Eagleseye

Archive for March, 2016

Comet 252P LINEAR heads north.

by on Mar.27, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Comet 252P LINEAR has been putting on a nice show in the southern hemisphere, finally it is now our turn to see it as it heads northwards.
This comet was discovered by the LINEAR survey on the 7th of April 2000.
It has a period of just over 5.3 years, aphelion out to 5.1 Astronomical Units (AU’s), Perihelion 0.99 AU’s. So it is classified as a near Earth object. It passed its closest to the Earth at a distance of just under 0.04 AU’s on the 21st of March.

This close proximity resulted in a huge coma being visible over 1 degree in size, that’s twice the apparent diameter of the Moon, showing a very nice green colour and has been bright enough to be seen with the naked eye, reaching a maximum magnitude of 5.5.

Image of Comet 252P LINEAR taken by Gerald Rhemann on the 18th of March.

The comet is heading northwards through Ophiuchus and is just making its curtain call for us.

The map below shows the path of the comet through Ophiuchus. Unfortunately as it appears in our skies over the next week or so, the bright gibbous Moon will interfere somewhat. It will be visible in the south just before twilight starts to break.
On the 29th of March, 252P will be directly east of Saturn, making virtually a straight line with The Ringed planet and Mars, and about the same distance away from Saturn as Mars is, but the Moon won’t be very far away.

In fact the situation becomes even worse the next day on the 30th of March when the Moon will lie right next to the comet.

Each morning the comet gets higher in the sky, but its rate of climb is starting to decrease as the distance from Earth increases.

As the comet heads northwards, the Moon will be interfering less and less, but the comets brightness will also be fading. By the 4th of April, the Moon will be very low in the sky just before sunrise, so we will be back to having darker pre-dawn skies. At this time, how bright will the comet be and how big will the coma be? We will just have to keep monitoring and imaging to find out.

Keep Looking Up!
252PPathMarch-May

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Astrophotography Workshop – 9th of April. Only two places left.

by on Mar.21, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

A repeat of my successful Astrophotography Workshop to be held on the 9th of April has just two places left.

Here’s what some of the last attendees said about the first workshop:

“I would recommend Dave’s new Astrophotography Workshop to all, he brings together knowledge and enthusiasm, passing it on to those of all skill levels.”

“I was so looking forward to this ‘hands- on’ course and it lived up to beyond my expectations – I was so enthused I carried on when I got home – thanks Dave you have the patience of a saint – can’t wait for the next one!”

“Thank you again for a well run workshop and I would be very interested in any other workshops you may have in the pipe line.. As you said a lot to take on. As I’m new to all of this but I come away from the workshop knowing a lot more than before.”

This second date is booking fast, and there are only two places left.

Picture saved with settings embedded.

Date: 9th April 2016

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Venue – Chelveston Village Hall.
21 Water Lane, Chelveston, Wellingborough, Northants, NN9 6AP
(There is plenty of parking. A map of the venue location is at the bottom of the page).

Please note: This workshop will use software that is predominantly Windows based.

Cost: £25.

The day is limited to 15 attendees. So first come, first served. Book using the Paypal button below now to reserve your place.




The area around Clavius

Workshop Outline
I will change and adapt the workshop according to the attendees needs on the day, but this is the overall outline of the day and the subjects I intend to cover:
Basic Astrophotography theory. – How it works and why we get the problems we do.
Simple Astrophotography. – Taking un-driven wide-field constellation images.
Webcam imaging. – Lunar, Solar and planetary imaging.
Image processing techniques. – Startrails, Deep Sky Stacker, AstroStakkert!, Registax and various image processing techniques to get us over the many problems and bring out the best in your images.

I would encourage attendees to bring their own laptops in where possible for effective hands-on practice.

As part of the workshop I will be supplying a CD for everyone to take away which will contain all the software I will be demonstrating as well as all the images I will be using in the demonstrations.

If you can bring in some images of your own that we can work on, that would be even better.

As we are in a rural location you will need to bring your own packed lunch on the day.

Tea, coffee, soft drinks, biscuits and cake will be available on the day to raise money for our local breast cancer charity Crazy Hats.

20150808-3

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Milton Keynes Astronomical Society – 18th March 2016.

by on Mar.13, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

On Friday the 18th of March I will be presenting my ever popular presentation, and let’s face it also my favourite presentation, Rosetta & Philae: From Concept To Reality to Milton Keynes Astronomical Society. 

