Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Saturday, January 29, 2011

 

Saturn This Morning

At about 2am this morning a monochrome DMK camera was used with a 1.5x Barlow on an 11" SCT

A colour DBK camera was also used with a 2.5x Barlow
Keith Davies

 

The Orion Nebula with a modified Samsung SDC-435 video camera and an 80mm Apochromatic refractor

Last night the modified SDC-435 video camera, fitted with a light pollution filter was placed at the prime focus of an Apo 80mm refractor. The system was autoguided using this homemade autoguiding rig:


DVD was captured in high quality from the camera which was set to LOW AGC.

Exposures were accumulated to reveal the outer nebulosity and also the central trapezium area.

The BMPs were extracted from the VOB files using Vob file extractor. The dark frames were scaled with Andrew Sprotts Dark Frame Scaler and the different exposures were combined in Andrew Sprott's FIC (Flexible Image Combine):



Steve Wainwright

 

Star Party at the Park Slip Nature Reserve Bridgend Jan 28

The Star Party was a success with a large number of visitors attending.
It was a joint event by Swansea, Port Talbot and Bridgend Astronomical Societies held at the Bridgend AS meeting and observing venue.
A small exhibition of astronomical images and two simultaneous lectures were held inside the modern Nature Reserve building.
Outside, a number of telescopes were available for members of the public to view through.
The early evening was largely cloudy with Jupiter being available for viewing for most of the evening. Towards the end of the evening the clouds largely cleared and visitors were able to view The Orion Nebula and the Pleiades.
Below is a selection of photographs to give a flavour of the evening:















Steve Wainwright

Thursday, January 27, 2011

 

Some aspects of Particle Physics talk

Many thanks to Dr Carlos Nunez of Swansea University who gave us an excellent, thought-provoking and very accessible talk about some principles within Physics at our meeting tonight. We look forward to seeing whether new discoveries at CERN will fit into the existing theories of Least Action!
 
Don't forget the Star Party tomorrow evening at Bridgend - Parc Slip Nature Reserve. Details on our Events pages. See you there : )

Monday, January 24, 2011

 

Terminator of a 77% phase Waning Moon

Last night I used an Opticstar PL-130M monochrome 1.3Mp camera set to 640 x 480 at the prime focus of a 5", f/10 Maksutov. 9 x 1200 frame AVIs were captured, processed in Registax and stitched together to make a mosaic of the Terminator and areas where detail was visible:


Click on the image to get a larger view

The rate of change of the Lunar phase is about 0.5% per hour at this part of the lunation as shown in the graph below which shows the % phase of the Moon today between 11h and 23h:

It is worth observing or imaging the Moon as early and as late as possible during an observing session as significant changes to the illumination will have taken place during much of the lunation.

The graph below shows the % Phase change during the entire current lunation on a daily basis:

There is a very significant part of the lunation where the change in % phase is almost linear over time.
The next graph shows the rate of change of the % Phase and it shows that the greatest rate of change occurs a couple of days on either side of about day 10 and day 22 of the lunation where the slope of the previous graph is steepest. This is the time of the lunation to make an early and a late set of observations of the Moon, to see change take place over a few hours.
The graph is not an exactly smooth curve because the values used are the integral parts of the Phase % that is reported by Moontool which does not report the fractional part.

Steve Wainwright

Sunday, January 23, 2011

 

Terminator of an 86% phase waning Moon

Last night I used an Opticstar PL-130M monochrome 1.3 Mp CMOS camera set to 640 x 480 at the prime focus of a 5", f/10 Maksutov.
The terminator was imaged and then stitched together in a mosaic:

Click on the image to get a larger view
Steve Wainwright

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