Welcome to my Site...It's all about our Universe.

What you will find here are my efforts to capture images of celestial objects either within our solar system, or millions of light years distant. I started with an 8" Dobsonian, which is a relatively inexpensive way to get into quality observing. Then I wanted to move on to astro-photography and so a new scope was required. I chose a 10" Meade LX 200. All the images that have been captured telescopically have been shot through the LX200. Other pictures have been captured either piggy back or tripod mounted. My camera's are Nikon F100, Nikon D70 and Olympus OM-1

NASA scientist calls for 'full court press' to save ice caps

01/06/2007 3:04:54 PM

Dramatic action is needed to save the Arctic and Antarctic ice shelves from global warming, a NASA researcher says.

CBC News
(Courtesy: Queens University) " style="border-width: 0px; width: 150px;">
Arctic and Antarctic ice, including the Larsen Ice Shelf seen here, have been identified as vulnerable, in a study published Thursday based on simulations.
(Courtesy: Queens University)

"We probably need a full court press on both CO2 emission rates and non-CO2 forcings to avoid tipping points and save Arctic sea ice and the West Antarctic ice sheet," James Hansen, from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, said in a release.

Another decade of "business-as-usual" will make it difficult to avoid the change, he added.

His comments were made just a day after NASA administrator Michael Griffin told U.S. National Public Radio that "I have no doubt that global - that a trend of global warming exists. I am not sure that it is fair to say that it is a problem we must wrestle with."

Hansen and co-researcher Makiko Sato from the Columbia University Earth Institute concluded that global warming has driven the Earth's climate near to "critical tipping points," which occur when a small temperature increase triggers an effect that gets worse as it feeds on itself.

An increase of one degree above the global temperature in 2000 "is likely to be dangerous," because it will push the climate to a tipping point.

Hansen and Sato identified the Arctic and Antarctic ice as two vulnerable areas in a study based on simulations published Thursday in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. They acknowledged that identifying "dangerous" effects is partly subjective.

The study found global warming of 0.6 degrees in the past 30 years was mainly caused by greenhouse gases made by humans, and a "moderate" additional rise "is likely to set in motion disintegration of the West Antarctic ice sheet and Arctic sea ice."

Higher temperatures melt ice, exposing darker surfaces that absorb more heat and speed the ice sheet breakup. As oceans warm, the ice shelves that otherwise slow ice flows melt more quickly, so the whole process speeds up.

Freshwater sources and species habitat are also threatened, the authors said.

Atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased from the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million (ppm) to 383 ppm today, and is rising by about two ppm per year. Sato said "CO2 exceeding 450 ppm is almost surely dangerous, and the ceiling may be even lower."


posted by Malcolm Park

Friday, February 09, 2007

Gore, Branson, Set Greenhouse Gas-Reduction Prize

BN 08:21 Gore, Branson, Set Greenhouse Gas-Reduction Prize.
Ground Station by Orbit Communication
By Alex Morales and Elliott Gotkine
Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) -- Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and
British billionaire Richard Branson announced a $25 million prize
for scientists who can devise a way to reduce greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere and help combat global warming.
Branson, founder of Virgin Group Ltd., will award the Virgin
Earth Challenge prize money to anyone who develops technology
capable of removing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases at
the rate of one billion tons a year. Gore will be a member of a
panel of judges that makes the award. The two made the
announcement at a press conference in London.
The initiative comes a week after the United Nations
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said global
warming is more than 90 percent likely to have been caused by
humans, and predicted temperatures are likely to rise by 1.1 to
6.4 degrees Celsius by the end of this century, with sea levels
increasing by 18 to 59 centimeters (7 to 23 inches).
``Governments, businesses and individual members of the
public need to take that warning very seriously,'' Branson said
of the IPCC report in an interview after today's announcement.
``If I write this check for $25 million, it will be the best
check I've ever written.''
Gore told reporters that the planet has a ``fever'' and that
the prize was ``an initiative to stimulate society to do what no-
one knows how to do now.''

`Inconvenient Truth'

``We face the challenge of transforming the way in which we
produce energy, the way we transport ourselves and goods, the way
we build structures -- everything we do,'' Gore said. ``Is there
some way that some of the extra CO2 can be scavenged efficiently
out of the atmosphere?''
Gore, 58, has long called for stronger action on climate
change, a stance that has earned him a nomination for the Nobel
Peace Prize. ``An Inconvenient Truth,'' a film featuring Gore and
based on his lecture about climate change, has been nominated for
a best documentary Oscar.
The panel of six judges also includes James Hansen, who
heads the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard
Institute for Space Studies, and U.K. scientist James Lovelock,
who devised the ``GAIA'' theory that likens the Earth's natural
systems to those of a living organism.
Branson, 56, said he drew inspiration for the prize from an
18th-century U.K. government award for an invention that could
accurately register longitude, which produced a winner six
decades later.

