Archive for photos

Shadow on the Water

Posted in Astronomy, Personal with tags , , on April 24, 2011 by davidnm2009

It’s not my usual thing, but I took a couple of nice photos whilst in Llandudno:

Also, this one shows the advantage of visiting the Pier early in the morning – it was completely deserted:

And here’s the Great Orm, along with the far end of the sea front:

Oh yes, I also gave a talk on my research. You can see the abstract for it over here

I felt that NAM 2011 was a successful and enjoyable event.

Now, I just need to work on this whole ‘go to conference and NOT bring back viral passenger’ thing. *sneezes*

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America…

Posted in Amusing with tags , , on August 28, 2010 by davidnm2009

…is apparently a place where you see things like this:

It’s a miniature Stonehenge that also apparently doubles as a water feature. I haven’t yet managed to make up my mind whether this is cool, weird or just slightly sad!

I saw this at a shopping centre that’s close to the place where I’m staying, and couldn’t resist taking a quick photo. (I know it’s a rubbish photo…)

The Mad Scientist’s Lair…

Posted in Amusing, Astronomy, Personal with tags , , on August 15, 2010 by davidnm2009

…because it wouldn’t be cutting-edge research without post-it notes!

In all seriousness, telescopes aside, astronomy research departments are surprisingly mundane places.

From A Sky Survey

Posted in Art, Astronomy, Space with tags , , , on August 15, 2010 by davidnm2009

The Sloan Digital Sky Survey is one of the new generation of automated, telescopic sky surveys. These surveys are returning a huge amount of data, in volumes that would have been unprecedented even a couple of decades ago. Sloan in particular is able to take spectra of large numbers of stars, and do a basic reduction all by itself. It’s possible to download thousands of target-star spectra straight to your hard drive, without having to put in telescope proposals, or physically go and observe. (This has made population studies a lot easier! The surveys are also why there’s been a lot of work on galactic structure in the last few years – it’s suddenly got easier to do, basically.)

As well as raw data, Sloan also returns images. These are through the so-called ‘sky server’ (the visual tools, for instance, are here). The images are coloured in relation to the photometric bands they receive (there’s an explanation of how they do the colouring here). Whether the results are beautiful, well, I leave that as an exercise to the reader! (I think some of them can be, though). Here are some examples that I took earlier, pretty much at random (I entered several combinations of R.A. and Declination into the Finding Chart tool):

The Famous Places gallery is also worth a look. I’d particularly recommend the detector artifacts, oddly enough. They’re really annoying from a data point of view, but some of them do look quite pretty.

Hawaii, Redux

Posted in Astronomy, Personal with tags , on August 10, 2010 by davidnm2009

Just a quick note: I’ve put some more of my photos from Hawaii up on my devArt page.

You can see them here, should you wish to.