Exploring the solar system

Start of the walk

At last week's telescope driver training I found out that Melbourne contains a 1 to 1 billion scale model of the solar system. It's an artwork by Cameron Robbins and Christopher Lansell.

The Sun is located at St Kilda marina and the planets are spaced out along the beach and foreshore back towards the city.

Since the weather was lovely today, I thought ... why not? The guide says you can walk from the Sun to Pluto in about an hour and a half, which would make your speed approximately three times the speed of light, or warp 1.44, if you like.

C/2014 Q2 (Lovejoy)

C/2014 Q2 animation

I trek out to a fairly dark sky site on the odd Friday evening to partake of some amateur astronomy at an observatory in the Dandenong ranges.

iOptron SkytrackerA few weeks ago, we decided to have a go at locating what was then a fairly dim object, C/2014 Q2. We found it with binoculars and in a relatively small (10") telescope. I'd just gotten a tripod-mounted motor drive for my DSLR, so of course we decided to have a go at imaging the comet.

iPhotography Widget

Barringer Crater - olloclip fisheye

A while ago, I was contacted by MobileZap, a reseller of mobile phone accessories and asked if I was interested in reviewing an iPhone zoom lens attachment. Unfortunately the widget only attached to the iPhone 5S - mine's a 5c - so I wasn't able to. I also mostly do wide angle photography (landscapes) so a zoom lens would be sort of wasted on me anyway.

When browsing the website, I did stumble across the olloclip wide-angle/fisheye/macro lens kit, which piqued my interest. When I mentioned this, they sent me one and asked me to write a blog about my experiences using it. Happily, I was about to go on a road trip past some very large holes in the ground where it would come it very handly indeed!