Thursday, October 19, 2017

aimed into Hickson 10 (Halifax)

Positioned BGO on star on GSC0230001449 in the middle of the galaxy cluster Hickson 10 in Andromeda.

galaxy cluster Hickson 10 in luminance

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

The Hickson 10 target shows in many of my SkyTools 3 Professional observing lists, as far back as August 2014. I believe it gets automatically added in some situations by the Nightly Observing List Generator. But in all that time, I don't recall viewing it. It is a lovely grouping.

West of centre is the large elliptical galaxy NGC 529.

Just above, north-west of 529, is a very small oblong smudge. Another elliptical? That's LEDA 169778.

The bright star to the south is HR 410.

To the east-south-east of centre is a canted spiral of NGC 536. It has huge sweeping spiral arms fanning out into space, perhaps extended by gravity. Fantastic.

NGC 542 appears to the south-east of 536. It looks like an edge-on spiral.

North of 536 is a curious shape, almost rectangular. It is a canted spiral perhaps with a bright core. NGC 531. SkyTools says it is a barred lenticular.

There are many more small fuzzies in this image...

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

shot NGC 185 again (Halifax)

I asked the Burke-Gaffney Observatory robot to imaged NGC 185 again. First shot in Aug '16. Tonight's shot is much better.

NGC 185 in luminance

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

revisited SN2017eaw (Halifax)

Once again, BGO captured supernova SN2017eaw. Much dimmer.

fading supernova in the Fireworks Galaxy in luminance

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

Last shot 12 Oct '17.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

when neutron stars merge

The detection of gravitational waves from merging black holes over two years ago was a big deal. A very big deal. It was like we developed a new sense. The LIGO and similar instruments allow analyses of the Universe in completely new ways.

And now we've detected gravitational waves coming from neutron star collisions. This is an exciting breakthrough partly because neutron stars are visible directly. We can see light from the event in addition to disturbances in gravity. The article at Astronomy Now is intriguing.

This discovery also helps in our understanding of where heavier but still fundamental material likely comes from, such as gold.

captured HR 6043 (Halifax)

The Burke-Gaffney Observatory imaged HR 6043 aka STT 305. This is a multi-star system in Corona Borealis. I selected it from a "most beautiful" list in SkyTools 3 Pro. The image is centred on GSC 02576-1852 with the target system near the top.

multi-star system HR 6043 in luminance

Luminance only, 4 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

The B attendant is the medium-bright star immediately to the west, very close, almost touching the primary.

While there are many bright stars nearby, they are not noted in ST3P as members of the system. Also there is a dim star to the south-west. Close.

There is a C element. It is further west. In fact, it is in the vertical line of 3 dim stars, being the lowest or southern point.

It is fascinating to spot the dim oval galaxy south of OΣΣ 305 C. This is PGG 57432. It must be bright to appear in a 4 second shot...

next council meeting

The next meeting of the RASC Toronto Centre council is on Thu 19 Oct.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

helped at CAO work party

We helped at the fall work party at the Carr Astronomical Observatory.

welding the Stargrazer cutting deck

I worked on the small motors with Ed. We winterised the Stargrazer and Green Flash ride-on mowers and the Blade Runner walk-behind. With Jeff's help, we welded up the old MTD cutting deck. I winterised the generator. I also replaced the batteries for fire safety and security devices.

Rhonda worked on a number of indoor and outdoor tasks. I think she had fun. It was awesome having her there.

The weather was satisfactory. It was warm. It did not rain much on Saturday. It did not snow!

The event was very well run with Ian W and Phil at the helm.

The food by the dos Santos was amazing.

updated notes

Helped Geneviève with her imaging procedure notes. We refined the set-up notes she had transcribed. Drew an additional sketch for the electronic focuser cabling. I added the closing down notes.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

loaded and locked

Loaded our two pinhole cameras with Ilford 5x7 paper. Closed the shutters. Capped the cans. Ready to go...

fitting

Jeff told me about he and Richard using Geoff Gaherty's astronomy equipment during the solar eclipse. A nice tribute.

entranced by IC 342 (Halifax)

Directed BGO to image IC 342. Number 5 is the Caldwell catalogue. This is a massive face-on galaxy in Camelopardalis. It is a very challenging visual target...

galaxy IC 342 in luminance

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

§

Wikipedia link: IC 342.

revisited Arp 133 (Halifax)

Returned to Arp 133 centred on NGC 541. The Burke-Gaffney Observation produced a much better image than my first attempt on 30 August.

galaxy cluster centred on NGC 541 in luminance

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

look at the Elora

Katrina found a cool beer. Astronomy themed, of course. Looking forward to trying it. And made close to home too...

