Eagleseye

Archive for April, 2016

An Evening Celebration of Tim Peake’s Principia Mission.

by on Apr.24, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

On Friday the 3rd of June I will be hosting an exciting evening as a celebration of Tim Peake, our first “official” British astronaut, and his much publicised Principia Mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Tim’s mission comes to an end on the 18th of June when, Tim, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and NASA astronaut Timothy Kopra return to Earth in their Soyuz capsule.
CelebrateTim

This educational family event will be held on Friday the 3rd of June from 7:00pm until 9:30pm at Chelveston Village Hall, Chelveston, Northamptonshire, NN9 6AT.

During the evening I will present  and demonstrate how they manage to launch a rocket up to the ISS, Tim’s background, selection, training and lots more, using presentations, demonstrations and wonderful animations and video footage. We will also look at the ISS and what Tim has achieved during his 6 month mission as it draws to an end.

What we do know for sure is that Tim and the publicity surrounding his mission has truly inspired all generations. I hope this evening will also inspire and encourage people, young and old to appreciate our place in the universe and help give them the drive to work hard to achieve their own ambitions. You might be very surprised to know that even Tim never expected to be selected for the mission when he filled in his original application. Just look what happened to him!

I am hoping to be able to bring you live images from the ISS on the night as Tim and his companions start to prepare to leave for home. This will, of course, depend on the particular circumstances of ISS broadcasts on the night.

Soft drinks will be available during a short interval. Donations to Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal will be very much appreciated. This worthwhile charity raises valuable funds to help cancer patients right the way across Northamptonshire.

The landing of the Soyuz Spacecraft was scheduled to take place less than 2 days later in the early hours of the 5th of June, but has now been extended until the 18th. I will give everyone full details of Tim’s return date & time and forthcoming visible passes of the ISS on the night so you can watch his return online back home or go out and wave to him as he passes overhead before he comes home.

So please join me for this exciting evening in Chelveston and let’s celebrate Principia, Tim and UK spaceflight history being made.

Minimum age 10. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost per person only £8.
Discounts apply if more than 1 ticket is booked.

 

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Hillside Nursery’s Open Weekend

by on Apr.22, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Just a reminder that this weekend 23rd & 24th of April, I am proud to be associated with Hillside Farm Nursery’s open Weekend.
I will be there all weekend, along with a number of other willing astro helpers, showing people the Sun in all it’s glory (clear skies willing) and will be giving away lots of fantastic goodies generously provided by The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project and The European Southern Observatory including solar glasses (Needed to view the Sun safely), beautiful posters and DVD’s. Hopefully inspiring more people to take more of an interest in astronomy and the Sun.

I have also organised a Sun quiz and a hopefully getting visiting children to draw some fantastic astronomy related pictures.

The event is completely free and is organised annually to raise money for the breast cancer charity Crazy Hats, which helps supports cancer patients right the way across Northamptonshire.

As well as our awesome astronomy display, where we will be highlighting local astronomical societies, there will also be a display of vintage vehicles, bikes, tractors and steam engines as well as lots of local crafts and stalls.

It should be a brilliant weekend and hopefully will inspire lots of people and especially the kids to think about the Sun, it’s role in our energy supply and astronomy.

So hopefully I will see you there. Come along and say “Hello” and let’s all smile at the Sun.

CrazyHatsWeekend

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Olney & District Historical Society – 19th April 2016

by on Apr.18, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Tomorrow evening I will be taking Olney & District Historical Society on a wild trip across to the very edge of our observable universe.

I will be giving my Whistle-Stop Tour of the Universe (Hitch-Hiking on a Ray of Light) presentation to them.

So let’s hope that they strap themselves in and get ready for a journey that really is out of this world.
As it’s a historical society I have also added a historical twist into the presentation.

Of course, it’s really just a good excuse to show some beautiful images of our wonderful universe.

The society meet at the Olney Centre, High St, Olney, Buckinghamshire, MK46 4EF.
Meeting starts at 7:30pm.

If you’re in the area, come along, say “Hello” and enjoy the ride.

HitchHiking

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Comet PANSTARRS Meets The Owl and Pussy Cat.

by on Apr.16, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Comet C/2014 S2 PANSTARRS passes close to two Messier objects during the coming week. Currently moving south through the bowl of The Plough, the comet will pass between the planetary Nebula M97, The Owl Nebula and the spiral galaxy M108 on the 18th, 19th and 20th of April.
The map below was produced from an image of the two objects I took in 2009. Unfortunately the sky is too bright in the UK to be viewed when centrally placed between the objects.
The almost full Moon will also hamper observing and imaging.
We will however be able to view it most all night.
I have marked the approximate position of the comet at the start and end of the night on the three days it is closest to the objects.
Happy hunting.

The map below was produced from an image of the two objects I took in 2009.
Click on the image for a bigger version.OwlNebPANSTARRSMap

 

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A Tail of Two Comets.

by on Apr.10, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

There are currently two reasonable bright comets in our skies at the moment.

