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Everything posted by EA2007

  1. Hey kids, this might seem like a dumbass question but would an NEQ-6 Pro be able to track the asteroid 2012DA14? if so how would you go about setting it up? if not, how would you go about seeing it anyway?
  2. Not been to SB for a viewing, seen it advertised plenty of times, think they just use the car park. I assume every direction is good from up there as your higher than the vale of York. I'm wanting to do some more observing so if anyones up for it.
  3. Sounds like we should organise something now the skies are darker earlier and theres some good spots we know of. PM if you want to
  4. Try Voyager 4.5 by Carina Software http://www.carinasoft.com/voyager.html I was first introduced to it by my astrophysics lecturer at University and its been used ever since. Stellarium was quite basic back then but has grown into 'the' simulated night-sky package and is probably the best and easiest to use. Voyager offers a bit more, yeah the graphics are a bit more basic like Cartes du Ciel but it has more data in it and really cool 'Solar System' and 'Stellar Neighbourhood' features. You can also control your EQ mount via it.
  5. Hmm. Lets say Ursa Major but use the defining lines as outlines by Stellarium, which has 18 stars by my counting. With vieing times of around 00:00 for Summertime and 19:00 Wintertime
  6. Light pollution around Northallerton is a fraction of what Teesside and the M62 corridor has to put up with, so I feel for your orange-hued skies. For most of the year, clear skies permitting, I can see the MIlky Way if its really dark with no Moon, M31 is visible at times also. The only real impact over the last 5-7 years has been some factory sized buildings being placed near the industrial estate which is about 1 mile from where I live, some of which use those fantastically large orange 'security' lights, after all whats more secure than displaying your goods, windows, entry and exit locations and doorways to potential theives in almost daylight conditions during the night! Alongside this, there is constant development either in town or nearby which always introduces new lighting. It seems that although the lighting designs change with the decades the main style is what I would call a 'nobbly shoe-box' whereby there is a rectangular metal box with the glass lamp on the underneath and a light detector on the top (if you shine a >10Mw green laser pointer at them they go out, apprently). I'm sure there's a design name for this 'shoe-box' style but as I don't know it I'll simply call it Barry. In my opinion Barry is the worst idea for residential areas, besides those security lights, because although the lights do point downwards the amount of light escaping upwards (as they're not covered on the sides) is about 40%, its the same with motorway lighting also. In my opinion its Barry and his counterpart road buddies who are the main reason for our orange skies. I did a quick survey using some photographs and Google SketchUp a few years back and found that by simply putting a metal hood/shield over Barry, which covers the side of the glass lamp down to its base, then that 40% can be reflected downwards and in doing so the power input can be reduced to keep the same level of light with the additional 40% being reflected downwards, thus saving the council money on electricity bills. Saying this I did write to my council a few years ago demostrating this and to their credit (although they didn't fix the problem completely) they did reply to me and actually sent out a man in a van that day to fix a 1 sided shield to the back of our closest street light. The result, it must be said was amazing, the orange presence on our front lawn was instantly gone, the birds could sleep at night, there was peace in the middle east, the sound of new born lambs bleating could be heard for 1000 miles, George Bush was never president and Andy Murray made a comment on somebody other than himself...with a smile! Think, if they'd covered the whole of the streetlight then what might of happened. Anyway 'notaclue', I'd like to help you with your LP survey, although I think you actually fail to specify what you'd like us to look for, ideas?
  7. Yeah, from memory its only Betelgeuse that has been resolved as its so close and quite big!
  8. Afternoon. Does anyone know if say, you take a planetarium to a school whether you need Public Liability Insurance? Or should the schools insurance cover anything?
