Friday, August 29, 2014

17 Visitors to the La Pine Observatory tonight

The Primetimer's of Grace Fellowship Church of La Pine, Oregon visited the observatory tonight.  Viewed were Sataurn, Mars, the crescent moon, double and triple star systems, the Ring Nebula,  M13 globular cluster,  the Andromedia galaxy, the Milky Way, etc. Thank you all for coming and viewing God's creation!

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Comet, The Ring Nebula, and A Poor Man's Spectrometer

After last night's capture of the motion of Comet Jacques C/2014 E2, I headed out to the observatory for another attempt to capture any tail on the comet. Well, no success yet but here's the result of about 30 - 10 sec images:

I then slewed to the Ring Nebula and got this result from a stack of about 15 - 10 sec images:
 Part of the focusing technique is the use of a Bahtinov mask (check it out on Google). But what I personally discovered is that it makes for a "poor man's" spectrometer of sorts. In other words it produces a poor spectrum of a bright start. This is the star Vega. You will notice that it has a mix of colors, but predominately blue-green.
 But this spectrum of the double star system Albireo in Cynus ("The Swan" or otherwise known as the "Northern Cross") makes it very apparent that the brighter star has more yellow than blue, while the lesser star has almost no red at all. Visually thru the eyepiece of a telescope (just slightly out of focus) the brighter star appears much more yellow than its blueish companion.
Well, it's time to close up the observatory and hit the sack!

Comet Jacques C/2014 E2

Comet Jacques C/2014 E2

This is an animation of Comet Jacques C/2014 E2 as it flies through Cassiopeia on August 23, 2014. This is its motion over just 17 minutes of time!
(Ignore the brightness increases and decreases as I was not intending to make an animation in the first place.)
It was only after I had closed up the observatory that I noticed the amount of motion in the images.

You may notice a bright small object near the end of the animation moving from the middle right. I do not believe it is a hot pixel nor is it a satellite (as it would have moved out of the field of view too quickly.) The only other possibility might be a bright asteroid?

Captured with my old orange Celestron C8, focal reducer, Canon t31, 6400 iso, prime focus, 10 to 20 sec exposure times, at about 11:45 pm August 23, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Four visiters to the Observatory tonight!

Some friends of ours and two of their grandchildren observed the Moon, Saturn, Mars, the double star in the Northern Cross,  the triple star system in the Big Dipper, M13 globular cluster, the Ring Nebula, saw the ISS fly very close to Polaris, and a supply ship following after it, several satellites,  and more! A great time was had by all!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

First Light with my 6 inch Meade LXD75

Skies finally cleared up tonight! So I broke out the latest addition to my observatory,  the 6 inch LXD75 scope. I was very impressed!  Both visual and DSLR images were crisp and had good contrast. Now I just wished that I had it sooner when Mars and Saturn were at opposition!
Sorry about me being in so msny of these photos but I wanted to give some scale to show just how big the scope is.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Meade LXD75 AR6-AT Achromatic Refractor Telescope with AutoStar

Just picked this scope off of craigslist for my observatory today. I have always wanted a refractor scope with goto ability but I wanted it to be large aperture. This scope is 6 wonderful inches! Now if only the skies would clear up from smoke (forest fires) and monsoon clouds! It is HEAVY, about 75 plus pounds but stable. It has a little slop in the RA motion but not noticeable when using the Autostar 497. Believe me this beast is visually impressive...Now the test will come soon on the heavenly objects.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Fires and Rain...preventing observation s

This has been a different summer with smoke from many forest fires (both human and lightning causes) as well as lots of cloudiness and thunderstorms... more than usual at this time of year. Please return to this blog soon!