Monday 30 June 2014

New from Rosetta and 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko

72000km to 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko - meeting in early August

15 June 2011:

6 June 2008:

8 June 2008:

2 March 2004:

Comets and I seem well-preserved!

Friday 27 June 2014

Night-time is when one usually thinks of astronomy and when one has a telescope, Saturn is usually among the favourites. June-July will be a good time to try to find one of the more interesting satellites in the solar system and near Saturn: Iapetus

It and Saturn will be difficult to see in August - low among the trees around the Killarney site but we shall try. Other difficult events may be aurora borealis and the recurring Perseid meteor shower - short nights and moon light as well as weather may spoil our chances. However, if you do not look you will also not see anything either.

How many attempts did I make to capture M31 and a meteor?

200mm F/6.7 30sec Exp ISO-1600 3 Oct 2010 above.

  18mm F3.5 30sec Exp ISO-1600  3 Oct 2010 below
Good luck - wob

Tuesday 24 June 2014

Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario Canada

Astronomy Program III. Nighttime

For me a great attraction of Killarney is its clear dark skies nearly free from light polution. It is a place from which we can do naked-eye astronomy, progress to using binoculars and telescopes to explore our nearby universe. We will do this again this summer. We will see the moon as both an object of great interest and as an annoying source of excessive light. To help plan your observing with or without the moon visit:  :

My friend, Michael, has given me some of his moon shots from Spring so we can compare the moon's appearance and try to understand the changes.

Try this movie:


And why? Or why not!

I may add more later.

Sunday 22 June 2014

Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario Canada

Astronomy Program II. Daytime Sunny!

Our daytime programme helps our night time observing - when might we expect Northern Lights?
We will use our solar telescopes and filters to help us. You can use the Internet.
First - here comes the sun:
Also for flares etc:
Second - Then hours to days later, at the earth:

Now let us put it to scale.
The diameter of the sun is 1% of its distance to earth.
Try the following for size and humility:

 Write me if you want more - on this or other topics. I will add our night programme soon.

Saturday 21 June 2014

I like snakes. Here a Northern Water Snake near Orillia.

Wednesday 18 June 2014

                                                             "Bug" Orchid  June 1, 2008

 ForJens:  F/8, 93mm 1/180 sec, ISO 180 - better separation of subject from background?
Killarney Provincial Park, Ontario Canada

Astronomy Program I. Daytime

In 2012 we tried doing astronomy during the day - observing Venus:

In 2013, Bill Gardner and Bruce Waters provided a solar filter for the 25cm Meade telescope and we
were able to look at the sun:

And Gordon Michener lent us an H-alpha Coronado telescope:

I  hope we can do better in 2014

Tuesday 17 June 2014

Learn something every day - last year I learnt that a white (5 letters) pine had 5 needles - how clever of it to know! And I am a slow learner!

Yesterday I learned that red oak have pointed leaves and white oak have lobes.

Very common around Torrance Barrens

Monday 16 June 2014

No rest for the wicked or retired. So a calico pennant:

And a blanding turtle:

And for astronomy in next few days:
Go to
Next under Astronomy click on "Comets" and "Comet C/2012 K1 PANSTARRS"
It is currently nearly 60 degrees from the sun and a test for your cameras and/or small telescopes.
Good luck. Try stacking images.
  I hope to outline next our daytime programme  - soon.

Friday 13 June 2014

I have been busy - Vicki and I are returning to Killarney Provincial Park at the end of July for a few weeks. I will be posting some activities here. I was "thinking" when a photo from a friend of mine arrived and prompted me to post the following:

Could be done anywhere - even Killarney! (August 16, 2012)

Here is how:
Go to: "Change your observing location"
Click and a map will open.

Try this to open in Killarney:

Drag the orange balloon to your oberving site and give it a name. Then click on "Update"
You will be returned to start  and there click under Satellites "ISS" to see "Visible Passes" for the next 10 days.

From my friend:
Credit: Michael Khan, Darmstadt
German original:                                                    and my translation:
Überflug der ISS über Darmstadt ,                        ISS over Darmstadt,
 am 7.6.2014,                                                        Germany on June 7, 2014
Blickrichtung nach Norden.                                    Facing North
Komposit aus einer Serie                                       Composed of 9 individual exposures
aus 9 Einzelaufnahmen,                                           each 30 seconds duration.
00:05 - 00:10 MESZ.                                             Middle European Summer Time
                                                                               (6 hours difference)

Canon EOS 600D, Sigma EX 10 mm f2.8 DC, ISO 200   

One should use a tripod, turn off the "lens-shake" compensator, manual focus to infinity,
possibly set shutter delay to 2-3 seconds, ISO 400 to 800 for a single exposure, 200 for multiexposures,
focal length short: 18mm and 30sec = little star trailing, i.e. sharp point-like stars; longer
focal lengths and shorter exposures, as you wish/trial and error.

And maybe .....

Good luck

Friday 6 June 2014

                                         It is not too late to "butt" in and "help" Karen


Well, maybe Karen is beyond "help" but/butt not her cause - Good luck tomorrow and Sunday

Wednesday 4 June 2014

These 3 photos are of the same damselfly under different lighting. I think it must have just hatched but there was no exuvia on this plant. I actually held the stem and brought in focus while the camera was set to manual. The damsel was most co-operative for more than 30 minutes with the black box only 45cm away. Not to mention a whole kayak at eye level. Not sure if this is an Orange Bluet. I need help here.

                                          Exuvia - one of two I found and photographed
            Some Eastern Forktails - maybe! And the red are imature females. Total = 6!

                                                   Kingfisher watching me look at its nest
                                          Its nest is in the bank to the right of the bare bank

Monday 2 June 2014

Just a heads up: Saturday I took photos from the kayak and Sunday from Langman Sanctuary -200! Lots of dragonflies - some photos are even sharp!

Chalk-fronted Corporal:

And a male juvenile Common Whitetail:

                                              Hope everyone is enjoying good weather