Archive | October 2004

Talks, papers, eclipse + Hubble 1926

another week has passed with little posted by me, I am gonna try and
make an effort to sit down and put some interesting stuff up in the
next few days.

week has been an interesting but very busy one. I think I have my paper
review done, well apart from the proof reading which will identify my
awful grammar. I have had 2 events (with one more in an hour or so)
this week, one a talk by Andy Salmon of the Midlands Spaceflight society,
the other observing the lunar eclipse (was cloudy!) and now the last
one a talk off the Planetary Society – "Apollo – A Moon Odyssey"
– hopefully this will be well attended.

here we go something interesting. I have recently been reading lots
of papers related to galaxy evolution and I decided that I should look
back at the field from the start, so here
(or in pdf)
is Edwin Hubble’s 1926 paper in which he first started to identify extragalactic
nebulas – now known as Galaxies.

No posts but lots of work – big post now!

may be obvious to anyone who knows me that I am a little bit busy with
Uni work at the moment thus leaving me with little time to work on my
website. This is a great shame as recently I have been up to lots of
things some of which may have been mildly interesting, probably not

last weekend I spent my time writing a paper review for my fourth year
project, that is going well so I am pleased.

night was good fun though, I went observing with Steve and we managed
to get some interesting views of the Moon through our new filters. It
was very impressive, I even tried to take a photo of it through my phone.
This did not come out at all well! Phone + Scope =

Moon through phone

you can sort of see it is the moon, well what do you expect with a £30
mobile phone camera!

did actually manage to get an interesting one though. I moved the camera
of my phone a bit further away and managed to get the powerful light
source of the moon emerging from the telescope eyepiece with the background
of the light of Selly Oak / roof.

Moon and selly oak

and you can now tell it is approaching winter, it is nice and cold outside!
Here are a few photos I have took recently of the autumn sky.

wonderful clock tower is dominating in this image:

Clock tower

sun breaks through these dark clouds:


finally the moon just above the bridge between physics west and east,
what a site that was with the eye – taken at twilight (probably my favourite
of all the above!)

Moon over bridge


just watched the film titled "Frequency", although the physics
were complete and utter bullocks – how the hell can aurora allow CB
radio users access to other user separated by 30 years I do not know.
Thought it was quite entertaining and interesting as "crime"
films go. Though for once I would like to see a film for a change which
does not have a lovey dovey ending. Sorry if I have given anything away
to people who wanted to watch it. I am just annoyed that every film
I seem to see has this cheesy 70s rock style ending!

Binocular Astronomy

Thursday night I gave a short presentation about Binocular Astronomy
to Astrosoc. I was gonna make this quite long and rant on about stuff
for about half an hour or so if it had been raining. It was cloudy but
clear enough to go observing so I ended up by going through this rather
quickly whist on the roof of Poynting Physics. It wasn’t great weather
but we managed to do a few things.

and the presentation I gave is available at:

More from Tuesday night

Yesterday Tom gave me the photos from the PPS Freshers gangster party and so I immediately stuck them online. There are some quite funny ones, for some reason there don’t seem to be of anyone worse for wear! See for the pictures.

It was an excellent night and we can only hope that our future events are as successful as that. I really would love to do the DJing again, it was lots of fun. Here I am with a beer getting ready to ROCK the room (well about to try to!):

And here is Mr. Grimmett looking pretty cool and deadly:


DJ Sam & Lecture organising

Last night was the PPS (Poynting Physical Society) Freshers Gangster Party. I was the DJ. I have to say it went well, we had a huge crowd. About 80 people in all which was much better than the 20 or so from last years one. I also got the oppurtunity to be the DJ for the night. Well until the speakers started acting dodgy, so I finished my "set" half an hour early but heck it went well. I kept getting people come up to me saying that they were enjoying the set and that I was playing some wicked music. I guess I cant moan then. I will however not let this go to my head – I have a big enough one as it is at the moment. Once I get the pics I will put them on the PPS site, for now here is one of me prating around before we started properly (oh by the way I went as a Columbian Cartel guy):

Colombians against the Mafia

Also, today was the first open lecture of the year. I am now sort of in charge of organising these and it was a terrifying thought. It went well though. We had about 100 people turn up, enough to make the West Lecture theatre feel full. Dr Nigel Bannister, our guest speaker gave an abolutely wonderful talk. It was on a slightly different topic than we advertised since we thought this would be better for the audience – everyone seemed to enjoy it.

Sky Chart script

I finished off writing my skychart script. The main task I have to do
is produce all the images from Kstars and put the in the "database"
of images that the script pulls them from. It is nothing to fancy but
does exactly what I wanted it to do. I will make some modifications
to it at some point but I have lots of other things to do at the moment.
This can currently be seen on my homepage sidebar. Or at
The script is set to show the sky, looking at the zenith point, from
Birmingham on the 1st of every month at midnight.

Introduction to naked eye astronomy

Last night
I gave a short talk on naked eye astronomy at Astrosoc. This was a quick
powerpoint presentation I put together in case there was some bad weather.
Yep there was – it was bloody cloudy. So I went off and did the presentation.
We managed to get a good crowd in and did get around to doing some observing.
Not much though as it was just too cloudy.

Oh if you
want to take a look at the presentation see:

October Sky Charts

I have decided that I am going to write a new section of my website dedicated to Astronomy. I am not sure when I will get round to this. I used to have a section but this died. One thing I have done is produce (using K-stars) a map of the night sky for October (set on the 1st at 12midnight). I am intending to do this for every month and write a little php script that will show the correct one for the month in question. Here is October (click on image for larger version):

Fun with Mathcad – oh and my 400th entry!

I have to say I detest using Mathcad. I have to at the moment though, argh! It should be ok. It makes some of the stupidest errors known though, look at what it told me earlier:

Mathcad, argh!

All I can say is thanks! Stupid bloody software. Then bloody paint didn’t save the colour correctly – great! Oh and this blog is now 400 entries old and going strong!