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Back in March I was granted an observatory code ( Q69 ) by the Minor Planet Center ( MPC ) and since then I have been spending all my available telescope time ( which due the weather has admittedly not been very much ) to capturing images of asteroids, that the MPC is interested in recieving data for, and sending in the positions that I have determined.
Mostly I have been focused on asteroids that have not been observed/reported on during their current return to visibility.
2014 LA21 was my first after getting my code ...
Here I was the first to report astrometry for 2014 LA21 since 2016 - not like discovering a new comet I imagine but still, a small achievement and a nice feeling
You may have noticed that I don't as yet supply any brightness data; this is because I have not figured out how I can do this reliably ( most of the asteroids I am chasing are very dim and so my 4 minute exposures tend to spread them a little making them hard to compare to nearby stars ).
I have been getting reasonably good position data though, with a "variation to average path" across the samples of sub 1 arcsec ( typically less than 0.5 and sometimes down as low 0.15 )
Anyway, I was just thought I would let people know what I have been up to and why you have not seem me latley over on deep sky imaging forum and also, I was wondering if there is anyone else here on Stargazerslounge doing the same thing ...
Last night (Sunday to Monday), a rare event happens. A dim star (mag 10) was occultated by the trans-neptunian asteroid - Huya. The strip where this event was visible passed near by my observatory. So 2:53 local time I was outside to take pictures of this event. It was a very nice night, with clear sky and good temerature for this time of the year. My data obtained by me is already to the profesional astronomers in La Palma, where they will obtain new information about this remote celestial body. I was not alone in this enterprise - another 10 astronomers around the country being involved in the project. I used my data to make a short film of the event with the most important part - occultation itself.
The strip where this event was visible:
The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) in the Constellation Fornax
( edit - star chart added )
The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy ( NGC 1365 ) - Chart ( please click/tap on image see larger and sharper version )
A full size ( 6200 x 4407px ) image can be downloaded from here.
Below the equator, not seen from much of the Northern hemisphere, NGC 1365 passes very nearly directly overhead an observer situated near Cape Town, as Sir John Herschel was in November of 1837 when he discovered this “remarkable nebula” that is numbered 2552 in his book of observations from the Cape.
Not called a “nebula” now, of course, this striking object is one of the nearest and most studied examples of a barred spiral ( SB ) galaxy that also has an active galactic nuclei resulting in its designation as a Seyfert galaxy.
At around 60 M light years from Earth, NGC 1365 is still seen to occupy a relatively large area ( 12 by 6 arc minutes ) due to its great size; at some 200,000 light years or so across, NGC 1365 is nearly twice as wide as the Milky Way and considerably wider than both the Sculptor and Andromeda galaxies.
This High Dynamic Range ( HDR ) image is built up from multiple exposures ranging from 4 to 240 seconds with the aim of capturing the faint detail in the spiral arms of the galaxy whilst also retaining colour in the brightest star ( the orange-red 7th magnitude giant, HD 22425 ). Also, scattered throughout the image, and somewhat more difficult to see, are numerous and far more distant galaxies.
The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy
New General Catalogue - NGC 1365
General Catalogue - GC 731
John Herschel ( Cape of Good Hope ) # 2552 - Nov 28, 29 1837
Principal Galaxy Catlogue - PCG 13179
RA (2000.0) 3h 33m 37.2 s
DEC (2000.0) -36 deg 8' 36.5"
10th magnitude Seyfert-type galaxy in the Fornaux cluster of galaxies
200 Kly diameter
60 Mly distance
Telescope: Orion Optics CT12 Newtonian ( mirror 300mm, fl 1200mm, f4 ).
Corrector: ASA 2" Coma Corrector Quattro 1.175x.
Effective Focal Length / Aperture : 1375mm f4.7
Mount: Skywatcher EQ8
Guiding: TSOAG9 Off-Axis-Guider, Starlight Xpress Lodestar X2, PHD2
Nikon D5300 (unmodified) (sensor 23.5 x 15.6mm, 6016x4016 3.9um pixels)
Blue Mountains, Australia
Moderate light pollution ( pale green zone on darksitefinder.com map )
Capture ( 3, 7 & 8 Dec 2018 )
7 sets of sub-images with exposure duration for each set doubling ( 4s to 240s ) all at unity gain ( ISO 250).
140 x 240s + 10 each @ 4s to 120s
total around 9.7 hrs
Processing ( Pixinsight )
Calibration: master bias, master flat , master dark
Integration in 7 sets
Image Plate Solution
Resolution ........ 0.586 arcsec/px ( full size image )
Rotation .......... -0.003 deg ( North is up )
Field of view ..... 58' 37" x 38' 55"
Image center ...... RA: 03 33 36 Dec: -36 08 27