This year’s peak of the Geminid meteor shower was unfavourable because of nearly full Moon, that reduced the number of visible meteors. On the day of the maximum activity, between Moonset and dawn, there was a brief window of good visibility. During two hours of observing meteors, I caught about 25 of them on camera. Here is a selection of the brightest.
Different science fiction, board game, roleplaying related societies presented their activities. There were a sections dedicated to playing Magic the Gathering, Warhammer and painting Warhammer figures. Of course, event like this needs cosplaying performance. Award for the best costume was won by the Witch King (LotR – Lord of the Nazgul), followed by Morgana (LoL champion) costume with moving wings. As befits sci-fi event we even saw Princess Leila slave costume.
During the convention, there were lectures with various topics. Artistic society presented the process of making their Witch King costume. From ideas and design to their actual implementation. There was a discussion about problems of translating personal names in books and maintaining their relevance to the content.
Thanks to the organizers for promoting events of that kind.
More pictures in gallery.
That is why I took one of those cheap IR remotes and upgraded it using small ATtiny85 microcontroller. Its task is to simulate button presses depending on the settings of the DIP switch. The element in use consists of five switches. The first one (1) is used for selecting the operation mode. When switched ON continuous mode is selected and long exposure mode when it is turned OFF. Other four switches (5-2) determine the length of exposure or interval. You can change the settings during exposition, but they are not taken into account until the next exposition.
Long exposure options – DIP switch 1 is set to OFF:
- DIP switch 2 ⇒ 10 min
- DIP switch 3 ⇒ 5 min
- DIP switch 4 ⇒ 2 min
- DIP switch 5 ⇒ 1 min
Total maximum time for a long exposure, when all switches are turned ON, is 18 minutes.
Continuous shooting (intervalometer) mode options – DIP switch 1 is set to ON:
- DIP switch 2 ⇒ 120 s
- DIP switch 3 ⇒ 60 s
- DIP switch 4 ⇒ 30 s
- DIP switch 5 ⇒ 10 s
Total maximum interval between two exposures in continuous shooting mode, when all switches are turned ON, is 240 seconds.
Button presses are simulated using MOS N-FET 2N7000 transistor (see the bottom image for wiring diagram). When pin 1 goes to HIGH the transistor opens and concludes an electric circuit that provides power to IR remote circuit.
The similar thing can be build without the whole IR remote circuit using only IR LED diode and microcontroller as output wave generator.
Bright new nova or “new star” was discovered on 14. August in the constellation of the Delphinus. At the time of the discovery it was shinning at the magnitude of the +6.8 and brightened to magnitude +4.4 in few days after it was first seen in the sky. This easily puts it in the reach of the binoculars and for the observers under sufficiently dark sky it is observable by naked eyes.
This year’s maximum of the Perseids meteor shower was very favourable for observing. With no moon and clear weather we were able to photograph and visually observe meteors for several consecutive days. Here are some pictures of the best and brightest meteors caught.