Clear skies, what I took for granted as a kid is now a big luxury. There was a time when I observed the skies everyday, now it might be once a year. Yet there is nothing like viewing the heavens with crickets singing in the dark and mosquitoes buzzing in your ears. I record here our session @Crockett Park on 28th August 2016.
We began with orienting the 10″ Dob and took a quick look at Mars and Saturn in Scorpio. Saturn’s rings were particularly dainty. We then moved to some standard objects, the Ring Nebula in Lyra, Dumbell in Vulpecula, M13 in Herakles, M92 between Herakles and Draco’s head, M28. M22, Trifid, Lagoon and the most beautiful Swan nebula in Sagittarius. We also resolved the double of Antares. Sadly by the time we were warmed up it was too late and we had to return.
A polyarthra rotifer was seen in my pond culture. This is at 40x.
Its saltatory motion was really interesting.
Recently, there was a landmark paper on a very interesting observation called the dancing droplets.This was published in Nature by the Manu Prakash group at Stanford. We replicated this study at home with great excitement. The key thing is to have absolutely clean slides. In our experience this far, only one brand of coverslips can be used without further treatment to replicate this. We are still trying our new media. Great fun.
Vapour-mediated sensing and motility in two-component droplets
N. J. Cira, A. Benusiglio & M. Prakash Nature (2015) doi:10.1038/nature14272
I have provided an extensive description of my investigation into a spider-mite infestation on my Cestrum nocturnum plant. In that the videos and pictures were all generated using the foldscope.
Here I additionally include a video made using my celestron microscope. Both the foldscope and compound microscopes have their own unique differences, but the foldscope is cheaper and much more portable.
These videos were taken with a low res camera and a microscope I repaired with my mentor.. feels like yesterday, but these were taken between 5-6 September 2002.
These pictures were taken on Jan-21-2015 with the Celestron microscope.
You may read more on my adventures with moss at