I uploaded them both. It is an interesting perspective looking up the telescope at the lone light, the moon. You can make out the words “Big” and “Barlow” the brand of the lens.
Next you can see the telescope wrapped up in its black shroud (made by my lovely grandmother). This is the conclusion to my updates and restorations.
Finally, there is a picture of myself, looking through a lens. Not often do I make it in the photos, so here I am with my winter jacket on gazing at the moon!
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Back to a Classic

A clear but frigid night is the backdrop for one of the most spectacular viewings of the moon in my life…and that is saying something! There is nothing like it: eyes going back and forth, scanning the lunar surface. And every time looking better and more stunning then before. This is astronomy folks, plain and simple.
Not the most amazing picture, but very few pictures can even come close to the real thing.
Happy stargazing!

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Jupiter-First Planet!

For the first time, my eyes looked through my telescope and could gaze upon a planet. Breathtaking it was, even if it looked quite insignificant and fuzzy rather than crisp and large.
I knew Jupiter was in the sky tonight so I took out my telescope and found the bright light in the Abbotsford-sky. With the 40mm I could observe the white sphere, yet only a speck in the lens. As I moved onto the 13mm with the Barlow 2x magnifier I made out several lines on the surface of Jupiter as well as five of its moons. You can clearly see three of them on the photo. The one shot I got with the camera is quite pitiful, but this was my first encounter; hopefully, my first of many.

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Three-Quarter Moon

It has been a cloudy couple of weeks here in the valley and it was nice to get a break from it. Took my telescope out the first chance I got and snapped this photo. The shot was taken using a 40mm lens on the telescope and believe it or not, an iPhone 4s! This is probably my favorite stage of the moon for photography because you get lots of surface area as well as the effect that it is still round. The craters really stand out on the photo too. Hopefully I can get a clear night again for the full moon…

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Restoration Update 2

Lots has been done since the last restoration update. This is obviously good news as the telescope will soon be in pristine condition. I looked at the nuts and bolts holding the bars in place (figure 1) which were rusted and corroded. They have since been replaced by new ones from the hardware store. The new ones were tightened in place with a wrench (figure 2). The bottom of the swinging box, which holds the mirror, had some of its fishing weights missing (figure 3). These have also been fastened to the bottom with metal wire. The whole revolving table on which the telescope turns was severely warped and could not turn properly. It was completely disassembled and a new square piece of plywood was cut and fitted to the base. Now it revolves very smoothly, but also is tight enough that it will not turn when bumped. The spotting scope was screwed on and properly tightened; so all the basics are in good shape. In the time of typing this post, the canvas is being sewed by my grandma. It is a black, rain resistant canvas which is a big step up from the original: a tan, torn, heavy canvas.
Clear Skies to you all!

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

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Figure 3

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Moonstrosity

Tonight turned out to be a crisp clear night that was great for some moon-gazing. The image was crystal clear in the lens, but sadly most of the photos were out of focus. I will get a different camera for next time and hopefully my photography will improve. The moon reflects its Makers majesty, truly a magnificant sight.

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