Watch the Solar Eclipse LIVE

Link

Given the cloudy conditions here in Lebanon and to those who can’t take the safety precautions and those who want to watch the total eclipse (not 18% as in Lebanon):

Watch the solar eclipse live through

Tomorrows Solar Eclipse from Beirut

Standard

I have stumbled upon several posts and discussions on social networks, and some have contacted me about whether the eclipse is visible from Lebanon or not and about the timing.
I am writing this post to address some of your confusions. Here’s a general video from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab to start with:

Following is a visualization of the eclipse. The greatest eclipse (totality) occurs above the Faroe Islands, halfway between Norway and Iceland, around 1200 hours Beirut time.
In the visualization below, the strip formed by the two blue curves within which the greatest eclipse occurs is the path of totality. This is the path the shadow due to the moon blocking the Sun’s light from us follows. The further on Earth the observer is from this path the smaller the percentage of the eclipse is observed. Read on for more details.

Continue reading

MakerBot Thingiverse

Link

MakerBot Thingiverse

MakerBot Thingiverse [1] is a repository of designs for 3D printable things for use with RepRap 3D printers [2], humanity’s first general-purpose self-replicating manufacturing machine.

Referenced from: J.M. Pearce, Commentary: Open-source hardware for research and education. Physics Today, November 2013, page 8 [3].

[1] Thingiverse http://www.thingiverse.com/
[2] RepRap http://reprap.org/wiki/RepRap
[3] http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/PT.3.2160

Dark Frame Subtraction & Light Pollution

Standard

This is not an article explaining what a dark frame is or how to take one or how to subtract it from an image. It is only to share with you a few test images I made lately (my first actually); I am not relating the two topics (i.e; dark frame subtraction with light pollution!):

No dark frame subtraction

With dark frame subtraction

Continue reading

Imaging Techniques #1 – Scenic Images

Standard

This post is one of a series of short posts on the three main astroimaging techniques; scenic, afocal, and prime focus. This series is also part of a larger series on the fundamentals of astroimaging which are based on a presentation was preparing a while ago. For today I will introduce you to the first, the scenic image which you naturally take quite often. As a start here’s the definition of “scenic”:
Scenic: Of or pertaining to scenery; of the nature of scenery; theatrical [1913 Webster]
As the definition implies, such an image is one of people or anything in the foreground along with some natural scene in the background. By natural scene I mean a scene of nature; a scene with trees or mountains or land or the horizon or anything Earthly or a combination of those.

This imaging technique is a relatively easy to use as people do it all the time, naturally; all that it requires is some perception. I chose this this particular technique for this post since a very nice imaging opportunity [1] is coming soon which you could use to both learn this imaging technique and to take a nice astroimage with relative ease. All you need is your cam and your tripod (or use your imagination & skills to position the cam on a surface with the right angle & direction; for example you could use a table mount, or an inclined book). Continue reading