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What to do when the weather is bad? Use scientific data!

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Here is a project I have thought about over many years. What can I do with all scientific data that are out there?

I tested this already 15 years ago with the POSS-I data from Mount Palomar observatory with good results.

Now I'm just practising this how to handle the data and get something out of it. One easy task is just to make pictures from the data and compare it with my own photos. Just to get an idea how much worse my photos are compare to the telescopes at Mount Palomar.

Here you can see how I have processed the first two Messier objects, M1 and M13:

Even more exiting is if I'm in the future can do some science with it.

I have many cloudy nights so I'm desperate!


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Now I have finished the M1, M13, M31, M42 and M45. It's very interesting to study the details, remember these photos was taken when your grandfather was in action!


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Clouds and clouds and even more clouds, what is happening with our weather?

Good then I have found a new part of the astronomy, scientific data. This is of course a bit outside amateur  astronomy, but what to do when we never nowadays have a clear sky?

This time I took a look at the Kepler spacecraft and it's data. Normally used to find exoplanets. But that data can also be used to examine variable stars. One big plus, the observatory is out in space, no clouds!

One of the more exiting thing I did was to set together 44 months of data as a GIF movie. And by luck there was one very clearly seen variable star:

It was a bit tricky to get this to be correct because the satellite rotate 90 degrees every three months.

To  read these files I need two new tools which found at NASA homepage. The DS9 Fits reader and Fv reader. The other tools was the ones I normally use, AstroImageJ, Fitswork and IrfanView. In the beginning I also used a hex binary editor, but didn't need it in the end.


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