Back in April, our local astronomy club decided to use Zoom to hold our monthly meetings for members as a virtual meeting and they did it again in May. It is working well and a side-benefit is that in addition to being able to see it on Zoom, the video can be automatically streamed to YouTube (with about a 15s delay) and saved there when the meeting ends. Our group isn’t alone in this, lots of organizations are doing the same thing for virtual conferences.
However, one downside to the final saved video is that you get the entire raw footage from the time you press RECORD to the time you press STOP. This means for meetings and conferences that you often see hosts saying exciting things like, “Okay, we are now recording and streaming. You can begin.” And another host saying, “Okay, I’ll just share my screen…can you see that and hear me okay?” » Read the rest
Earlier this week, I mentioned that I need to let go of my dream of having a backyard observatory (https://polywogg.ca/letting-go-of-an-observatory-dream/). It was based on the crash between the dream and reality, with the reality that multiple variables don’t work in my backyard:
I don’t have space for a pre-fab observatory (normally 8’x8′ minimum);
There’s really only one place in the backyard that works, and to make it functional, I would have to raise it up to deck level, but once there, the only options are either too expensive, too big, too ugly, or all three.
The weird part is that I’ve known it was unlikely for quite some time, and I thought it was “gone” from my plans and options. Some of it remains because I have had nothing to replace it with, to be honest. One frustrating thing for me with my hobby is that I don’t have any places nearby that I can just pop over and start observing from, with most decent options being quite a drive. » Read the rest
I have almost 1400 posts and pages, and with a redesign that I’ve recently been working on, i.e., changing many things behind the scenes in layout and workflow, I need to go back and fix a bunch of featured images for sizes. So at the same time, since I’ll be using the Featured Images in a slightly different way along with other graphics in my site, I’ll take advantage of the update to also consider new images.
For astronomy posts, most of which up until now have been about astronomy and telescopes and imaging, oh my, I’ve tended to use a whimsical graphic for all of it.
It has a transparent background, PNG format, and I like the light nature of it. It reflects my approach to astronomy, generally informal, non-scientific, heavy focus on observing over imaging or logging. In short? Fun.
The nights are longer and colder, but yesterday (October 5th) was International Astronomy Day so we set up for a night at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. It’s not quite as good as Carp as we can’t turn the parking lot lights up, but we set up a little farther away on the grass (I had thought we would set up on the pavement as we did one other time, but we were all on the grass and a clear patch of gravel). I was initially worried about dew but had no issues for the night.
One of the best parts of events at CASM is I don’t have to be the event marshal. 🙂 I just go and observe. I helped out on the social media side for announcements and promotions, but that was all. Chris in our group is the lead for liaison with the Museum and did solar observing during the day. » Read the rest
I had my doubts about the star party scheduled for September 21 in Carp, including the fact that I’m a bit tired of organizing them. I don’t mind GOING, but I’d much prefer to go with Jacob, set up his scope too, and then just be able to leave when we want to, even if only there for an hour or so. If I go as an event marshal, I have to stay all night. I had no other marshals seemingly available for this one, so I went without the cub. However, when I got there, one of the other marshals had shown up and already had all the cones set out, etc. Awesome!
I set up in a different spot than normal, and parked in the upper bowl just in case I decided to bail early. However, I was surprised that the location of the setup changed the experience for the night. » Read the rest