Today, I announced my bid for Fort Collins City Council, in District 5 (the current councilmember, Kelly Ohlson, is term-limited). You can read all about it at http://www.rosscunniff.com - it should be a great adventure!
I got two GoPro Hero3 Black cameras and am planning a panoramic project with them. However, to do the project correctly and accurately, I need a good read on their field-of-view. So, I set up a tripod and a grid and a tape measure, and took a few photos. Here they are, desaturated and contrast-enhanced, with central red dots and some annotations. First, measuring the diagonal FOV:
Next, the horizontal FOV:
Finally, the vertical FOV:
The front of the camera lens was almost exactly 17 inches from the grid. The camera body started about 17.25 inches from the grid. Assuming the sensor is embedded some distance into the body, I used an estimated field-to-sensor distance of 17.5 inches. This yields the following field-of-view, in degrees:
Doing a little interval math on the field-to-sensor distance shows these angles are accurate to about plus or minus 1.5 degrees.
Interestingly, Photoshop seems unable to correct the barrel distortion of th…
A few years ago, I converted various planet maps to icosahedral models. You can print these out, cut along the solid lines, fold along the dotted lines, and have a nice icosahedron to play with. Since then, two more robot spacecraft have created global maps of planetary bodies. Most recently, the New Horizons spacecraft flew past Pluto. Here is an icosahedral projection of the data we have so far:
Also fairly recently, the Dawn spacecraft has orbited both Vesta and Ceres, two of the largest asteroids (or "dwarf planets" as the new nomenclature has it) in the Solar System. Here are icosahedral projections of those two. First, Vesta:
Next, Ceres - note the mysterious white spots toward the upper right:
Last night (December 20, 2010 in Colorado), there was a total eclipse of the moon. I was watching the weather with trepidation - it had been mostly cloudy all day - and as night fell, I was pretty pessimistic about the chances for seeing anything. But I dutifully put the telescope outside to cool, and got the camera equipment ready, just in case things cleared up:
Wonder of wonders, the sky cleared up during the eclipse. There were clouds coming and going all evening, but nothing that diminished the enjoyment of the event. Here is a shot of the fully eclipsed moon north of Orion, with Taurus and the Pleiades in the shot (and some tree branches in the foreground). A cloud, illuminated by Fort Collins city lights, drifts in front of Orion. This was taken with at 18mm focal length on a Canon EOS 40D (1.6x crop factor):
Switching lenses, here is a shot at 100mm focal length on the same camera:
But the real exciting shots were taken through the telescope a Meade LX90-ACF 8", …