`The Earth Cannot Wait'

``The Earth cannot wait 60 years,'' Branson said. ``We need
every brilliant scientist to put their minds to it together.''
Following the IPCC report's publication, environmental
groups including WWF International, Greenpeace and Friends of the
Earth said that governments need to reduce emissions of gases
such as carbon dioxide and methane in order to avoid the worst
ravages of global warming.
Branson warned that his prize doesn't guarantee success, and
that as well as working towards extracting already-emitted gases
from the atmosphere, companies should cut emissions.
``Every single business must set themselves an individual
target: they must all try to reduce their own CO2 emissions by at
least 25 percent,'' said Branson, whose Virgin Group comprises
about 200 businesses ranging from airlines and trains to music
and financial services. ``I believe that's possible.''

`Planetary Emergency'

Branson said airlines such as his own can reduce emissions
by using newer planes and technologies, beginning descents to
airports earlier rather than circling, and lobbying airports to
tow planes to the runway rather than leave the engines running.
``Every industry will find that there are areas like that
where they can reduce their output of CO2.''
In September, Branson pledged to contribute $3 billion over
10 years to combat global warming. The money will be used to
reduce Virgin's own reliance on fossil fuels, as well as
supporting research on bio-fuels, he said. The prize he announced
today will not come from that fund.
``The winner must be able to demonstrate a commercially
viable design which will result in the net removal of
anthropogenic, atmospheric, greenhouse gases each year for at
least ten years without countervailing harmful effects,'' the
written rules of the prize say.
As well as Branson, Gore, Hansen and Lovelock, the panel of
judges will include Crispin Tickell, a former British diplomat,
and Tim Flannery, an Australian author and conservationist. The
panel will be helped in their deliberations by Steve Howard,
Chief Executive Officer of the Climate Group, an organization
that works with governments and companies to help mitigate
climate change.
The U.K. Treasury said in an Oct. 30 report that global
warming may cost the world as much as 20 percent of global gross
domestic product by the next century because of the effects of
famine, rising sea levels, storms and other environmental damage.
``We're not used to thinking of a planetary emergency,''
Gore said. ``It's a challenge to the moral imagination of
humankind to actually accept the reality of the situation we are
now facing.''

--Editor: Torday

Story Illustration: For more climate-related stories, see
{NI WEATHER }. For environmental stories, see {NI ENV }.
For the IPCC Web site, see http://www.ipcc.ch/

To contact the reporter on this story:
Alex Morales in London at +44-20-7330-7718 or
Elliott Gotkine in London at 44-20-7673-2386 or

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Peter Torday at +44-20-7330-7539 or

Top 10 Lists





Copyright (c) 2007, Bloomberg, L. P.

-0- (BN ) Feb/09/2007 13:21 GMT

posted by Malcolm Park at

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Climate Change...China Headline: Beijing added twice the capacity of California last year.

But Beijing is determined to resist international action on climate change.
The elephant has entered the room.
"It must be pointed out that climate change has been caused by the long term historic emissions of developed countries and their high per-capita emissions. Developed countries bear an unshirkable responsibility" - Jiang Ju, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeperson.
So China continues on as if it owns the world, as though industrialization at the expense of a sustainable habitat is its devine right. Destroying the future for a few decades of prosperity. How will our childrens children look back on our times? Will they think we were insane?
China will procede adding the equivalent of 2 Californias a year to its grid. Most electricity in China will continue to be generated from fossil fuels (mainly coal AROUND 80%) and hydro.
China and the United States lead the world in coal-fired capacity additions in current projections, adding 546 gigawatts and 154 gigawatts, respectively. In China, strong growth in natural-gas-fired capacity initially pushes coal’s share of total capacity down to 63 percent in 2010, but it rebounds to 72 percent in 2030.
This is what we have to change to survive?????????
Nuclear has to rise at the rate fossil fuels (natural gas, oil and coal) are projected to below if we expect to turn it around.

