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Showing content with the highest reputation on 29/11/13 in Posts

  1. 10 points
    As part of the NASA CIOC group I have been credited with being one of the first ( if not the first ) to spot ISON as it emerged from its encounter with the Sun! After a hectic night analyzing the real time images, I spotted a faint trail leaving the corona and created a short video. NASA had just announced the comets demise and were so surprised they asked me for a copy. I have spent quite a while talking to news outlets including CNN. http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/29/us/ison-comet/ Here is my video animation made from the Lasco-C2 images.
  2. 7 points
    Its taken me about 3 months to complete this, what with cloud and full moons, its been one of these that I have shot a few frames as and when in-between other things. Anyway its done -ish for now, comprising of 5 hours of lum subs and 3 hours per channel RGB. Processing was a combination of Pixinsight and PS.
  3. 7 points
    It looks as though ISON has stuck two fingers up to the Sun.
  4. 5 points
  5. 5 points
    On the other hand, although frustrating that it is not instant, how cool is it that we can view images within an hour or two of a satellite way out in space, taking pictures of the sun? Watching the images come in and some of the data feeds last night really made me feel part of what is going on (same with the Curiosity landing). There is room for improvement, but this is far better than waiting 3 weeks for the next Sky At Night to be on or pick up a story in the Daily Mail with their own unique spin on it.
  6. 4 points
    I wrote the s/w to monitor the CDS instrument when it went into the Solar simulator tank at Farnborough. I was working at RAL who built CDS. I remember I had to go to Farnborough in the middle of the night because of a hardware issue. It was easier, quicker and therefore cheaper to modify the software than to let the air back in the tank get the instrument out, fix it, put it back in and pump all the air out again. The tank was huge, you could get a small lorry in it. So I played a small part.
  7. 4 points
    Thanks for hanging in there Mallorcasaint and providing information. Has been a very exciting event for all of us in the Stalls too! Let's face it: Comets are very unpredicable and this one is full of surprises. Wish I'd seen in pre-perihelion but what I've observed over the past 24 hours has been priceless. Very exciting time when we saw the images of it reappearing. No matter what happens, this has been a highlight of my astronomical year.
  8. 4 points
    Here's a video I've just made with the latest (low-res) STEREO imagery; the ahead craft followed by behind. I think it shows a nice view of the comet up to 09:24 this morning. ISON's certainly proving interesting, if not promising for spectacular observing.
  9. 3 points
    I started this one a few nights ago managed 4hours of H-alpha then got to work on some RGB no such luck grabbing the odd frame here and there. Last night the clouds parted so I set to work only just managed to get enough, still short of green frames with only one at 840s...I think I compensated pretty well removing gradients as the came up. Ha=4hours 30min subs Red 2x1200s plus the Ha, Green 1x840s and Blue 5x1060s....even with the odd exposure values it was surprisingly easy to balance. thanks for looking
  10. 3 points
    My clear sky charts promised to give be many many blue boxes. It didn't happen BUT I was able to finish collecting photons on this target the night before. IC 410 an emission nebula about 12,000 light-years from Earth in the constellation Auriga. Near the center of the nebulous region is a star cluster (NGC 1893) and just to the bottom right of this cluster lies two structures that resemble tadpoles. These structures are made of leftover hydrogen and dust from the formation of the star cluster and the "tails" are from the solar wind coming from the stars of NGC 1893. Imaged from Ocala Florida 20 minute exposures combined to a total of: 4 hours Ha (binned 1x1) 2 hours and 20 min OIII (binned 1x1) 2 hours and 20 min SII (binned 1x1) PS CS5 Imaging telescope: Astro-Tech 8" Ritchey-Chrétien (FL 1625mm). Imaging camera: QSI 683 wsg-8 Losmandy G-11 with Gemini II
  11. 3 points
    I've just ordered a 10" skywatcher dob from flo. Can't wait till it arrives! !!! D.C
  12. 3 points
  13. 3 points
    planetesimal, I found this, this morning... Comet ISON Perihelion: AIA 0193 , timeframe 20:09:55 No one has mentioned it so I am wondering if the scientists have classed them as artefacts... (click to enlarge)
  14. 3 points
    A shot of Orion taken from my garden on the 26th November with a Cannon 1100D from a static tripod . 100x 4 sec exposures, F4, ISO400. Stacked in DSS, processed in PS CS4. Not the greatest but getting better. An artsy one for those who like spikes!
  15. 3 points
    Just warned the wife: if ISON survives then I have to break out the xmas 10x50's early to give this comet first light!!! It would be rude not to, wouldn't it?!
