3D Gulls

 Birds  Comments Off on 3D Gulls
Mar 122018

Another 3D spectrogram of gulls but this time taken with my £20 Adokey voice recorder.

Click on the image or here to view the interactive 3D version. Zoom with your mouse wheel and click-drag to rotate.

 Posted by at 2:08 pm

3D Spectrogram Tutorial

 Birds  Comments Off on 3D Spectrogram Tutorial
Mar 042018

This tutorial shows you how to easily make interactive 3D Spectrogams like this using Audacity. The source files are zipped up here which includes the “spectrogram.html” file you will need for your own spectrogram.

Click image for interactive 3D version

The 3D graphics are powered by the Babylon.js framework which does all the hard stuff for you.

1. Select Your Audio:- Choose the audio you want to display, optimise it and save it to “original.wav”.

2. Grab Audacity Screenshots:- Load “original.wav” and show its color spectrogram. Hide all toolbars and zoom in to fill track with audio information. Use Audacity>Help>Tools>Screenshot Tools to take a color screenshot. Change spectrogram to monochrome and take another screenshot.

Continue reading »

 Posted by at 12:55 pm

3D Birdsong

 Birds  Comments Off on 3D Birdsong
Mar 032018

I have been experimenting with processing birdsong in the Audacity sound editor. This is a very powerful and free program which is great for recording and cleaning up audio and inspecting its frequency spectrum. I used the Audacity spectrogram to generate a 3D model that you can view in your browser.

Click on the image below to view the 3D spectrogram. Zoom in with your mouse wheel and click-drag to rotate the view. The robin sings once at 1x speed and then again at half speed so you can follow the detail.

Click image for 3D model with sound

Click image for 3D model with sound

BTW, this was recorded on my £15 Logitech C270 webcam feeding in to Audacity. I set Audacity up to record automatically at 4am and stop at 8am.


 Posted by at 2:57 pm

Horsehead by Remote Control

 Deep Sky  Comments Off on Horsehead by Remote Control
Feb 062018

Above  is a trial I shot of the Horsehead Nebula using iTelescope.net which has a range of high spec remote controlled telescopes across the world. I bought 20 imaging points using their starter plan which was made up to 60 points as a new member. I then booked 45 minutes on their telescope #24 which is a 0.61 metre reflector in California. I shot 300s each of Ha, R,G,B, O and S and combined the HaRGB in Krita.

This shooting plan took 47 of my points which I think is really good value for using a scope I could never hope to own.

Note that the image is pretty noisy because I did not have enough images to stack and reduce the noise. I will be taking more shots soon and will post the results here.

 Posted by at 11:56 am

When Galaxies Collide

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on When Galaxies Collide
Mar 072017


Watch it full screen in HD here https://vimeo.com/207285302

I made this simulation a few years ago in my StarryOrbits gravity laboratory app. It uses a simplified model of the galaxies with the core stars in red or blue and the halo stars in yellow or green. Newton’s laws of motion are then used to predict what will happen in the future. The simulation repeats a few times so you can watch it properly. What is interesting is that the 2 galaxy cores stay mostly intact even after they have passed thru each other a few times. It is actually better to watch it in StarryOrbits because it has a 3D viewer that lets you rotate, pan and zoom while the animation is playing. Great to have a couple of galaxies on your PC to play with.

Unfortunately, changes to Java security policy means I can no longer distribute the original StarryOrbits. However, I am looking at rewriting it to take advantage of modern multicore CPUs and GPUs.


 Posted by at 3:23 pm

M42 Guided by DSSR

 Deep Sky  Comments Off on M42 Guided by DSSR
Feb 282017

Here is my latest M42 captured with my Canon 1100D thru my Nexstar 4SE at prime. I used an old 3″ Mak to guide but found the usual star guiding apps could not lock on the stars. I then switched on DSSR and used it to guide right thru the 3 hour session. Stacked in SkippyStak and processed in StarTools.

Click for full size image

 Posted by at 1:03 pm

M42 using Nexstar 4SE

 Deep Sky  Comments Off on M42 using Nexstar 4SE
Feb 112017

This was shot with my Canon 1100D looking thru my Nexstar 4SE at prime. Stacked in SkippyStak and processed in StarTools.

Click for full image

 Posted by at 8:20 pm

99 Tile Lunar Mosaic

 Moon  Comments Off on 99 Tile Lunar Mosaic
Feb 112017

Just shot this on the 10th February with my 1/4″ DMK camera and DSSR’s automatic mosaic module. Stacked in Avistack, stitched in ICE and post processed in Krita. Click to see the full size image.

Click for full size image

Below is the DSSR mosaic preview window that lets you monitor mosaic progress. The blue tiles were sky which DSSR automatically skipped to save time – total time taken was 45 minutes. The Moon is egg shaped here because I used a vertical overlap of 50% and a horizontal overlap of 30% to ensure a good stitch in ICE.

Click for full size image

 Posted by at 8:12 pm

Email Scam / E-Mail-Betrug

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Email Scam / E-Mail-Betrug
Aug 112016

I have just received a bunch of email bounce notices which seen to come from German speaking accounts.

I can assure you that I had nothing to do with these emails and you should treat them as fraudulent.

Ich habe gerade eine Reihe von E-Mail-Bounce-Hinweise, die aus dem deutschsprachigen Raum Konten zu kommen gesehen.

Ich kann Ihnen versichern, dass ich nichts mit dieser E-Mails zu tun hatte, und Sie sollten sie als betrügerisch zu behandeln.

 Posted by at 5:52 pm

Mercury Transit 2016

 Planets, Solar HA  Comments Off on Mercury Transit 2016
May 122016

I was very lucky during the transit because an early morning haar burned off just before the transit and we had mostly clear blue skies above Inverness, Scotland for the rest of the day. This let me capture most of the transit until the Sun sunk below my roofline. Here is the animation I produced from the results (some jerkiness is caused by occasional clouds).


Equipment and Software Used

  • Coronado PST solar scope
  • HEQ5 Pro mount
  • PowerMate 2.5x barlow
  • TIS DMK21 camera
  • EQMOD for mount control
  • DSSR for autoguiding and video capture
  • AviStack for video stacking
  • DVS for animation
  • Pipo X7 PC for mount control, video stacking and animation


I had intended to use my PST at prime focus to capture the transit but I changed my mind just after the start and zoomed in with my barlow. Mercury made a perfect autoguide target for DSSR and I only had to guide manually when a telephone cable went in front of the Sun. DSSR automatically recorded 669 consecutive videos, each 30 seconds long which were batch stacked and processed in AviStack.

I used DVS to stabilise and animate the AviStack images and add the clock, text and scale Earth. The scale Earth threw me for a while because Mercury is only 38% the size of the Earth and it looked far too big when I added my standard scale Earth. It took me a while to realise that Mercury and the Sun are at different distances from Inverness so I added 2 scale Earths.

I love pushing the limits of low cost astro equipment so I am delighted that my £70 Pipo X7 PC was able to act as my observatory workhorse.


 Posted by at 12:22 pm