  9. Hubble has been used for some exoplanet hunting, though there are other telescopes designed for this type of thing, noteably Spitzer and SuperWASP (Wide Area Search for Planets) If your asking 'why can't we directly see exoplanets in Hubble public images?' then the answer is no.... The light-curves coming direct from exoplantes are very shallow, as they are non-luminous bodies and the parent stars light virtually eclipses it, a bit like taking a picture of a lighthouse from a few miles away and trying to pick out the reflection off a marble 1cm from the main beam. So instead you need to look at either Doppler or Transit methods. Doppler looks at how a set of element lines in a stars light spectrum shifts through time. If the star has a planet(s) orbiting then it wil wobble due to the gravitational pull of the planet(s), meaning the element lines either move to the blue end of the spectrum if the star moves towards us (exoplanet pulling it this way) or they will shift to the red end of the specturm if the star moves away from us (exoplanet on other side) By timing and measuring the wobble you can account for the number of associated planets and also their mass. Transit looks at the amount of light lost from a parent star when a non-luminous body (an associated exoplanet) passes infront of the star and our line of sight, again timing and measuring the amount of depleted light gives you an idea of the num there mass. However the transit method only works for stars which have planets along our plane-of-view, so we could potentially not be finding lots of exoplanets.
  10. I'm at Northallerton. Know a few good spots, one of them is awesome but down a bit of a rough farm track. If anyones up for a meet let me know, got transport and some equipment....could do with a better powertank though!
  11. It might be a flare on the lens from the moon, though its quite random, usually lens flares are straight or arcs due to the convex/concave nature of them. The only thing it looks like to me is a comet, but there isn't any in that area according to Heavens Above and its quite large, way larger that 17pHolmes was. Anyway, a kick-ass image none the less.
  12. Hi all, Wondered if anyone knows what the blob is above Auriga, to the upper left of Capella?
  13. Afternoon people, Having perused the Zooniverse website many moons ago (excuse the astronomical pun) and becoming aware of the Plane Thunters attempts at finding exoplanets I was very keen to involve myself in the task of finding some other world...oooooohhhh! After going through some 150+ light streams there have been about two possible transit stars that have passed my way, good news, they've been logged and smiled upon. The not so good news is that from what is portrayed as being a new feature (as seen via the BBC's Stargazing Live program) to allow people to use the Kepler info, it seems that the stars we have been given have already been studied numerous times and recycled for definitive classification. To explain, I found a kick-ass example of several transits (or an eclipsing binary if your into dull things) and subsequently logged it and sent it on its way to the Kepler boffins top secret hideout for analysis (similar to the batcave?). I also favourited the star as its looked pretty neat and I wanted to show family, friends, the pet cat and other unsuspecting victims (notably the girlfriend) of this rather magnificent array of white dots, reminiscent to some of Kylie's polker dot dress bikini, or a person drawing a line on black paper with salt and having a nervous twitch. Upon looking at the favourited items it says something like 'view this star data' which I clicked on this brought up some monotone blue and white graphs which people can comment on....however from what is thought to be fresh data the comments on this particular star were from 2011 or 2010. Grrrrrrrr, what's the point of looking at something someone else has already seen. That's like me looking at Jupiter for several months and deducing what Galileo did and claiming it as my own work...pah! Thoughts ? By the way, I respect the time that has gone into planethunters.org, its a stellar effort (again ignore the pun) to help the public engage with astronomy from their home or workplace. I look forward to more attempts at understanding more of the universe. Has anyone been successful in finding an exoplanet, be cool if you have.
  14. Can make Sutton Bank anytime really. I know there's a farm on the left about 1 mile from there heading towards Helmsley and that that has a little track down past it that opens out, has great views North, East and South horizons and good viewing for all other cardinal points above 10 degrees.
  15. So when we gonna do an observing night? November might be good.
  16. Green laser pointers are legal under 1.5MW (from memory - I used to work at trading standards so they were having a blitz on them a year or so ago). However, I have had three green laser pointers over the years and all were above 5Mw, my most recent on is actually 30Mw. Saying that though, all three green laser pointers have failed to last any prolonged amount of time. The 30Mw was amazing when I bought it in July, it provided a solid green beam even in dusk/low light conditions, at night it was spectacular. However I used it for some observing and I believe it got a tad cold, as the operating temp is 15-50 degrees. Since then it hasn't been the same, I've changed the batteries and still it only gives a meager green dot, not useful at all. The first two were from eBay, the third and best one was from Digital Daffodil and is branded August, link provided below. I am going to e-mail them and see if they can fix / replace it as it should last longer than the occasional use every so often. 30mW Green Laser Pen Pointer > Digital Daffodil
  17. My name is Ed. Be up for some observing sometime, its not that difficult for me to make somewhere around Easingwold / Sutton bank etc for all you York lot Looking to do some more Jupiter work when its a bit higher, but now were getting early nights then its alright. My view to the east isn't low enough so a field or flat area would be good.