  16. 3 points
    Fascinating subject this. Although the sun exerts a much greater gravitational force on Earth than does the Moon it is the Moon that raises the greatest tides on Earth. It's because of gravitational gradients. I like to imagine the old rubber sheet with different masses representing stars or planets or whatever. The closer you get to an object the steeper the sides of the depression in the rubber sheet. Just as the gravitational gradient increases near a celestial body. The Moon is sufficiently close that we experience quite a gradient across the planet. The oceans on the moonward side of earth are attracted more strongly than the mass of the earth and the oceans on the far side less so. The oceans get dragged out into Tidal Bulges (as does the mass of the earth to some much lesser degree) At our distance the steepness of the sun's depression in the "rubber sheet" is much less than it is at Mercury. Although the sun excerpts a powerful force on Earth it doesn't vary so much from near side to far side. At the range of Ison's perihelion the sides of the depression were very steep. Even on a relatively small body the difference in attraction one side to the other will have been significant. The highly parabolic orbit saw the gravitational gradient increase rapidly. Assuming Ison was also asymmetrical and tumbling, the various centripetal effects will have been very powerful. There will been little time for it to align it axis with the gradient. Being a perihelion virgin, Ison has never been subjected to such forces. All that and it got a bit warm too! Sent from my ZT ICS using Tapatalk 4
  17. 3 points
    ISON, the troll of the century!
  18. 3 points
    I'd always recommend people get out there and do it. Nothing counts so much as experience and practice, even if this time the results aren't as good as you want or were expecting. Only after a couple of years did I reach the stage where I was confident that I could go out and spend several hours imaging and be sure to come out of it with something passable, and then I changed cameras and had to start learning all over again The important thing is to keep at it and learn from the bad days (of which I've had plenty). Getting to understand the physics of what was going on really helped get me through some of the times when it just didn't seem to go right. When you've spent four hours sitting out in the freezing cold one night only to find the next day that all your data is rubbish, it's encouraging to know that you are at least learning something from it and can move forward next time. It's just a shame that in the UK, "next time" might be several weeks away It's amazing how much better you get if you get five or six clear nights on the bounce. At least until the exhaustion takes over So don't feel pressured. Go out, enjoy it (most importantly), get as much data as you can and think of "the ones that got away" as just a natural part of the learning process. Actually, now I come to think of it, there's another thing... Many capture applications (my own, FireCapture and SharpCap for certain) allow you to save a text file with the camera settings for each capture run. Always leave that turned on. When you're learning the ropes, even if you think you've got the best data you can (and I'd always say "do more runs than you think you need"), it's always worth doing some more capture runs varying the settings to learn what effects they have. You may even find you actually end up with better data from different settings, but either way you have a record of what they were and potentially can reproduce them in the future. James
  19. 3 points
    Surely us UK Astronomers are born optimists?
  20. 3 points
    Its not a amazingly striking object to observe to be honest but as Michael mentioned its all about going somewhere with dark skies. This sketch of M78 was done with my 16" but I remember seeing it with my old 200p and it looked very similar but obviously fainter.
  21. 3 points
    If this goes on much longer they'll have to rename it Comet Big Tease. James
  22. 3 points
    Quite interesting to see the Perihelion play out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1x05oHLCdGY (nothing new but I enjoy watching it.)
  23. 3 points
    an animation of C2 images either side of perihelion is she still there ??? anyones guess lol
  24. 2 points
    If anybody feels they've made a mistake they can happily redirect theirs my way! Olly
  25. 2 points
    I've tried turning my back on the moon but the tidal bulge of my stomach seems to be unaffected. Disgusted of Etoile St Cyrice.
  26. 2 points
    Or when you leave your computer firing away capturing subs for several hours only to find out your wife has unplugged the extension cable to the scope for hair-related electrical equipment. Brilliant.
  27. 2 points
    my scope time is unfortunately too limited to experiment (will be in Spain next weekend, yay, hope for clear skies and bits of Ison debris ! not planning to sleep...) But most of my earlier stuff is less than 30 minutes total exposure - think my favourite is till this one, 5x 3mins:
  28. 2 points
    Well, I've got my new workhorse, a Takahashi Epsilon ED 180. Here's my first shot taken through this beast. 10 min. unguided, as shot (no processing) Canon 60Da, 400 ISO, 500/2.8 astrograph mounted on a Titan 50, Seeing was bit off hence a slight lost in sharpness but hey, it was the first ever shot before the clouds rolled.
