Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A little star fun

So many moons ago, I got into amateur astronomy by helping out at the York County Museum in SC. I got enough into it that my mother bought me a mirror and with some help I built a 6 inch Newtonian Telescope on a simple Dobsonian mount.

Well, recently that bug bit me again and I was lucky enough to find an 8 inch Dobsonian mounted Newtonian on craigslist for a nice price. Got it home and set it up and was able to take pictures just by holding my cellphone up to the eyepiece.

Jupiter and three of his moons

The Orion Nebula

The Moon

This was enough to make me want more and more meant some better equipment. So first I found a new (okay old, but new to me) Canon T2i camera and a couple kit lenses for wide angle shots and adapters to use with my scope.

Moon through the trees on a cloudy night. Hand held and just playing with the settings.

All of the above photos were taken from my back patio in Martinsburg WV.

I also wanted to eliminate as much light pollution as I could so I started looking for a dark sky sight relatively close by. I found Sleepy Creek Lake Natural Area about 40 minutes west of me.... on the other side of a mountain. 

This was towards the Northeast. Still trying to remember which area.
18mm wide frame, 25 seconds.

Big Dipper's handle. 18mm at 25 seconds.

Scorpio Rising 18mm at 25 seconds.

Scorpio Rising with Antares showing. 18mm at 25 seconds.

This site should work nicely and I'll try to get out there every couple months weather permitting.

I also would like to get out to Spruce Knob State Park for some REALLY dark skies, but that will likely wait until Winter and much drier skies as well. 3 hour drive. 


My first attempt at manipulating a photo. From my back yard. Canon T2i at 18mm F3.5 and ISO 6400 for 24 seconds. Looking towards the SE, you can make out some of the Milky Way in the bottom of the picture. The Top is the picture after a session in Lightroom and the bottom is the untouched raw original.

Same pictures at 1600 and 20 seconds

10sec ISO800 F3.5 18mm

Wrinkles in Space/Time

56 stacked images without darks or biases (Yes, I know I did it incorrectly)
18mm 14seconds F3.5 ISO800 on the T2i

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Merlin 69 Fountain Pen - Piston Filler

Merlin 69 - Piston Filler

Cap Diameter 
Body Diameter 

Script Merlin as well as the "M" crown and shield Logos imprinted on barrel followed by the "69" model designation.
Warranted 14k nib.
Unbranded clip with clear amber finial on gold metal cap.

Body colored, hooded section and gold ring separating from body.
Body colored finial cap.
Amber striped ink window.

Larger pen similar in size to the Perfect.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Merlin Fountain Pen - Cartrdge/Converter

Merlin - Cartridge/Converter

Capped 132mm
Uncapped 122mm
Posted 147mm
Cap Diameter 10.5mm
Body Diameter 11mm

Script Merlin Logo imprinted on barrel.
Unknown nib.
Unbranded clip with body colored finial on metal cap.
Body colored, semi-hooded section and small ring separating from body.

Merlin Elegant Fountain Pen - Button Filler

Merlin Elegant - Button Filler

Capped 121mm
Uncapped 110mm
Posted 144mm
Cap Diameter 10mm
Body Diameter 12mm

Script Merlin Logo and Elegant imprinted on barrel.
Warranted with Merlin Script M logo 14k .585 nib.
Unbranded Elegant clip with large ring and black finial.
Single multilevel trim ring on cap.
Black section and body colored blind cap with matching ring and black finial.

Merlin Pearl Fountain Pen - Button Filler

Merlin Pearl - Button Filler

Capped 114mm
Uncapped 100.5mm
Posted 136mm
Cap Diameter 9.5mm
Body Diameter 10.5mm

Script Merlin Logo and Pearl imprinted on barrel.
Warranted 14k nib.
Unbranded clip with large ring and black finial.
Triple trim rings on cap.
Black section and blind cap.