Category Archives: Special Projects

Limited Edition Astronomical, Mathematical and Scientific prints from the Scientific Artist

You can purchase signed and numbered Limited Edition prints of any image you see on the Scientific Artist web site by e-mailing me at

You can also purchase signed and numbered Limited Edition prints of any image you see on the New Forest Observatory web site by e-mailing me at the above address.

Print runs are limited to just 250 except for size A4 which is unlimited.  Prices are as follows and includes free U.K. delivery:

A4 – £18 +VAT   A3 – £35 + VAT   A2 – £65 + VAT   A1 – £85 +VAT

I can also produce prints of well-known mathematical constants to 10,000 decimal places (or more if you like, e-mail me for your request) including Pi, e and the Golden Ratio.  If there is a Mathematical object (or constant) that you would like and it does not appear in the Scientific Artist gallery just contact me to see if I can create it for you.

Sunflower seed-head – real and simulated versions

I have been going on about intersecting Fibonacci spirals and the like when discussing Sunflower seed-heads, but I haven’t shown a mathematical graph showing just how close the Sunflower seed-head pattern is to a pure maths function.  On the left of this image we have the same (real) Sunflower seed-head image as shown in the article below.  On the right is a mathematically generated graph of points created using the Mathcad 2000 software.  Each X-Y co-ordinate of the points is directly related to the Golden Ratio (phi).  Phi also happens to be the most irrational, irrational number there is.  So it might not be too suprising to find out that the Sunflower seed-head pattern has an infinite rotational symmetry.  An infinite rotational symmetry has applications in optical devices called photonic quasicrystals and so the Sunflower seed-head pattern became the basis of my Patent for an entirely new class of photonic crystal with extremely interesting optical properties.  Lots of mathematics and heavy science – all from a Sunflower seed-head 🙂


Summer triangle with bright Moon and plenty of cloud 16th August 2011

Lots of cloud and a bright Moon blazing away last night, so although conditions were no good for deep-sky imaging, there were a few stars to be seen, so time for a different sort of night time photography.  I got out the AstroTrac so that I could take exposures of a few seconds without star trailing, and loaded up the Canon 5D MkII with the Canon fisheye lens.  Using ISO 3200 f#4 and a 3-second exposure time I took the above images which shows (just) the summer triangle directly overhead.  This was actually an experiment to see if it is worth trying to video the space station passing over, again using the Canon 5D MkII and the fisheye lens – but no AstroTrac.  There are two passes tonight (17th August 2011) and if I can see any clear sky at all I will give it a try.

Pulsar Observatories dome for the mini-WASP parallel imaging array

Gary & Dave of Pulsar Observatories Ltd. delivered and fitted the fibreglass dome for the new mini-WASP imaging array soon to be operational at the New Forest Observatory. The mini-WASP array details can be followed on the New Forest Observatory web site – but in a nutshell – the mini-WASP borrows the idea of using multiple imaging scopes and cameras from the SUPERWASP project – basically to get the most data downloaded in the shortest possible time.  When fully kitted out and operational this will be the most powerful amateur deep-sky imaging facility on the planet 🙂

The mini-WASP undergoing a dry-run in the study

The mini-WASP array was connected up to the two computers for a dry run before transporting everything down to the new observatory.  Cameras, filter wheels, autoguider and Paramount all fired up and ran as expected.  I am hoping for great new deep-sky images to come out of this revolutionary imaging system.  To read more about the mini-WASP array and its development please go to the New Forest Observatory web site.

Above the clouds

A slightly better 10-frame panoramic view of the cloud-level lying below the 2390m elevation of the Teide Observatories site from which this image was captured.  Canon 5D MkII camera with a 50mm prime lens and the panorama was stitched using PTGui and processed in Photoshop CS3.