Despite Philae now certainly lost, there is still a lot of information coming back from Rosetta before its finale of “hard landing” on the comet on the 29th of September. Comet 67P itself is still within reach of amateur instruments and will pass right through the Leo Triplet in April, so that will make a good imaging opportunity.

I will make sure I try to include as much of the new data and images as possible, as well as a screening of an ISS film linked to Tim Peake’s Pricipia Mission, which is now just over half way through.

So, if you’re in the area, come along, say “Hello” and enjoy my presentation.

Meeting starts at 8:00pm at:
Rectory Cottages,
Church Green Road,
Bletchley,
Milton Keynes,
MK3 6BJ.

RosettaTalk

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Astrophotography Workshop – 9th of April. Last Few Places.

by on Mar.12, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

A repeat of my successful Astrophotography Workshop is almost fully booked.
This will be held on Saturday the 9th of April.

Here’s what some of the last attendees said:

“I would recommend Dave’s new Astrophotography Workshop to all, he brings together knowledge and enthusiasm, passing it on to those of all skill levels.”

“I was so looking forward to this ‘hands- on’ course and it lived up to beyond my expectations – I was so enthused I carried on when I got home – thanks Dave you have the patience of a saint – can’t wait for the next one!”

“Thank you again for a well run workshop and I would be very interested in any other workshops you may have in the pipe line.. As you said a lot to take on. As I’m new to all of this but I come away from the workshop knowing a lot more than before.”

This second date is booking up fast, but there are still a very few spaces left.

Picture saved with settings embedded.

Date: 9th April 2016

Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm.
Venue – Chelveston Village Hall.
21 Water Lane, Chelveston, Wellingborough, Northants, NN9 6AP
(There is plenty of parking. A map of the venue location is at the bottom of the page).

Please note: This workshop will use software that is predominantly Windows based.

Cost: £25.

The day is limited to 15 attendees. So first come, first served. Book using Paypal now to reserve your place.




Look out for more dates as these are announced.
If you know of a suitable venue closer to you where I could organise another workshop, please let me know.

The area around Clavius

Workshop Outline
I will change and adapt the workshop according to the attendees needs on the day, but this is the overall outline of the day and the subjects I intend to cover:
Basic Astrophotography theory. – How it works and why we get the problems we do.
Simple Astrophotography. – Taking un-driven wide-field constellation images.
Webcam imaging. – Lunar, Solar and planetary imaging.
Image processing techniques. – Startrails, Deep Sky Stacker, AstroStakkert!, Registax and various image processing techniques to get us over the many problems and bring out the best in your images.

I would encourage attendees to bring their own laptops in where possible for effective hands-on practice.

As part of the workshop I will be supplying a CD for everyone to take away which will contain all the software I will be demonstrating as well as all the images I will be using in the demonstrations.

If you can bring in some images of your own that we can work on, that would be even better.

As we are in a rural location you will need to bring your own packed lunch on the day.

Tea, coffee, soft drinks, biscuits and cake will be available on the day to raise money for our local breast cancer charity Crazy Hats.

20150808-3

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Sandy Astronomical Society – Thursday 10th March

by on Mar.05, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

On Thursday the 10th of March I will be giving my Introduction to Astrophotography Presentation to Sandy Astronomical Society.
astrophotography
The group meet in The Bell Public House, Station Rd, Sandy SG19 1AW

The meeting starts at 7:00pm. So if you’re in the area, come along and say “Hello”.

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A Bok Globule Menagerie in The Rosette Nebula.

by on Mar.05, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

On the evening of the 11th of February, I took a few subs of the Rosette Nebula.
Located in Monoceros this H2 region of nebulosity has a number of NGC designations associated with it.
An open cluster NGC 2244 that formed from the cloud of Hydrogen gas is nestled within.
The nebula lies about 5,000 light years from Earth and is about 50 light years in diameter.Autosave003PSat-2StarTools
Silhouetted against the bright nebulosity are dark nebulae. These are known as Bok Globules, first noted by the astronomer Bart Blok in the 1940’s. These dark areas are the regions where new stars are being formed deep within the nebula.

Looking closely at the Bok globules in my picture, there is a whole menagerie to be seen. In the enlargement below, can you see the dog sitting quietly, patiently waiting for his owner to throw him a stick? If a stick was thrown, the Cheetah next to him will most likely be the first to fetch it. Look a bit further towards the left hand side, yes, I really am talking out of my donkey!
Is there anything else I might have missed?RosetteAnimals

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