Comet C/2014 S2 PANSTARRS is our first of our two comets.
This is currently located in a very well known area of the sky.

It is currently moving south straight through the bowl of The Plough, so it’s almost overhead as soon as it gets dark.
At about magnitude 10 it is visible in a modest telescope.
It passes between M97, The Owl Nebula and the galaxy M108 on the 19th and 20th of April.
The comet will fade slowly as it heads south.

The map below shows the comets path until the end of May.
Position shown at 1 day intervals. Click on map for bigger view.

PANSTARRSPath-MayImage of Comet C/2014 S2 PANSTARRS taken on the 5th of April. – Dave Eagle.

Picture saved with settings embedded.

 

Our second comet is Comet 252P LINEAR in the southern sky just before dawn. This comet is much more active than expected, exceeding all our expectations. At one point the coma was almost as big in apparent size as the Full Moon.

The comet is in the constellation of Ophiuchus and heading slowly northwards. It should fade as it recedes from the Earth and the Sun.

The map below shows the position of Comet 252P at one day intervals up until the end of May 2016. Click on map for bigger view.

 

252P-Path-May2016Image of Comet 252P LINEAR taken on the 8th of April 2016 – Dave Eagle.

Picture saved with settings embedded.

 

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Crazy Hats – Astronomy and Vintage Vehicle Weekend.

by on Apr.10, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Over the weekend of the 23rd & 24th of April, I am proud to be associated with Hillside Farm Nursery’s open Weekend.
I will be there both Saturday and Sunday showing people the Sun in all it’s glory (clear skies willing) and will be giving away lots of fantastic goodies generously provided by The Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project and The European Southern Observatory including solar glasses (Needed to view the Sun safely), beautiful posters and DVD’s. Hopefully inspiring more people to take more of an interest in astronomy and the Sun.

The event is completely free and is organised annually to raise money for the breast cancer charity Crazy Hats, which helps supports cancer patients right the way across Northamptonshire.

As well as our awesome astronomy display, where we will be highlighting local astronomical societies, there will also be a display of vintage vehicles, bikes, tractors and steam engines as well as lots of local crafts and stalls.

So hopefully I will see you there. Come along and say “Hello” and let’s all smile at the Sun.

Should be a brilliant weekend.

CrazyHatsWeekend

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Astrophotography Workshop – Great Feedback.

by on Apr.10, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Thanks you to everyone who booked onto my two astrophotography workshops recently held at Chelveston Village Hall.
They were a resounding success and seeing people’s reactions when they got fantastic results from their own images using some of the techniques I showed them felt absolutely amazing. Passing on some of these skills to help them in their journey further into the hobby is so very rewarding.

Buoyed on by this success, I will be organising more astronomy workshops later in the year, so watch this space for details.

Added to that, across all the workshops I have organised, over £150 was raised for the Crazy Hats breast cancer charity. Everyone’s generous donation will help to make a real difference to cancer patients across Northamptonshire.
So thank you to everyone who donated so generously.

Here’s what some of the attendees said about my astrophotography workshops:

“Thanks for a great day at the workshop. Hopefully I took most of the information in and can retrieve it when needed 🙂
Anyway I learnt a great deal and things aren’t quite as dark now.”

“Really enjoyed today, thanks Dave. Feeling even more inspired now!”

“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.”

Autosave003PSat-2StarTools

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Astrophotography Workshop 9th April – 1 space left.

by on Apr.07, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

At a loose end this weekend? Kelling Spring Equinox Star Party clouded out?

Don’t be sad, it’s not too late.
There’s still one space left on the second date of my hands-on astrophotography workshop this Saturday.

So if you fancy picking up lots of  astrophotography processing hints and tips,
Click on this link or the image below for more details.

WorkshopAprilFlash

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Comet 252P passes Globular Cluster M14

by on Apr.05, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

This evening and in the early hours the bright comet, 252P LINEAR, passes close to the globular cluster M14 tonight. It is currently midway between M14 and the open cluster NGC 1366. We won’t be able to see it here in the UK until the early pre-dawn hours when it will have moved slightly away. However with a huge coma of around 1 degree, almost twice the apparent diameter of the Moon, it should make a great pairing and will be reasonable close for the next couple of mornings. So set your alarms and lets hope the skies stay clear.

Map shows the position of the comet at 0h UT on each day.
Produced using the planetarium program C2A.

252P-M14

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Comet 67P moves past Leo Triplet

by on Apr.05, 2016, under Astronomy Blog

Over the next week or so, Comet 67P, the comet being explored by the Rosetta probe, passes across the front of the Leo Triplet. Comprising of the spiral galaxies M65, M66 and NGC3628.
The comet is now around 16th magnitude so will be a challenge from my light polluted location.

The image below shows the path of comet 67P at 1 day intervals.
Position shown at 0h UT on each day.
Map produced using planetarium software C2A.

67PLeoTriplet

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