Friday, February 17, 2017

spectra again

A few days ago, Nikki posted on Facebook that she saw a huge fireball in the sky. She was referring to the Sun.

It seems that it has been months since it made an appearance.

Light was beaming in the kitchen window for the first time in a long time. Hitting my polyhedra and prisms.

Nice to see spectra again.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

received BGO updates

Chatted with Dave regarding SMU and BGO matters. The crazy nor'easter storm. New software features coming soon. Learned that the truss tube shield could not be kept in place due to interference with the robotic mirror covers. Also was assured that the IR dome camera should not affect the 'scope camera.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

helped a new member

Liza joined. She was thrilled to receive the Observer's Handbook. Answered more questions for new member Liza. Helped her understand how to access the national web site. Assured her that she'll receive an invite for the Yahoo!Group. Encouraged her to keep an eye out for CAO work party volunteer requests. Finally, welcomed her.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

sat in

Attended the planning meeting for the CAO committee. As was honoured to be included even though I do not have an official role moving forward. It was good to see all who turned out.

Friday, February 10, 2017

don't miss it!

Don't forget! Tonight! The Moon will be visible from the Earth! Incredible! You don't need a telescope! You'll be able to see it with your eyes! It's true. An astonishing alignment of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. It will be as big as a full Moon! Be sure to not miss this amazing event. The last time this happened was...

last night.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

a triple non-event

Rhonda showed me a note on her smartphone. A piece on the full Moon, lunar eclipse, and a comet! I shuddered.

I explained, that while it's good to talk about astronomy and science, that this particular situation might set up people for disappointment.

The upcoming lunar eclipse was a penumbral and would, for most, be barely detectable. It would not be coppery as depicted in the accompanying photo.

And the comet (I assume 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova)... While large, it would be extremely challenging to see. Would require some magnification. And very dark skies. Which... ah... you can't do... when it's a full Moon!

Grumble, grumble.

I relayed my crying-wolf concern: repeated alerts to the public from which they feel dissatisfied will turn people off of astronomy.

sent next column piece

Submitted my RASC Journal article.

new CAO directors

The chair of the RASC Toronto Centre council declared the motion to accept the new committees and chairs as carried. Officially, Phil will take the reins as the director of the Carr Astronomical Observatory with Dietmar as the associate director. I am relieved of duty. I am pleased the CAO will be in good hands.

Sunday, February 05, 2017

captured NGC 4088 (Halifax)

BGO imaged NGC 4088 for me. A galaxy in Ursa Major. One of the RASC Finest NGCs. Seems twisted.

RASC Finest galaxy NGC 4088 luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

South of the main galaxy is another edge-on. Small NGC 4085.

LEDA 2372650 is to the south-east, near star J120605.0+502706.

Further, near the edge of the image, is LEDA 2371976. A small bright oval.

A soft round fuzzy appears south-east of the main galaxy: MCG 9-20-92.

photographed NGC 3941 (Halifax)

The Burke-Gaffney robot imaged NGC 3941 for me. A galaxy in Ursa Major. One of the RASC Finest NGCs.

RASC Finest galaxy NGC 3941 luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

North of the main galaxy is LEDA 2094391. It is small, faint, and round. Near star TYC 02526-0109 1.

To the north-west, near GSC 02526-0160, is a small oval. LEDA 2093249.

To the north-east, near the top-left corner of the image, is PGC 37297. A soft oval with a bright centre.

imaged NGC 3079 (Halifax)

The BGO robot imaged NGC 3079 for me. An edge-on galaxy in Ursa Major. One of the RASC Finest NGCs. It looks somewhat disturbed.

RASC Finest galaxy NGC 3079 luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

To the north, near the star GSC 03817-1087, I can see the small, round, but bright fuzzy of LEDA 2515671.

To the north-east of that is the very small, dim patch of LEDA 2516041.

North-west of the big galaxy. in the triad of stars with GSC 03817-0962, is the faint small oval of LEDA 2515812.

Just south of that is another oval, fainter: LEDA 2515510.

Due west of centre is MCG 9-17-9, a large bright oval shape.

West-south-west of the spiral is a bright elliptical: NGC 3073.

Finally, near the galaxy, just to the north-east, is the faint star-like point of quasar NGC 3073 UB4. According to SkyTools 3 Pro the redshift (z) is 1.15 and the light time is 7.2 Gyr.

Friday, February 03, 2017

added new tag

Deployed the Caldwell tag on the blog primarily to cross-reference many deep sky objects. Doubt I'll be able to see them all. Unless I get below the equator.

tried 2403 again (Halifax)

I asked the Burke-Gaffney robot to image NGC 2403 (Caldwell 7) again, hoping for better sky conditions. I wasn't happy with the results from the first attempt on A repeat from 18 Jan. Much better, I think...

RASC Finest galaxy NGC 2403 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

imaged NGC 3003 (Halifax)

BGO imaged NGC 3003 for me. A small, very faint edge-on galaxy in Leo Minor. One of the RASC Finest NGCs.

RASC Finest galaxy NGC 3003 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

I found it challenging coaxing out more detail. Perhaps I should reshoot...

§

There are lots of little fuzzies in this image. SkyTools 3 Pro only identifies a couple...

To the north, LEDA 2033338.

To the north-west, LEDA 2034047 and LEDA 2033968.

To the south-east, LEDA 2029405.

To the east, LEDA 2032276.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

APOD gadget broken

The Astronomy Picture of the Day gadget on this page broke. I removed it. Looking for a replacement...

200 now

200 days to go!

what about the clouds?

The marmot predicts an early spring. I don't care one way or another. I just want clear skies.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

caught NGC 2683 (Halifax)

Before the clouds rolled in, the BGO was able to image NGC 2683 for me. A very nice edge-on galaxy in Lynx. One of the RASC Finest NGCs. Is it my imagination or is it gravitationally disturbed?

RASC Finest galaxy NGC 2683 in luminance

Luminance only, 60 seconds subexposures, 10 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET. North is up; east is left.

There are many little fuzzies in the image.

LEDA 2032797 to the north-west.

LEDA 2030257 to the west.

LEDA 2027348 to the south-west.

LEDA 2030408 to the south, close. Another spiral?

LEDA 2028167 to the south-east.

There appear to be more but SkyTools 3 Pro does not identify them.

PGC 24945 to the east.

LEDA 2034115, LEDA 2034935, LEDA 2034078, LEDA 2034818, LEDA 2034409, and LEDA 2034864 to the north-east.

Again, I believe there are more still.