posted by Malcolm Park at

Thursday, February 01, 2007

My Comet McNaught experience

The event in the Northern Hemisphere was not as amazing, but was still an amazing experience for me personally.
On January 10th I was in New York city on business. The comet was still "young". It was getting brighter and astronomers were really starting to pay attention. I was scheduled to fly back home on the 11th, but somehow I had to find a way to see this comet.
On the 11th, the clear sky clock in New York city was really good. All I had to do was get to the top of a building like the Empire State or Rockefeller Plaza at around 5:00pm
The problem was my flight was set to leave at 7:00pm from Newark. There was no way I was going to make it.
Then I thought why not get a later flight, and then I could try to see the comet from New York.
Then I had an even better idea. Why not find a flight that gets me in the air when the comet is visible?
I called my office and asked them if there was a departure to Toronto between 4:00 and 5:00pm from either LaGuardia or Newark.
They said yes, there was a 4:30 from LaGuardia with room, and I said "YES!!" and they booked it.
Next problem to solve, I had to have an "A" seat on the left side of the plane, so I asked for that when she booked the change in flight. However I was told that as the change was being done so close to departure I would have to arrange the seat at check-in.
I dash off to get a taxi, and am in a cab on my way to LaGuardia by 3:00pm
I get to LaGuardia at about 3:50 and go to check in. First of all the flight is on time, which is a miracle in itself. But at check in they say its too late to request a seat, I will have to do it at the gate.
Next I have to go through security, another delay...but I get to the gate at about 4:20 and they are just about finished boarding. As I hand the boarding pass in, I ask if they have an "A" window seat, and low and behold...they say yes!
So I made it...I have a window looking west. We go to taxi out and I'm told we are 15th in line for take off...oh no! we finally get airborne around 5:10 and as the sun set around 4:45, I'm thinking I've missed it. I scan the horizon, all I see are jet contrails. But at around 5:25, as the sky is getting darker, it jumps out at me. There it is...McNaught at 35,000 feet and 500 miles per hour. Now if you know the Cannon SD800 IS camera, thats all I have. But I have it. Thats the main thing, I can actually try to get an image.
For the next 30 or 40 minutes, I was glued to the window, gasping, exhilirating, loving that comet. And I got pics.
It was one of the most amazing things and what really frekaed me out was how much longer the tail seemed to me than any images I had seen. This was probably because at that altitude, it was simply more visible. I got a few pics that actually were not blurry. It was incredible.
So thats my comet story, the pics are in a McNaught gallery on my website.
http://www.cygnusx1.ca SEO Expert Nepal

posted by Malcolm Park at

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

More on Gaia

Politicians: while you and your cronies argue over inane subjects like who gets to be in power, the earth is losing its ability to support the human race.
There is only 1 way to fix the problem.
And no political party is capable of making as radical a change in direction as is required. Think about this...I am deadly serious.
The way to solve our problems is we have to stop buring fossil fuels for electricity TODAY. RIGHT NOW. and we have to change our ways as a SPECIES.
The world your children will live in will be vastly different from ours. You want to make a difference? Convince all the governments of the world in unison to convert all their electricity generation to nuclear. TOMORROW IS TOO LATE.

posted by Malcolm Park at

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chairman: Bush officials misled public on global warming

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Democratic chairman of a House panel examining the government's response to climate change said Tuesday there is evidence that senior Bush administration officials sought repeatedly "to mislead the public by injecting doubt into the science of global warming."

posted by Malcolm Park at

Monday, January 29, 2007

Environmentalism and Gaia

Question: is it about human beings or Gaia that environmentalists are concerened?
Obviously it is human beings. Will human civilization last for all eternity? Surely it is inevitable that it will end some day. Maybe we can influence the outcome...
We can try, but we will surely fail, as long as we act in a tribal fashion, unless humans stop being triabally selfish, unless we teach our children new priorities. It is not hopeless, but the situation is grim.

posted by Malcolm Park at

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

kids these days don't watch tv

People don't see whats coming but I do...TV is dying. It's all about You Tube, FaceBook, MySpace, Friendster.
Ask anyone under 25 years old how much time they spend watching tv. The answer is alomst zero. They are interacting, chatting on MSN reading about friends extra-curricular activities on FaceBook, or downloading the hockey highlights from last nights games via YouTube.
Face it, the world is changing.

posted by Malcolm Park

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Comet McNaught C/2006 P1

I have finally seen a comet with my naked eye. From 35,000 feet!
Flying home to Toronto from New York city on Jan 10, 2007 I looked out the window to the west after sunset, around 5:30pm, and there it was, with it's a long slender tail behind a bright nucleus, around mag. 2 or brighter. I started snapping images with my Canon powershot SD800IS and I did get some ok pictures, which are posted in my images gallery at http://www.cygnusX1.ca

posted by Malcolm Park at Fahv!

Monday, December 25, 2006

What's the real ecological cost of Christmas?

Just wondering...

posted by Malcolm Park at

Friday, November 24, 2006

New daily feature....

