Archive | August 2011

Stephan’s quintet

A compact galaxy group – Stephan’s quintet taken at Wast Hills with a 30s exposure using a R filter.
Stephan's quintet

Observatories: Lovell Telescope

The [Lovell Telescope] of Jodrell Bank. At 250ft its one of the worlds largest telescopes.
Jodrell Bank

City night sky

A nice view over Birmingham that I took a couple of years ago during a sidewalk astronomy event… you can see the Moon and Venus quite nicely.
Sidewalk Astronomy event, telescope, moon, venus

Another view of the Eagle Nebula…

The Eagle nebula is a young open cluster of stars that is most famous for the “pillars of creation”. I posted a pic and description on this [before] but here is another view of it…
Eagle Nebula

Wedding Preparations

I thought a short article showing some of the highlights of our wedding preparation was a good idea and a nice way for us to look back on all of the crazy and mundane things we have done. This is far from complete as its surprising how many hours are taken up in wedding related preparations. Its mostly been fun, there have been some stressful and confusing moments.. though given I’m actually writing this 2 days before the wedding (publishing right afterwards, so if you are reading this and the photos haven’t gone public I’m sorry) there are bound to be a few last minute moments of stress…
Flowers, Flowers, Flowers….
Oh the joys of flowers and the wonders of cool fake ones 🙂
A trip out to the excellent Mr. Latifs in Brum was had… we got just what we wanted for the ceremony room. For me this was great, I’m a person who likes to plan well in advance and real flowers really don’t allow for that as the day before is really the earliest you can do that.
IMAG0397
For the real flowers it was a trip down to the massive Birmingham Wholesale Market. The highlight of the trip for the trial flowers was, for me anyway, the reminder of how Birmingham once was – all dingy and a bit crap. The highlight for Lizzie was probably the graze she got my falling over.
IMAG0601
They looked quite good too:
IMAG0625
The Venue…
For both of us the natural choice was the stunning Birmingham Botanical Gardens. It also nicely satisfied close to the Brides home (not that is far from t’other side of the city for me). We actually now live in a tower block overlooking the place – its a lovely area.
IMAG0421
All I’ll say is hopefully no one will end up in with the fish…
IMAG0429
Centrepieces… lego, lego everywhere
Our centrepieces were lots of fun to make…
wedding lego
IMAG0620
IMAG0622
Invites and other arts and crafts
We made our own invities, well we had the design laser cut out but all of it was our own work. It was very satisfying but a bit awkward on how best todo it. Was quite a lot of fun and we think we ended up with a great looking invite…
Lizzie wedding prep
The table plan was a bit easier, once we found a nice big piece of card from Hobbycraft..
IMAG0607
but the fancy idea I said “yeah no problem” to Lizzie for the menus provided me with a desktop publishing nightmare.. I think I was just being a numpty but they came out quite nice in the end
IMAG0605
Sweets!
Any finally it wouldn’t be a proper party without some nice hard boiled sweets..
IMAG0603
IMAG0618

NGC 2261

[NGC 2261] – Hubble’s variable Nebula. It is illuminated by the star R Monocerotis. This is an image that I took with the Faulkes Telescope from a number of years back now.
NGC 2261

Andromeda Galaxy

The centre of the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) taken with the Wast Hills telescope (30s BRV).
Andromeda Galaxy
The Andromeda Galaxy is the furthest thing you can see with your naked eye, so go outside and take a look. You’ll find it just off the square of pegasus. Helpful instructions can be found [here]

Couple of days in Manchester…

I went up to Manchester for a Square Kilometre Array meeting on calibration and imaging – if you are interested [my talk] slides and a (just follow the links) can be found on their website. I stayed in the Novotel and that was actually a much better experience than I thought. This was only the second time that I’ve been to Manchester the first for another radio astronomy meeting, though the only exploring I did the first time was to get some socks (yes I went to a conference without any). I took in a few sights this time including the John Rylands Library which looks more like a church. I’m not sure I could go in their and look for books – I’d be a little intimidated. Was pretty cool though:
John Rylands Library - Manchester
Most of my time was spent, of course, at the conference but I did get to experience [Eastzeast] which had some excellent Indian food. Weird nan presentation, but excellent food. Overall my impression of Manchester was better on the second viewing but I’m not sure I’d be interested in spending more than a week there.
In Manchester