  18. Nowthen kids, Ah so Marcus is having an open day eh! Cool. And an observing session at Sutton Bank? More details would be great I managed to wangle him (M. Grover) into helping out at the Deershed Festival in July when I was asked by the event founder to do some astro-dome work and observing sessions there. Marcus has some alright stock to be honest, everything ranging from beginner to amateur professional, and he stocks accessories aswell, you'd have to travel a fair distance to find another dealer in these parts so its quite good. Do remember him mentioning a Celestron rep visiting, this must be it.
  19. Right as I've lived here nearly all my life then here's a list Good sites: North York Moors, preferably the lower section between York and Scarborough, around Pickering and Hutton-Le-Hole. Yorkshire Dales, past Richmond, up towards Hawes etc. These places are furthest from the highlights of Harrogate, York, Leeds, Darlington, Middlesbrough. Second best would be any other area thats 10 miles or so from a major area, so Northallerton and around is okay, Thirsk, Richmond, Osmotherley, Whitby, then anywhere in between. I'm near Northallerton and even thoguh theres the glow of orange from the town, during summer you can always make out the Milky Way if its clear. Its quite good to be honest.
  20. Andy, I am about 1 mile outside Northallerton, in the middle of Brompton pretty much.
  21. Nowthen. Representing the North Yorkshire astronomers is me! Anyone else from this marvellous county wanting to do some observing etc please feel free to get in contact for some astronomalogical coolness.
  22. Yeah, could I just turn up on say Saturday night? I only live near Northallerton, so would be better to drive there and back in one night.
  23. Similar to KatieM. Both my Grandad and my Dad introduced me to those smaller pinpoints of light and I've been looking up ever since. I have always been interested in mechanics, engineering and science, noteably flight, so the learning about the space age was a highlight whilst growing up and reading books. Think I was about 7 when my Grandad pointed out the plough and Polaris one night. Then my Dad showed me how to navigate to Polaris from Ursa Major when I was 11, he said that his Dad taught him that! He also pointed out parts of Orion, I then used this info to point them out to fellow school children and teachers when I was on a school trip in the Yorkshire Dales. When I was 14 I received a small refractor from my parents, but I didn't use it much, I wasn't really into astronomy big-time, though I do remember looking at what I thought was Saturn....but a few years later realised it was an out of focus Arcturus! Then I hit university and studied Astronomy and Space Science, thats when everything got going and its been like that ever since.
  24. Afternoon all. Not been on in a while so hello. I was watching the BBC2 Horizon program last night which was covering an array of telescopes (notably SOFIA, JWST, ALMA and DORIS) and how they can observe different types of wavelengths. Subsequently I remembered a problem relating to dark matter which I believe may or may not be related to the different wavelengths. Having studied dark matter in a little depth at university I should know the answer but I am after your thoughts. Little history...... in the early part of the 20th century a number of astronomers observed galaxies and galaxy clusters in visible wavelengths (as this was the only real means of doing so at the time) and tried to account for their mass. However, one of them (namely Fritz Zwicky) couldn't relate the luminous output of these clusters to the gravitational binding of the galaxies, he inferred that there was some 'missing mass' which was driving the additional gravitational potential of the system, a few decades later we are all familiar (sort of) with the concept of dark matter. However, viewing the program last night I was impressed to see that modern telescopes such as SOFIA (which shows infra-red - dust clouds and low energy gas), ALMA (which collects (radio) waves and shows higher energy output jets) and indeed the Chandra X-Ray observatory can show far more material interacting and held within galaxies, namely the galaxy of Centaurus A. So this got me thinking, if Zwicky only observed in the visible surely he wouldn't of seen the non-visibly-luminous material such as those found by SOFIA, ALMA and Chandra (dusty nebulae, star forming regions and high energy outputs such as those now being seen in the x-ray, infra-red and radio wavelengths). So could some of this account for the 'missing mass' ? Answers on a postcard. My own personal experience with dark matter would probably rule out this question as particle physics is accounting for exotic micro particles that could be used to explain dark matter and even dark energy, but it doesn't stop me wondering.
  25. That is a great image, thanks for putting it on here.
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