Pirate Star Party This Weekend!

It is time for the annual Riverside Astronomical Societies themed Star Party.

And in honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day (Friday, September 19th), this year’s theme is pirates!

I, of course, will be dressed appropriately.  P.S. The image is to see if anyone actually reads this post, my outfit is WAY sexier than this. As you might be able to tell, really like this idea as I have been a fan of the Pirate Day festivities for years.  Alas, there are no pirate constellations, nebula to photograph.

The only possibility is what Stephen O’Meara calls it the pirate moon cluster, NGC 1647.  So I will try to image that and post the results on Monday.

As always, everyone is invited to attend the star party, costumed or not, this weekend.  Come out to GMARS and have a good time.  More information can be found here.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

A Mess(y)ier Marathon.

The weekend started out with a bang.  A jolt actually.  We felt the eathquake out here (barely), but it wasn’t enough to stop our intrepid Marathoner’s.

IMG_2005

The clouds, however, did stop us.

IMG_2015

So, as darkness fell, I decided to take some photos anyway.    Children playing in the dark, nothing seems to phase them.

IMG_2003

IMG_1999

IMG_1997

IMG_1990

IMG_1989

IMG_1986

It is the time of the year when the desert blooms and this year was actually pretty good with the rain we received.

IMG_2023

A group of students came out to explore our site.  I hope they can come back when it is clear!  Next month we have a Girl Scout troop and two different high school field trips!  Lots of activity.

IMG_2018

Even with little hope of a break in the clouds, people set up and tested equipment.  Sometimes a cloudy night can be very productive.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Starizona And The Gem Show.

Last of the trip photos.

DPP_0095

Friday night I was able to drop by Starizona, a wonderful telescope shop.  Dean the owner is also the maker of the Hyperstar system (which I use), the microtouch focuser (which I use) and the Hyperion telescope line (which I want).

DPP_0087

Most weekends Dean keeps the store open and has star parties right in the parking lot.

DPP_0086

You can see the traffic whizzing by on the street about 10 yards away.

DPP_0090

Yet, you can still take images like this 20 second, hand held shot with my Canon EOS M with a 3.5mm focal length.

DPP_0090(adjusted)

A little processing (very little on the jpg only) and it doesn’t turn out half bad.  Editing the RAW image would have been better, but hey, I gotta work sometime.

DPP_0079

They have a projector and screen set up for people new to astronomy to get a better look at what they see through the telescopes.

DPP_0093

A budding young astronomer reading away.  She was NOT happy when Mom made her go home.

DPP_0126 DPP_0118

After coming back from Kitt Peak, we stopped by the Gem and Mineral show that was being held ALL over Tucson.  There was like 36 venues to choose from.  I went to the main one at the civic center in downtown Tucson.  The place was well lit (or I smudged the lens on my cell phone).  An artist who made fantasy and crystals meld into something beautiful.

DPP_0131

Chewie, the dino fossil won first prize for best display in his category.

DPP_0113 DPP_0106

Some VERY cool florescent rocks and minerals under black light.

DPP_0134

A very expensive ($18,000) Amethyst back lit table, one of many impressive pieces from this company.

DPP_0172

Gorgeous polished petrified wood table tops for sale as a reasonable $800-1,500 apiece.

DPP_0171

One of my favorite artist who takes ironwood and makes these amazing works.  The vase in front was $10,000.

DPP_0138

Big assed geode (crystal egg not included).

DPP_0148 DPP_0157

One of my other favorites were these Australian sand sculptures.  The sand flows through a barrier of air to make these one of a king images.  It is like a colorful etch-a-sketch.

Really too many images to show, but I didn’t even get to see the crown jewels on display from the Smithsonian (the crowd was tremendous).  All in all I estimate that there was between 2-3 billion dollars worth of art, semi-precious and precious stones on display in this one location.  I haven’t gone rock hounding since my youth, but I found out that Harbor Freight sells a rock tumbling kit.  I may just have to get in contact with my High School friend Mark (a geology major) and see about rounding up some rocks…..

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

The First One Is On Its Way.

Comet PANSTARRS is here!  From now until about the 21st of March will be the best time to view the comet.

Images of the comet from all over the globe are starting to show up.

Luis Argerich in Buenos Aires posted this cool photo of Comet PANSTARRS on February 12. The comet is the fan-shaped object on the left. Luis caught the comet in the same photo as an iridium flare.

Michael Goh took this image of comet Panstarrs at Burns Beach in northern metropolitan area in Perth, Western Australia one hour after sunset in early March.

Here in the northern hemisphere we will have to wait until about March 12.  Panstarss will be considerably higher in the sky,  setting around 75 minutes after the Sun has gone down in the West.

If you have a clear view of the West you should be able to take some photos of the comet will any camera you have, like those above.

If you have the equipment you can take images like this one by Terry Lovejoy in Australia.

I will do my best to capture some images at this weekends star party.  If you are in the area, come join us here to view the heavens.  It doesn’t cost anything to come out and play under the stars.  You really don’t even need to bring any equipment.  You can always ask to look through someones telescope.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +.  If you need help with any patent, trademark, or copyright issue, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation by sending me an email or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

Norman

 

This Weekends Scare Party at GMARS.

Once a year at the Riverside Astronomical Society we like to have a themed star party at the clubs Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (GMARS).  This year, naturally, it was Halloween. Due to some unfortunate timing, the annual Nightfall event had to be canceled due to a change in ownership at the resort that we normally hold the event.  Not to worry, Nightfall will resume next year.  In the mean time, here are a few images from Saturday’s star-b-que.  Enjoy.

We really need to clean the place, I mean look at all the cobwebs!

The hallway to the bathrooms, appropriately named the “dead zone.”

Blood and ick everywhere!

Death helping with dinner.  How nice.

A little heart salsa to go with the meal.

Someone got careless during meal prep.

Ken, our star party director, was a prisoner of his own success.

Death had some competition!

I hope your Halloween is a much fun as ours was.  Please remember that if you are in the area and would like to join us to gaze at the heavens, feel free to join us.  There is no cost, free food, good fun and lots of astronomy!  Heck, you don’t even have to bring a telescope, we have several that you can borrow.

If you are dying to patent, copyright or trademark something, or know someone that can use my help, please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at nvantreeck@usip.com or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities.  Connect with me on Google +

Norman