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Rho Ophiuchi and beyond - Summer project part 1


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Well... last night was a good un ey? :) 

I was out at the dark site to try and get a start on this Summers project of Rho Ophiuchi to the galactic core (7 panels). So this is roughly the first three, I say roughly because the third panel (left) only had half an hour exposure as it was getting pretty late (2am) and dark time was running out... the other two panels had 45min worth each. I'd like to get it up to 1hr minumum, but thats quite difficult due to the fleeting nature of something this low in the sky.... at 52 degrees North, its going to be a challenge!

One thing thats caught me out is the curvature of the sky at that altitude... its really quite severe, so a bit of cropping was in order to get those panels to link together nicely. I also expected Antares to give me lens flare, but surprisingly it behaved rather well. I think the true test will be when I start the panel with Saturn on it... im expecting a bit of trouble there.... perhaps I should rent a death star to wipe it out...lol.

Had a nice evening with the dark site owner too, enjoying a beer on the patio while waiting for darkness to arrive. His grandkids were there too, asking me all sorts of astro related questions... heh :) nice to do a bit of outreach, shame I didnt have a spare telescope for them to look through!

So... three down, four to go - plus colour (if possible). It may end up being a multi year project if I run out of time, I guess it depends on how generous the weather gods are feeling.

Oh... one other bizarre thing happened. Say for instance, if the the majority of the country was perfectly clear (as it was last night) - would it be possible to see very distant lightning flashes from a dark site? (im talking up to 100 miles) Its just while I was setting up I noticed a flash in the corner of my eye... looked up, but didnt think anything of it until it happened two more times - the last one happening as I was just getting in the car to go home... really wierd it was.

 

Samyang 135mm @f2, Atik 383L+, NEQ6

Thanks for looking! :)

 

34120012893_81a83e48fc_k.jpg

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2 minutes ago, Uranium235 said:

would it be possible to see very distant lightning flashes from a dark site? (im talking up to 100 miles) Its just while I was setting up I noticed a flash the corner of my eye... looked up, but didnt think anything of it until it happened two more times - the last one happening as I was just getting in the car to go home... really wierd it was.

Another source of this type of phenomenon can be electric train lines, where the electrical pickup – be it a shoe on a conductor rail or a pantograph on overhead lines – just lifts slightly and a spark jumps the gap.

Any nearby (or not so near) trainlines?

Having said that, you can indeed, see lightning from a good distance.

 

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Nope, no rail lines for miles around! I know thunderstorms were forecast for the far West, and the flashes came from a south westerly direction so thats the most plausable explanation I can think of! :)

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4 minutes ago, Allinthehead said:

Nice start. I didn't realise this was visible in the UK. As an aside my Samyang arrived yesterday, ready for testing. Cheers for the advice.

 

Cheers :)  Oh yes, its certainly visible but it requires a very clear and unobstructed Southern horizon - thats why the airstrip was the perfect place to have a go at it. 

Btw: Enjoy the new lens ;) its a beaut.

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Good start Rob, I think it's one of those areas that definitely benefits from colour, hope you get enough clear skies to finish it.

Caught M4 nicely.

Dave

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2 hours ago, Uranium235 said:

Nope, no rail lines for miles around! I know thunderstorms were forecast for the far West, and the flashes came from a south westerly direction so thats the most plausable explanation I can think of! :)

Could be this ?

Dave

 

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7 minutes ago, Davey-T said:

Could be this ?

Dave

 

I think we may have found the culprit! I would think a few of the larger flashes would be capable of being seen from a dark site. It did rain overnight, but no thunderstorm - it had probably blown itself out by the time it got this far North.

Ive had another tinker with the image, and did one with no control placed on the background stars. It reveals just how busy the sky can get once you approach that part of the MW. Oh.... and I did eventually find an Antares lens flare, just in a completely unexpected place (clone brush sorted it out):

 

Rho-Mos_stars_uncontrolled_web.thumb.jpg.c034a4df8de3759cba3fdf4c211ccdfa.jpg

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One part of the sky I would love to do but it's no go from here.

Nights are bright here and I have seen lightning flashes from northern France and thats over 90miles away,

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Very nice picture and congrats on getting it at such a low elevation. I prefer your second version, looks like it came straight from Barnard his Milky Way atlas!

 

Pieter

Edited by pietervdv
typo
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3 hours ago, pietervdv said:

Very nice picture and congrats on getting it at such a low elevation. I prefer your second version, looks like it came straight from Barnard his Milky Way atlas!