  29. 2 points
    Hi David I've found the Mellish technique works really well for adding detail to galaxies and nebula, when I started sketching with my old 200P galaxies were just a faint smudge so I could get away with using graphite pencils and just smudging it with my finger. Moving up to 12" aperture actually showed detail and I wanted to record that in the easiest way so those pencils were replaced by pastels which you can rub on a piece of sandpaper then use something to brush that dust on which gives you more control (in theory! ). I'd say the Mellish technique is a little more time consuming and can also be frustrating at times, pastel pencils can be a pain as they are quite soft and tend to break when sharpening, you also have more brushes etc which you can guarantee you'll drop and have to hunt around for in the dark!! Sketching onto black paper is good though, I really like going to the darkest sites possible and even a red light onto white paper seems too bright for me, the black paper doesn't reflect any light back at you so you can get away with using a brighter light. I use a Kindle reader light wrapped in red acetate which just clips onto the sketch pad. Funnily enough I don't really get cold hands, I find if I just keep my head and body warm really warm I'm ok. I've got fingerless gloves but rarely use them and find the only times they come in handy is when there is a really cold wind. The drawings don't take that long to do so maybe 20 minutes at most, sketching is really all about observing and I figure that as long as I'm looking through the EP more than looking at the sketch pad then I'm doing the right thing. In total each sketch/observation takes between 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours it just depends how interesting the object I'm viewing is. I never rush, sketching is way to relaxing to rush it! The first pic below shows what I use now but probably half of that is for lunar sketching which you won't need for DSO's but these are the sort of things you'll need to get - Conte Pastel Conte pastel drawing pencils White ink pen Brushes ( I use 10mm/6mm/4mm ) Cotton wool buds Rubber Pencil sharpener ( Save yourself a lot of frustration and get a Dahle 155 like in the pic, everything else I've tried just doesn't work! ) Sandpaper I just google art supplies and go for the cheapest option after delivery. I'd try an open cluster first and just use a normal graphite pencil on white paper just in case you find sketching isn't for you. Hope that helps a little.
  30. 2 points
    M78 always looks a bit comet like to me. It's a fine object from dark skies where it responds well to aperture. From LP sites as said above its a tricky blighter! Good hunting and clear skies.
  31. 2 points
    My favourite quote so far : "It is now clear that Comet ISON either survived or did not survive, or... maybe both," Bruce Betts, director of projects for the Planetary Society, said in a Twitter update. "Hope that clarifies things." Battams said it's too early to write ISON off completely. "Right now it does appear that a least some small fraction of ISON has remained in one piece and is actively releasing material," he wrote. "We have no idea how big this nucleus is, if there is indeed one. If there is a nucleus, it is still too soon to tell how long it will survive. If it does survive for more than a few days, it is too soon to tell if the comet will be visible in the night sky. If it is visible in the night sky, it is too soon to say how bright it will be. ... I think you get the picture, yes?" Story here: http://www.nbcnews.com/science/comet-ison-vanishes-puff-mystery-it-goes-around-sun-2D11670914
  32. 2 points
    Skywatcher EQ8 mounts have arrived and are ready for dispatch I shall be contacting everyone who has a pre-order to arrange balance of payment and delivery.
  33. 2 points
    A little gem on info here.... http://astroblogger.blogspot.com.es/ It has the experts divided it seems. Now Prediction.
  34. 2 points
    The sketch in post #4 is a brighter version of what I see with my 10" at a dark site. It's a real toughie from my backyard, needs a transparent moonless night to see anything at all. You can always pan down to M42 to get your 'nebula fix' Regards, Ed.
  35. 2 points
  36. 2 points
    Might be useful as a second pier cover, no I must not.
  37. 2 points
  38. 2 points
    Glad to see it seems to be alive again. From "Pushing up the daisies, joined the choir invisible" to "I'm not dead yet!.... I'm feeling better!" quite a roller-coaster ride. No chance of seeing it here at the moment
  39. 2 points
    Although this may not turn out to be 'Comet Of The Century' visually, it has certainly been a character, and one heck of a ride!
  40. 2 points
    To misquote Mark Twain - "Rumours of my death were slightly exaggerated." I guess we can forget about the possibility of a naked-eye comet but I hope there is enough left to provide the imagers with a target. The post-mortem will be interesting, it looks like it broke up before reaching perihelion. I wonder what the explanation is for the lazarus fragment? I've been making a conscious effort to ignore the comments sections on the various ISON articles. There is nothing wrong with ignorance, it's our default position, the number of things I'm ignorant of... well I'm ignorant of that too. But when people have absolutely no idea of their level of ignorance it all gets a bit painful.
  41. 2 points
    two tails forming ??? or am i just hoping
  42. 2 points
    Like I said last night, I think everyone was/is calling this far too early. To my untrained eye, the most recent image looks no less bright than ones taken on the 27th. The only real difference is that the trail hasn't had enough time to build up yet due to the sharp change of direction.
  43. 2 points
    That would bring new meaning to the term 'fast' telescope. Sorry...
  44. 2 points
    Welcome back Comet Lazarus typed on my mobile with Tapatalk
  45. 2 points
    An update from Karl Battam's blog: http://www.isoncampaign.org/karl/schroedingers-comet The speculation continues!
  46. 2 points
    Gotta turn in for the night but will leave this last image for the early risers of the SGL: Here's hoping there's still a chance!
  47. 2 points
    What's all this then ? ..... a brightening ! ..... ..... http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime/c3/1024/latest.html
  48. 2 points
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  49. 2 points
  50. 2 points
    I think a lot of people would have been to embarrassed to admit to making those mistakes. Good on you though for sharing, if it means other's don't get injured.
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