Monday, September 24, 2018

astro shirts!

I was very surprised by some astronomy themed gifts from Rhonda, in celebration of my orbit day.

blue t-shirt with planets

The blue shirt features the planets with some text. Ah, nine planets... That'll make Nicole happy!

black t-shirt with red planet

The black tee makes me think of Mars. Occupy Mars!

Thank you!

Can't wait to sport these at geek events!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Binary Universe: expand your mind

The October edition of the RASC Journal is available for download for members.

cover of the October 2018 RASC JournalHuh. There's an article on astronomical rug hooking! I'll have to show my sis and mom.

My Binary Universe column this month features Constellation Mind, an Android app for learning the constellations and testing your knowledge. It works for all 88 constellations.

This issue features astronomical paintings, in watercolour, on the back cover. Very nice!

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My bio description was updated. Yeh.

Monday, September 17, 2018

your monthly double stars

Issued my double star "bulletin" for September. It is a short list of suggested double and multi-star targets. I shared this on the RASC Toronto Centre forums. And I post here for all.

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Hi there. Hi.

The Moon is back. Again. Boo! But there’s no smoke in the air. Yeh! So it’s time to have a go at some more celestial targets resistant to light pollution: double stars.

Here’s a short selection of doubles from my life list, ones I find rather interesting. I did not include terribly tight targets.

staralso known asalternate catalogue 
α1 and α2 (alpha) CapAlgedi, Al Giedi, or STF 4051SAO 163422
U CygBUP 183SAO 49477
HD 193007 in CygBU (Burnham) 442SAO 69728
θ (theta) SgeΣ (Struve) 2637SAO 88276
HD 183014 in VulΣ2523SAO 87218

Why don’t you add these to your observing list. Doubles are easy, challenging, impressive, colourful, dynamic–always fun! Let me know how you did!

Blake Nancarrow
astronomy at computer-ease dot com

Saturday, September 15, 2018

more DDO training

Received more training on the telescope and dome operations at the David Dunlap Observatory.

Sunday, September 09, 2018

M45 quickly (Blue Mountains)

Imaged captured quickly last night with teeth clacking and body shivering. Very quick stacking and processing. I shot the Seven Sisters for Rhonda.

the Pleiades in one-shot colour

Tele Vue NP 101 refractor, Losmandy GM-8 with Gemini mount on pier, FeatherTouch electronic focuser, StarryNight, FocusLynx Commander. Guided through a Tele Vue 70 Ranger with Orion SSAG and PHD2. Canon 40D, Backyard EOS. 5x150sec, ISO 1600, daylight white balance. Dark frames applied. Canon DPP, Deep Sky Stacker, Adobe Photoshop. North is bottom-left; east is bottom-right.

Happy with this result although I need to do more work in post-processing.

Thanks, Phil!

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I consider something of a milestone where I used someone else’s imaging rig but sorted hardware and software issues and obtained a decent result.

Also, my first time using auto-guiding.

Pleased with focus.

Very happy to see nebulosity around the stars: IC 349 aka Barnard's Merope Nebula or aka vdB 22, the wispy tenuous clouds surrounding Merope star; IC 1990, aka vdB 20 and Ced 19, the wispy Reflection nebula surrounding 17 Tauri; Ced 19h, nebula surrounding Asterope; vdb 23 aka Ced 19l diffuse reflection nebula around Alcyone; and Ced 19o, Dim wispies surrounding Atlas and Pleione.

Also identified over 25 doubles and multi-star systems: 16 Tauri aka Celaeno and HL 6; 17 Tau aka Electra and HL 7; 18 aka HL 8; 19 Tau aka Taygeta or HJ 3251; 20 Tau aka Maia or HL 11; 21 Tau aka Asterope or HL 12; 21 and 22; 22 Tau aka Sterope II or HL 14; 23 Tau aka Merope or HL 15; 27 Tau aka Atlas and HL 29; 27 and 28; 28 Tau aka Pleione and HL 28; HD 23049 aka HL 13; HD 23075 aka Struve 435; HD 23361 aka HL 10; HD 23479 aka BU 536; HD 23489 aka CHR 12 or HL 16; HD 23568 aka CHR 124 or HL 17; HD 23609 aka HL 19; HD 23628 aka HL 20; HD 23631 aka HL 21 and Σ450; HD 23642 aka HL 22; HD 23822 aka HL 27; HD 23873 aka STT A 40; HD 23948 aka HL 33; and POU 309.

chose NGC 6820 (Blue Mountains)

After a long delay, I finally imaged a deep sky object using Phil's rig. NGC 6820 in Vulpecula, aka Sh 2-86 or LBN 135, in a busy star field. SkyTools describes it has a diffuse nebula.

In the centre of the nebula there's a small open cluster, NGC 6823.

diffuse nebula NGC 6820 in one-shot colour

Tele Vue NP 101 refractor, Losmandy GM-8 with Gemini mount on pier, FeatherTouch electronic focuser, StarryNight, FocusLynx Commander. Guided through a Tele Vue 70 Ranger with Orion SSAG and PHD2. Canon 40D, Backyard EOS. 12x150sec, ISO 1600, daylight white balance. Dark frames applied. Canon DPP, Deep Sky Stacker, Adobe Photoshop. North is top-right; east is top-left.

There are some multi-star systems within the NGC 6823 cluster.

The three bright, beige stars in the centre I believe are HD 344784 or J 490. This is a different presentation than in the SkyTools 3 Pro chart.

A bit to the right or north-west I can see a very tight pair of dim stars. Part of the triple POU 4021.

There is a triangular grouping of stars. to the right or north-west. This harbours some multi-star systems.

The brightest system is at the upper right. This is HR 7485 aka Σ2560. A is bright white. B is tangled in the glare of A. C is above or north-east, pale orange.

There's HD 185820 aka POU 4004 is visible. The bottom point of the triangle is clearly two stars. The system is actually a quadruple but only the A and C stars resolve. Both pale yellow.

Further to the north-west is the tiny, tight pair of POU 4000 A and B. A is slightly orange; B is pale yellow.

The weird orange comet-looking fan-shape is Collinder 404, I believe. A tiny open cluster.

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I'm happy that something showed. Hints of red, I'm thrilled to see. I think there are hints of pillars!

Hopefully as I get better at post-processing I can draw out more detail.

Saturday, September 01, 2018

received a cool thing

Received a cool gift from Rhonda. From the Wanakita online Tuck Shop store. A clothing item featuring Umbrella Island at night with the constellations overhead. And green aurora in the background. Very nice.

Wanakita clothing thing

Except we don't know what the item actually is... Muffler? Head band? Foulard? Tube top?!