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

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