I was inspired to do more with my photography...I'm going to start a new project...Malcolm's P.O.T.D. (Photo of the day)
I'll randomly take, and post a new photograph taken during the day.
I have created a new blog for this and it can be accessed from www.cygnusx1.ca
cheers and thanks for reading...


posted by Malcolm Park at

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

a Singapore lunch 9/18.06

Grilled Baby Octopus
Lemongrass Mussels
Scallop Rolls
Vietnamese Spring Rolls

Jasmine Rice
Steam Cod Fish with Black Olives
Seafood Curry
Lemongrass King Prawn
Grilled Beef
Kang Kong (Vegie)

posted by Malcolm Park at

Monday, September 18, 2006


My body doesn't know what day it is.
I'm living in the future.

posted by Malcolm Park at

Sunday, September 17, 2006


The world just got a little smaller.
At least, to me.
16 hours in the air from Toronto to Hong Kong.
The flight path took us over the North Pole, Russia (Irkustsk, yes that
Irkustsk, as in RISK) China, then south along the Vietnam peninsula,
Malaysia and Singapore.
It was morning when we took off. The sun was in the east. by the time we
arrived, it had swung behind us through south, and was in the west. It
dipped below the horizon about half way there as we approched Russia over
the arctic ocean, OVER THE TOP OF THE WORLD. Night lasted about an hour, but
it was merely dusk. The sun skirted the horizon, poking out occasionally
through gaps in the cloud. Then as we headed south it rose higher and higher
and we were in tomorrow. By the time we landed, am and pm had switched. a 12
hour time difference meant that what was now 1:00pm locally, was 1:00am in
And we weren't finished...
3 hours at Hong Kong Airport.
4 hours in the air Hong Kong to Singapore.
And finally...beautiful Singapore...beyond exhaustion now, I got to the
hotel for 10 hours of sleep.

posted by Malcolm Park at

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Observing on Hornby Island, Aug. 31 '06

25" Dob
perfect observing conditions.
Great company.
one problem...travelling from Toronto I was trying to exist in BC time but
my body was still on Toronto time. I was exhausted, but persevered...and it
was well worth it...
Among other things, we observed...
Herc cluster NGC6166+
Sampler 5985, 5981, 5982
Edge on 5907 + bright galaxy near it...5866
6207 by M13
M101 + 5485 + 5473
Saturn Nebula 7009
Stephans Quintet
7331 and galaxies surrounding it
Finished with the Vail through OIII filter...WOW

what a great night, thanks to John and Carol.

posted by Malcolm Park at

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Was I had?
Not really...I just mistook the media fenzy for fact reporting...alas, not
12 planets but 8!
Astrologers were right afterall..sheesh...how humbling :(

posted by Malcolm Park at

Friday, August 18, 2006

What will Astrologers do now?

three new planets — 2003 UB313 (Xena), Charon, Ceres !

And they were there all along, passing through people's lives unnoticed. People lived and died, never knowing that these planets mattered. Of course, if they matter, then surely the asteroids matter, and the Kuiper belt objects, all 800 of them.
Myself, I was born under the sign of Cancer, when Kuiper belt object number 564 was eclipsed by the rings of saturn, and I am told that explains why I'm so shy...I beleive this and I also beleive that Elvis isn't really dead, and of course, Paul is...

posted by Malcolm Park at

Thursday, June 08, 2006

What Amy wrote about the eclipse

Eclipse Day
Amy Park

"The morning was misty, cold with a breeze that didn’t seem to belong in Egypt. In an exhausted stupor, I pulled a tiny chair out into the desert with my dad and the 30 other North Americans we were traveling with. We were quite early, and as the day wore on thousands of curious and dedicated eclipse chasers filled the desert. Long hours passed. As the mist lifted, I could see farther down the row of giant tents, set up by the Egyptian government. The pages left in my novel were dwindling, and I was beginning to worry whether I would have enough left for the trip back to Alexandria, when someone yelled, “First contact!”

I looked to the sky, careful to use the black sunglasses I was tossed at some point during the day, and tried to see where the sun was being obstructed. A small sliver was all that was missing, but it was enough to make the sun seem terribly disfigured. I knew it would be another hour or so before totality, so I buried my mind back in my book.

I looked up after a long while, and noticed first the light. It was dim, like the exposure of the world was way too low. I took another peek at the sun, and realized that the moon was nearly completely covering it. Totality was close. Anticipation stirred in me, as I felt the buzz that filled the crowd. I kept my eyes fixed through the glasses at the sky, waiting for whatever came next.

All above me the sky turned a deep shade of blue, and the horizon caught fire in a ring of orange and gold. The 360-degree sunset I had been told about. The dark shadow of the moon swept over us in a wave of yelling and cheering, and there was no sun. I removed my glasses and drank in the sight of the total eclipse, in all its dark brilliance. A black orb shining white light over a golden sunset… It was the most beautiful natural occurrence I have ever seen, and probably ever will see. Venus and Mercury completed the picture, two diamonds shining in the twilight.

I can’t wait until next time."

posted by Malcolm Park at