 

Pieter

Oddly enough, thats the version I prefer as well! :)

Theres a lot more in the way of goodies to come too, another panel to the left will pick up a lot of dark Barnard nebulae. I just wish I had another Samyang lens so I could fill in the colour at the same time.

I just need to work against the rotation of the Earth to keep the amount of curvature down.

Next Wednesday ans Saturday are looking good, I might have a word with the boss to see if I can get a day off work... or the morning at least, just so I can have a late night.

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On 27/05/2017 at 21:52, Uranium235 said:

Oh... one other bizarre thing happened. Say for instance, if the the majority of the country was perfectly clear (as it was last night) - would it be possible to see very distant lightning flashes from a dark site? (im talking up to 100 miles) Its just while I was setting up I noticed a flash in the corner of my eye... looked up, but didnt think anything of it until it happened two more times - the last one happening as I was just getting in the car to go home... really wierd it was.

Strange you should mention the lightning also - as I was also watching the flashes from Mid Wales. Since my obsy is in a valley I couldn't tell how far away the storm was- but I guess many miles as we could hear no thunder at that point.

It then occured to me that from an uber dark site (SQM 21.8) and with the storm well below the surrounding hills it might be possible to get a film or visual sighting of some Sprites. I set a stactic DSLR up, it recorded the glow of the flashes from below the horizon but not much else.

Visually- I stared into the sky for ages, and didn't see a lot either. After half an hour and now fully dark adapted I suddenly saw three vertical jets going upwards at once. It was not what I was expecting- the were incredibly quick (literaly faster than lightning), very faint (kind of 'did I see that or not') and went really high (almost to my zenith). Also only the centre flash went vertical, the other two went left & right (though this may have been some perspective effect). Needless to say the camera never captured any of this!

So did I see sprites or some other wierdness? Can they even be seen visually?

 

Nice image BTW

 

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17 hours ago, laser_jock99 said:

Strange you should mention the lightning also - as I was also watching the flashes from Mid Wales. Since my obsy is in a valley I couldn't tell how far away the storm was- but I guess many miles as we could hear no thunder at that point.

It then occured to me that from an uber dark site (SQM 21.8) and with the storm well below the surrounding hills it might be possible to get a film or visual sighting of some Sprites. I set a stactic DSLR up, it recorded the glow of the flashes from below the horizon but not much else.

Visually- I stared into the sky for ages, and didn't see a lot either. After half an hour and now fully dark adapted I suddenly saw three vertical jets going upwards at once. It was not what I was expecting- the were incredibly quick (literaly faster than lightning), very faint (kind of 'did I see that or not') and went really high (almost to my zenith). Also only the centre flash went vertical, the other two went left & right (though this may have been some perspective effect). Needless to say the camera never captured any of this!

So did I see sprites or some other wierdness? Can they even be seen visually?

 

Nice image BTW

 

Ahhh so I wasnt the only one who saw it then! :) heard no thunder too, just saw the flashes.

I think it was one of those things where if you go waiting/looking for it, then it wont happen (a bit like meteorites!) - it just happens when you least expect it. I think its just the very brief nature of the flash (perhaps a couple of milliseconds) made it hard for you to detect it with a camera.

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On 28 May 2017 at 13:49, Uranium235 said:

Oddly enough, thats the version I prefer as well! :)

Theres a lot more in the way of goodies to come too, another panel to the left will pick up a lot of dark Barnard nebulae. I just wish I had another Samyang lens so I could fill in the colour at the same time.

I just need to work against the rotation of the Earth to keep the amount of curvature down.

Next Wednesday ans Saturday are looking good, I might have a word with the boss to see if I can get a day off work... or the morning at least, just so I can have a late night.

Did Wednesday work out for you ? - Reasonable skies around tonight

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2 hours ago, AlistairW said:

Did Wednesday work out for you ? - Reasonable skies around tonight

Not really im afraid, the sky is like pea soup here. Besides, the Moon is getting a bit bright now so I'll have to wait a couple of weeks before resuming it. Unfortunately its one of those things that requires perfect conditions (a good horizon and no Moon at all).

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17 minutes ago, ultranova said:

Very nice, I'm hoping to see some colour to this

so may the force be with you on this one

well done

Paul

Cheers buddy :) Colour largely depends on the weather over the next month or so. Im probably asking a lot of the UK weather to have such specific windows of opportunity!

Im hoping that over the next month or so I can scrape together enough for a 2nd lens to help speed things up a bit more (!) I've spotted another nice project that would be perfect for that kind of setup.

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