Swansea Astronomical Society Blog

Saturday, January 10, 2015

 

C/2014 Q2 Lovejoy

A Pentax K-x DSLR fitted with a 300mm lens and a light pollution filter was mounted on a Merlin, AZ autotacking mount. The ISO was set to 12800 and exposure to 30s at f/5.6. Eight images were captured through a gap in the clouds and were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker.


Some structure is visible in the tail.
The comet was observed in 10 x 50, 15 x 70 and 15 x 80mm binoculars. It was bright and green, with some hint of a tail visible. Moreover the comet was just naked eye visible, but hard to locate.
The comet was also observed by Sandra Stewart in 8 x 32 binoculars.

Steve Wainwright
 

Astronomy Day at the National Museum of Wales,

The Swansea Astronomical Society again had a presence at this years Astronomy Day at the National Museum of Wales, along with Cardiff and Bridgend Societies..  Despite being held earlier than the BBC Stargazing Live event, some 2,500 visitors came through the doors on the day, rather than the usual 500 - 600..  This is by far the museums biggest special event.

This year the Museum not only arranged for our solar system model to be located on the floor so that visitors could mingle around the planets and interact with it, they created a quiz to go with it.  Our stand was one of the busiest with a large number of English and Welsh quiz sheets handed out.  Completed sheets were handed back to us and two lucky winners will be drawn later by the Museum to receive a prize.

It was a good but busy day and attracted a lot of good publicity for the Society.







Phillip and Alison John
 

M100, M97 and NGC1399 with the Bradford Robotic telescope

Single images were taken using the Bradford Robotic Schmidt-Cassegrain Celestron C14  f/5.3 using a FLI MicroLine Camera and 3 Colour Filters (BVR) and an instant dark frame - exposures indicated for each one.


M100 The Blowdryer Galaxy in Coma Berenices 180000 ms 


M97 The Owl Nebula in Ursa Major 180000 ms 


NGC1399 The California Nebula in Perseus 120000 ms



Colin Miles

Friday, January 9, 2015

 

Sunspots and the weather

Last night Brian Spinks gave an interesting talk to the Swansea Astronomical Society on "Sunspots and the weather".
Brian delivering his talk

The talk covered the history of the topic and was followed by lively discussion about this interesting subject


Thursday, January 8, 2015

 

The Sun in white light using a bridge camera fitted with a Baader solar filter

A static tripod mounted Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera at 60x optical zoom, fitted with a Baader solar filter, was used to image the Sun. The camera was set to burst mode, ISO-100 and 1/800s exposure at f/5.9. Images were captured in bursts of three. 60 images, precisely cropped in Nicola Mackin's AstroCrop software were stacked in Registax 5. Click on the image to get a larger view:


Steve Wainwright

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

 

Comet and the 97% waning gibbous Moon

C/2014 Q2 Comet Lovejoy was observed by Sandra Stewart in 8 x 32 mm binoculars and also by Colin Elphic and Steve Wainwright with 15 x 70 mm binoculars.

A tripod mounted Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera at 60x optical zoom was used to image the 97% waning, gibbous Moon. The camera was set to burst mode, ISO-100 and 1/640s exposure at f/5.9. Images were captured in bursts of three in a gap between the clouds. 14 images, precisely cropped in Nicola Mackin's AstroCrop software, were stacked in Registax 5. Click on the image to get a larger view.



Steve Wainwright

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

 

The Sun in White light with a Bridge camera

A tripod mounted Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ72 bridge camera at 60x optical zoom, fitted with a Baader solar filter, was used to image the Sun. The camera was set to burst mode, ISO-100 and 1/800s exposure at f/5.9. Images were captured in bursts of three. 56 images, precisely cropped in Nicola Mackin's AstroCrop software were stacked in Registax 5. Click on the image to get a larger view:


Steve Wainwright

Sunday, January 4, 2015

 

Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 captured Jan 03 under a 98% full Moon

Comet Lovejoy captured Jan 03 under a 98% full Moon
Click on an image to get a larger view
Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 
4 x 30 second exposures were captured on 03/01/2014 at 800 ISO under a 98% Full Moon.
Frames were taken at 50 second intervals between 21:11 and 21:14 and were captured using a Canon EOS 70D DSLR through a Skywatcher 200p Newtonian with MPCC coma corrector on an EQ5 mount.  Frames were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and calibrated with 38 dark frames, 21 flat frames and 20 dark flat frames. Nebulosity 3 was used to apply a stretch and to darken the background.
Despite the moon's proximity, there may be a slight hint of a tail diagonally towards the top left.



Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2
4 x 30 second exposures were captured on 03/01/2014 at 800 ISO under a 98% Full Moon.
Frames were taken at 50 second intervals between 21:44 and 21:47 and were captured using a Canon EOS 70D DSLR through a Skywatcher 200p Newtonian with MPCC coma corrector on an EQ5 mount.  Frames were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and calibrated with 38 dark frames, 21 flat frames and 20 dark flat frames. Nebulosity 3 was used to apply a stretch and to darken the background.
Despite the moon's proximity, there may be a slight hint of a tail diagonally towards the top left.


Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2
An indication of the trajectory and the speed with which the comet is traversing the sky background.
12 x 30 second exposures were captured on 03/01/2014 at 800 ISO under a 98% Full Moon.
4 frames were taken at 50 second intervals between 21:11 and 21:15 and a further 8 frames were taken at 50 second intervals between 21:39 and 21:47

Frames were captured using a Canon EOS 70D DSLR through a Skywatcher 200p Newtonian with MPCC coma corrector on an EQ5 mount.  Frames were stacked in Deep Sky Stacker and calibrated with 38 dark frames, 21 flat frames and 20 dark flat frames. Nebulosity 3 was used to apply a slight stretch and to darken the background.

Phil Martin

 

Visual observations of Comet Lovejoy C/2014 Q2 under a 98% Full Moon

Sandra Stewart reported observing the comet through 8 x 32 mm binoculars

Colin Elphic observed the comet in 10 x 60 mm binoculars

Steve Wainwright observed the comet in 10 x 50, 15 x 70 and 15 x 80 mm binoculars


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