Elora Borealis pale ale beer

Photo by Rhonda.

we brought the clouds

It clouded over just after we arrived. Boo!

The gang had been observing since sunset under rather good skies.

They reported seeing aurora too!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

SN2017eaw still visible (Halifax)

Clear in Halifax. As expected, the BGO robot got busy. Imaged NGC 6946 for me once again. Supernova SN2017eaw is hanging on...

supernova within Fireworks galaxy in luminance

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

Last shot 5 days ago...

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

made two new cameras

Rhonda and I made two new pinhole beer can cameras using Justin Quinnell's method. One thing we decided to do different was invert the can. This should help reduce water incursion without installing an additional cover. Also, we're doing an experiment. Ian W suggested changing the location of the pinhole so to get more of the Sun's arc in the "high" season. We put the pinholes about 1/3rd of the way down from the top of the camera.

Link: Justin's pinhole photography site.

Monday, October 09, 2017

quiet observing (Bradford)

Camp fire! Well, not camping. In the back yard. In the fire pit. Under the old rusty fire place, rho built a lovely warm fire.

As we decompressed from the weekend, we took in many sights in the clear sky overhead. The Summer Triangle was straight overhead when we started. Aquila, Cygnus, Lyra, high up while Andromeda, The Great Square, Pegasus were over the cedars. Cassiopeia was behind me. Cepheus was way up too. As it got darker, we could see Delphinus and the top of Capricornus. Rhonda asked about the stars left of Cap and below Peg. I had to check. Yep. Aquarius. I couldn't see it at first but pointed out the faint Water Jar. Then I located Equuleus, between Del and Peg, down a bit. Very faint, a compressed triangle, with two stars at the top and one at the bottom.

Tried to split Albireo with the old 7x Bushnell binocs hand-held—no luck.

Later when I stood on the west side of the yard, I saw Capella and the Pleiades.

We used my high-power green laser pointer. I did a quick test of my work laser pointer, that is the Logitech remote presentation control with built-in green laser. Low milli-watts! It was almost impossible to see.

We were back inside before the Moon came out. Whew.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

shot supernova again (Halifax)

Ordered BGO to capture the SN2017eaw again. I'm intrigued by the long, slow burn-down.

supernova SN2017eaw in luminance

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

Last captured on 5 Oct.

captured 54 Sgr (Halifax)

The Burke-Gaffney Observatory imaged 54 Sagittarii, a multi-star system I wanted to revisit as I had not logged the B star. First viewed in August 2013, at the CAO, a suggestion from a guest.

multi-star system 54 Sgr in luminance

Luminance only, 3 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

C is the bright companion to the north-east.

No wonder I did not see the B element. It is very faint. Due west of A.

SkyTools 3 Pro shows B to be bright and states it is magnitude 11. No way. It's more like mag 14.

imaged Pal 11 (Halifax)

Programmed BGO to image Palomar 11. A globular cluster in Aquila. Frame centred on SAO 143755.

globular cluster Palomar 11 in luminance

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

Faint, loose, south-east (down and left) of centre.

one year ago

Happy astronomy anniversary!

Rhonda and I did our first night-time astronomy viewing together on Fri 7 Oct 2016.

Space-time flies...

more data for NGC 1514 (Halifax)

Sent the Burke-Gaffney Observatory back to NGC 1514, the Crystal Ball, to get more data. More luminance, colour, and oxygen-III data. Also, for the first time, hydrogen-alpha data.

For all: FITS Liberator, Paint.NET, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

planetary nebula NGC 1514 in luminance

Luminance only, 10 seconds subexposures, 15 stacked shots.

planetary nebula NGC 1514 in O-III

O-III only, 30 seconds subexposures, 15 stacked shots.

planetary nebula NGC 1514 in hydrogen-alpha

Hα only, 30 seconds subexposures, 15 stacked shots.

First imaged the planetary nebula on 12 Sep '16.

tried NSV 1484 yet again (Halifax)

I programmed the BGO robot with double the exposure time for NSV 1484 (from the previous attempt). Still I see nothing at the location marked in SkyTools 3 Professional. The region of interest is near centre now as I used the star GSC 03730 00073.

suspected variable star NSV 1484 in luminance

Luminance only, 8 seconds subexposures, 20 stacked shots. FITS Liberator, GIMP. North is up; east is left.

Magnitude 17 stars are visible in this image.