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as well today the sun is shining brightly here. I set up the Lunt to have a look at it, at first just for observing. However, somehow I cannot resist and have to do a sketch This time I've chosen reddish pastels on grey paper to better catch the color of the view in the eyepiece.
Telescope: Lunt LS50THaB600PT
Eyepiece: Celestron X-cel 10mm
Date & Time: May 15th, 2020 / 1400-1430 CEST
Location: home terrace, Dusseldorf region, Germany
Technique: red and orange Koh-i-Noor pastels and pastel pens on grey Canson Mi-Teintes pastel paper
Size: 24 x 32 cm
Clear (and sunny) skies!
I finished observations of the Mizar A spectroscopic binary.
Calibration for the Hα line made on water lines contained in the Earth's atmosphere.
I used LowSpec spectrograph with 1800 grooves/mm reflective holographic grating, APM APO 107/700, QHY163M camera and HEQ5 mount with guiding.
It turned out that the Earth's movement practically compensated for the radial velocity of the Mizar A system.
Based on the analysis, I received the result:
vr = -8.8 km/s
in fact the system is approaching at a radial velocity of -6.3 km/s.
I also determined the phase plot of radial velocities based on my measurements for the Na (together for both lines) and separately for Hα line:
Error is based on half my spectral resolution (0.2 Å/pix corresponds to rv = 10 km/s). Each measurement corresponds to the stack a few images.
The most important purpose of observing this binary system was to record the historical Ca II line (often called as CaK, 3933.66 Å).
The distances in the violet part of the spectrum are almost 2x smaller than the corresponding shifts for the Hα line. This line initiated the discovery of spectroscopically binary systems, and Mizar A was the first discovered system of this type.
These were the spectroscopic observations in the 19th century:
I've made several observations of this line in the last two weeks:
Animation showing the changes in the CaK line based on my observations:
Not only the Ca II is split, but the surrounding lines also, shown below in a wider environment:
Balmer hydrogen lines are becoming more dense as Balmer's gap approaches (3646 Å).
Observation result of the Hα line:
And animation showing the changes in this line:
The Na I doublet was much more difficult to observe, because stars with A spectral type contain very faint lines of this metal:
Animation showing the changes in the sodium doublet:
We received the sodium quartet
1. Alcyone (Eta Tauri, η Tau, 25 Tau) in the Pleiades open cluster, spectral type B7IIIe+A0V+A0V+F2V.
This star is a multiple system, but my goal of observation was the H-alpha profile of the main component:
Horizontal axis scaled to radial velocity:
2. Pleione (28 Tau, BU Tau) also in M45, spectral type B8Vne, variable star, the brightness changes in range: 4.83 - 5.38 V.
This is the faintest star, which I observed with using APO 107/700 & Low Spec spectrograph 1800 l/mm.
It was difficult, but obervation was positive (high gain, exposure time 4 min):
3. Tianguan (Zeta Tauri, ζ Tau), spectral type B1IVe+G8III: (mark ":" according to the VSX database means uncertainty).
This is an eclipsing binary with variability type E/GS+GCAS, period is 133 d. The brightness changes in range: 2.80 - 3.17 V.
4. Cih, Tsih (γ Cas), spectral type B0.5IVpe, variable star with a magnitude range of 1.6 to 3 V:
5. Alnitak (Zeta Orionis, ζ Ori), spectral type O9.5Ibe+B0III. Variable star with a magnitude range of 1.74 to 1.77 V.
Spectral lines have characteristic P Cygni profile, below H-alpha:
I made an acquisition and processing tutorial a while back (3 years ago? Yikes!) and it is fairly dated in terms of what I'm doing these days. I've been asked for a long time to make a new one showing what I'm doing these days. Specifically how I'm processing a single shot image for both the surface and prominences and how to process them together to show prominences and the surface at once. I've abandoned doing split images and composites and strictly work from one image using layers. Acquisition does not use gamma at all anymore. Nothing terribly fancy, but it's not exactly intuitive so hopefully this new video will illustrate most of the fundamentals to get you started. Instead of an hour, this time it's only 18 minutes. It's real time from start to finish. I'm sorry for the long "waiting periods" where I'm just waiting for the software to finish its routine, it lasts 1.5 minutes and 30 seconds tops typically at first. The first 4 minutes is literally just stacking & alignment in AS!3. I typically will go faster than this, but wanted to slow down enough to try to talk through what I'm doing as I do it. Hopefully you can see each action on the screen. I may have made a few mistakes or said a few incorrect things or terms, forgive me for that, this is not my day job. I really hope it helps folk get more into processing as its not difficult or intimidating when you see a simple process with only a few things that are used. The key is good data to begin with and a good exposure value. Today's data came from a 100mm F10 achromatic refractor and an ASI290MM camera with an HA filter. I used FireCapture to acquire the data with a defocused flat frame. No gamma is used. I target anywhere from 65% to 72% histogram fill. That's it! The processing is fast and simple. I have a few presets that I use, but they are all defaults in Photoshop. A lot of the numbers I use for parameters are based on image scale, so keep that in mind, experiment with your own values. The only preset I use that is not a default is my coloring scheme. I color with levels in Photoshop, and my values are Red: 1.6, Green 0.8, Blue 0.2 (these are mid-point values).
Processing Tutorial Video (18 minutes):
RAW (.TIF) files available here to practice on (the same images you will see below as RAW TIFs):
Video for Acquisition, Focus, Flat Calibration and Exposure (20 minutes):
(Please let me know if any links do not work)
Results from today using this work flow method.
SSM data (sampled during 1.5~2 arc-second seeing conditions):
Equipment for today:
100mm F10 Frac (Omni XLT 120mm F8.3 masked to 4")
Baader Red CCD-IR Block Filter (ERF)
PST etalon + BF10mm
SSM (for fun, no automation)