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"The Jellyfish" (IC 443)

Image
About this observation
Observer
Simon Edwins
Time of observation
26/11/2017 - 01:00
Object
IC 443
Observing location
Bedfordshire, UK
Equipment
Atik 460EX at prime focus
red Astrodon filter
Exposure
19 x 240 secs
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This is a luminance image of IC443, created by collecting and stacking 19 x 240s exposures through a red Astrodon filter. The exposures were collected between 01.00am and 02.20am on 26th November 2017. Simon used an Atik 460EX at prime focus on an 8” F4.5 Orion Optics CT8 reflector. Stacking was carried out using Nebulosity with post processing in Photoshop. The nebulosity was barely visible through a clear luminance filter of 60s length, hence his decision to collect the luminance through the red filter.

Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.
BAA Articles

Upcoming Opportunity to Video Lunar Impact Flashes from the Geminid Meteor Shower

On Dec 12-15 there is the opportunity for astronomers in the UK, and elsewhere, to capture video of the 35 km/s Geminid meteoroids striking the lunar surface on the eastern night side. That speed is the equivalent to doing the London to Brighton run in just 3 seconds. But unlike meteors in our atmosphere, which produce lovely shooting star trails when they burn up gradually, on the Moon they just strike a solid surface and it’s all over in a fraction of a second. However if you were standing on the lunar surface, several metres to tens of metres away from the crash site, four things would happen almost simultaneously: all of a sudden a small crater would appear, and depending upon where you stood you could be blinded temporarily by a flash of red light; you would most likely be hit by high velocity shrapnel travelling at 1-2 km/s, and finally you might experience a seismic shock. It is the extremely luminous flash of light, that can be detected in Earth-based amateur sized telescopes as 7-10th magnitude, or brighter, short 0.1 second red flashes.

Figure 1. Still frames from video of lunar impact flash

Amateur astronomers have made great contributions in observing large impacts on Jupiter in recent years, but such impacts are rare to see in an amateur sized scope, perhaps only one per month or so. Lunar impact flashes, seen through Earth-based telescopes occur at a rate of about one per several hours, but are more frequent during major meteor showers. You just need to have a monochrome camera capable of videoing stars down to magnitude 9 or 10 in real time and the capability to capture and record uncompressed video to computer hard drive, or even to old fashioned analogue VHS or camcorder Digital-8 video tape. 

Figure 2. Impact distribution diagram

The Moon will be well presented for impact flash studies on Dec 12-15, with earthshine on the eastern half of the disk and a small phase illumination of between 30% and 8%, though you will have to get up early in the morning to observe - see http://users.aber.ac.uk/atc/lunar_schedule.htm for a schedule.

We are organising an observing programme at the Department of Physics at Aberystwyth University, for anyone interested in attempting this. We intend to combine together as many video observations as possible in order to produce high accuracy photometric light curves of the impact, and possibly colour temperature measurements too. If you would like to take part in this exciting new programme, which is being run in conjunction with the BAA Lunar Section, please email me for a PDF file containing lots of useful impact flash observing tips. Regular updates on preparation, planning, and impact flash detections, will be tweeted on: http://twitter.com/lunarnaut .

Acknowledgments

Figure 2 is from the LunarScan program by Peter Gural, for 2017 Dec 14.

Software for the detection of impact flashes, in support of this programme, has been made possible by the Horizon 2020, Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (EPN2020-RI, http://www.europlanet-2020-ri.eu ).

Contact Details:

Dr Tony Cook (Assistant Director of the BAA Lunar Section)

Department of Physics,

Aberystwyth University,

Aberystwyth.

SY23 3BZ.

Email: atc<at>aber.ac.uk

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Messier 106 in Ursa Major

Image
About this observation
Observer
Paul Downing
Time of observation
19/06/2017 - 23:00
Object
Messier 106
Observing location
Alpujarra, Spain
Equipment
Planewave 12.5" scope
QSI 683 CCD camera
Exposure
LRGB: 60 mins L and 40 mins colours
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Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.
BAA Observing Sections Jupiter

Juno's images show another significant change on Jupiter

Juno returned a full set of observations from its ninth perijove (PJ9) on Oct.24, even though it took place with the planet invisible from Earth behind the Sun.  

We have compiled the inbound and outbound JunoCam images from PJ9 a complete global map, and it reveals an unexpected discovery that may herald an interesting apparition to come.  A new circulation pattern called a South Tropical Disturbance has appeared west of the GRS.  Along with the decline in convective storms in the S. Equatorial Belt, this is another indication that the belt could be about to fade in 2018, which would lead to a dramatic revival within the next 1-3 years.

The report also includes a predictive map for perijove-10 (2017 Dec.16), made by ‘rolling forward’ the PJ9 map in the S. and S.S.Temperate domains and the GRS, according to their recent drift rates. 

During its close approach, Juno took superb sets of images as usual, covering both poles and almost all latitudes in between.  These included close-ups of two outstanding anticyclonic ovals:  White Spot Z in the N. Tropical Zone (actually now light brown), and A5 in the SSTB.  All the images are available on the JunoCam web pages.

The BAA Jupiter Section has posted a 2-part report on these images on our 'Results from Juno' web page at: https://www.britastro.org/node/7982   –specifically, https://britastro.org/node/11779   and      https://britastro.org/node/11780

Meanwhile, initial results from Juno’s main instruments have been presented at congresses in Europe and the USA, and a brief summary has been posted by ‘Nature’ at:

http://www.nature.com/news/jupiter-s-stormy-winds-churn-deep-into-the-planet-1.22866

We will have much more to say about these topics when the results are formally published.

 

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John Chuter's picture

Stargazer's Almanac 2018

The Stargazers’ Almanac is a wall calendar for astronomers whose main feature is a series of monthly charts for the northern and southern skies. The Almanac is published annually, and is an invaluable observing aid. The monthly charts show planet positions, phases of the Moon, constellations and information about meteor showers. There is advice on how to use the guide, with interesting information about observing through the year. The calendar also suggests books, magazines and contains pointers to useful websites.

John Chuter's picture

Sky Notes: 2017 December & 2018 January

(Written for 22:00 UT on 2018 January 1)

BAA Gallery Planets Mercury and Venus
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Venus with Jupiter and the Moon in the Morning Sky

Image
About this observation
Observer
John Tipping
Time of observation
17/11/2017 - 06:53
Object
Venus, Moon and Jupiter
Observing location
Anglesey, UK
Equipment
Canon 700D with 70-300mm lens set at 170mm
Exposure
1/45 sec
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Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.
BAA Gallery Picture of the Week
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A Planetary Montage

Image
About this observation
Observer
Martin Lewis
Time of observation
18/01/2017 - 20:34
Object
Planets 2017
Observing location
St. Albans, UK
Equipment
444mm Dobsonian/222mm Dobsonian
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After producing a recent Uranus image in IR showing belt detail, Martin realised that he had imaged all the planets in 11 months of this year (2017) (excluding our own world) and managed to capture surface detail on all of them. 

All images were taken from St. Albans with his home built Dobsonian 444mm reflector, except for Mercury for which he used his 222mm home built Dob.

Martin comments that he is not sure he will ever repeat this feat, as it was only possible with good luck on Mercury and good fortune that there is current activity on Neptune.

Copyright of all images and other observations submitted to the BAA remains with the owner of the work. Reproduction of the work by third-parties is expressly forbidden without the consent of the copyright holder. For more information, please contact the webmaster.

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