November 21, 2011

More Fun with PhotoShop

So anyway, I came across this beautiful photograph of the galaxy named NGC 3041. Or, as I like to call it, Snookums. It looked so much like a painting that I decided to put my PhotoShop semi-skills to good uselessness. And since my version is over ten years old, this may be as good as my PhotoShop Fu gets.


I grew up wondering why I couldn't see the bright center of our galaxy, even on a moonless night. Now, of course, I know that it's because of interstellar dust and the lights of the cities. Needless to say, living within 50 miles of Times Square isn't the most condusive environment for stargazing.

But I found a photo of the Milky Way above a tree-line, and decided to PhotoShop it with a Manhattan skyline. The blueness of the sky contrasts (read: clashes) with a colorful cityscape.


I like the boldness of the contrast between the "macro-natural" galactic center and the man-made beauty below, but not the lack of realism. The two elements don't appear to be occupying the same universe.

So then I found a clearer picture of the Milky Way and put it together with a different New York skyline photo, and threw in the moon for good measure.


I like the mix of that one much more, but I regret having the Milky Way perfectly horizontal. So I tilted the same photo and added yet another skyline shot.


Aah, now we're talkin' 'bout a penthouse view.

But, based on the Earth-bound photos, I seem to have placed the Milky Way too far off in the distance.

The center of the galaxy is very far away, but it is frickin' huge.

Anywho, I then grabbed a more real-color photo of the Milky Way above a treeline, and added something beautiful that is both natural and man-made.


Love the J-Lo dress.

And finally, for now, the previous background with the pyramids that were built along the Nile, which was thought to represent the Milky Way.



A timelapse recording of the galactic center passing over a popular stargazing spot in Texas at about 5,000 ft elev. with clear dark skies.

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman on Vimeo.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 07:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 02, 2004

On Cold Days You think About the Sun...

What are Sun Spots?

I've known about them since I was a whipper-snapper learning about dinosaurs and whales and watching Apollo flights.
Sun Spots appear as dark blotches on the Sun's surface, in a given pattern, and often lasting for weeks. Great amounts of radiation are released from them until they eventually fade to nothingness and the surface of the Sun returns to it's formally smooth self. But, in all my youth, no one ever seemed to be able to identify what causes them.

I hadn't thought about Sun Spots in years until 1994. That's when I saw some images of the imact craters on Jupiter following it's collision with comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.. I saw various photos and time-elapsed films and thought: "Golly gee whiz, they sure look like Sun Spots."

So, my working hypothesis is that Sun Spots are simply the impact craters left by meteors and comets.
I'm not sure what made me recall this just now, but I'm gonna do a little research about what is known about Sun Spots and see if I'm onto something or not.

I just lo-o-o-o-o-ve solving mysteries!

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)
Site Meter