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Astrophotography of the conjunction of the Crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter
|| 12/1/2008 || 10:02 pm || Comments Off on Astrophotography of the conjunction of the Crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter || ||

This evening I took a series of photographs of what I feel to be one of the most beautiful planetary alignments I’ve seen in my life. Below are the rest of the photographs and tomorrow I’ll post the timelapse video I recorded of the planet’s slow transit through the night sky.

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Timelapse Astrophotography of Venus & Jupiter nearing their conjunction
|| 11/29/2008 || 11:48 am || + Render A Comment || ||

For the last month I’ve been watching the planets Venus and Jupiter inch closer and closer through the night sky. I was first tipped off about the conjunction by the Boston Globe and intend on taking some more photographs on Monday night when they’ll line up with the moon. In the photograph above you can see a plane taking off from Reagan National Airport below the the two planets.


Related Space Entries:

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Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC
|| 8/3/2008 || 7:53 pm || Comments Off on Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC || ||


Jupiter traveling through the night sky of Washington, DC from Nikolas Schiller on Vimeo.

Due to light pollution it’s very hard to observe the planets and stars at night in Washington, DC. However, Jupiter has been visible on the southern horizon this entire summer.

The video clip was taken on my back deck using a tripod and Canon SD750 digital camera set to time-lapse mode. A photograph of Jupiter was taken every two seconds for over two hours.

If you look closely, you’ll see a tiny ball in the lower portion of the screen. It goes invisible for a few seconds, which I believe was from a distant cloud, but for most of the video clip you can see Jupiter slowly transit the night sky.

I’ll have to check Stellarium to see when Mars is visible again because I’d like to try recording that planet as well. Maybe someday I’ll have a camera with better zoom controls so the planet doesn’t look like a spec of dust on the screen!

Related Space Entries:

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A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
|| 5/23/2008 || 10:43 am || Comments Off on A New & Arabesque Map of the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden || ||


:: saved at 6,480 x 5,040 ::

To celebrate the new procedure I decided to get around to editing the Library of Congress‘ copy of Willem Janszoon Blaeu‘s Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula, which was published in Amsterdam in 1606. I removed the original map from the center and kept the decorative border similar to Nova et Accvratissima Totivs Terrarvm Orbis Tabvla, A New Map of the Terraqueous Globe : according to the the Ancient discoveries and most general Divisions of Geospatial Art, America as a Cloverleaf, and A New And Accurate Map of the World by John Speed. However, unlike the previous antique map mash-ups, which usually feature the earth laid out in two hemispheres, this map uses a rectangular space (Mercator?). The beauty of this open layout is that I can place any of my previously made maps inside of this 402-year-old template.

A common naming practice I’ve noticed in old map is the use of “New & Accurate” and since I like to play around with words, I changed Accurate to Arabesque to create a visual pun. The source map was about 6,500 pixels wide, I underlaid a rotated 9,000 x 6,000 copy of Hirshhorn Quilt to fit perfectly in the center of the new map. I think it would be fun to actually hand-color the engravings on this map to match other copies of this map which have the various figures colored in. The LOC’s copy is uncolored which means that its actually easier to add color to it than if it were already colored because pigment matching is not needed.



: detail of the planet Goddess Venus :

Across the top (left to right) you have the planet gods:

Drawn within each of these engravings are the signs of the Zodiac that the planets rule:

Below I dissect the rest of the border of the map:

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Nikolas Schiller is a second-class American citizen living in America's last colony, Washington, DC. This blog is my on-line repository of what I have created or found on-line since May of 2004. If you have any questions or comments, please contact:

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  • thank you,
    come again!