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Geof Lewis

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About this observation
Observer
Geof Lewis
Time of observation
27/04/2020 - 23:00
Object
Messier 51
Observing location
North Norfolk, UK
Equipment
C14 XLT scope
Optec x0.67 Telecompressor
QSI583wsg-5 camera
Exposure
RGB=24x300s each; L=36x600s; Ha=11x900s
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BAA Gallery Deep Sky Messier Objects Messier 49
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Geof Lewis

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About this observation
Observer
Geof Lewis
Time of observation
15/04/2020 - 23:00
Object
Messier 49
Observing location
North Norfolk, UK
Equipment
C14 XLT scope
Optec x0.67 Telecompressor
QSI583wsg-5 camera
Exposure
RGB=7x300s each; L=9x600s
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BAA Gallery Deep Sky Messier Objects Messier 40
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Geof Lewis

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About this observation
Observer
Geof Lewis
Time of observation
15/04/2020 - 23:00
Object
Messier 40
Observing location
North Norfolk, UK
Equipment
C14 XLT
Optec x0.67 telecompressor lens
QSI583wsg-5
Exposure
RGB=12x120s each
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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 Articles

News of the binary black hole, OJ287

Point your telescope to a small patch of sky 3.5 degrees east of the open cluster M44 (The Beehive Cluster) in Cancer, and you will come across one of the most amazing objects visible in the entire sky – the binary black hole OJ287.

Usually seen shining as a point source of light around magnitude 14.0-15.0, the system contains a supermassive black hole (BH) of 18 billion solar masses being orbited by a ‘smaller’ BH of a mere 150 solar masses. Twice during the orbit, the smaller BH impacts and crashes through the accretion disc of the larger, producing an increase in brightness in all wavelengths and the near certainty of gravitational waves emanating from the impact zone. These impact events occur in pairs varying from around twelve years to less than five, due to reletavistic effects and the precessing nature of the smaller BH around the primary.

Professional and amateur astronomers have been monitoring OJ287 for decades, and both visual and CCD observers of the BAA Variable Star Section have been collaborating with professional teams to monitor these disc impacts since the early 1990’s. Thanks to both professional and amateur data obtained over the past forty years, the times of impact of the smaller BH through the disc of the primary can now be predicted to within hours of the event. It is though essential that each disc impact is observed in order to refine the predictions of future events.

The last disc event to occur provided astronomers with a massive problem however, as it was predicted to impact in July 2019, a time when the Sun lies in the constellation of Cancer thus making the whole event invisible to ground based observers. Not to be outdone, time on the Spitzer Space Telescope was obtained to monitor the July event from space – Spitzer being the only space-based telescope which could observe the field of OJ287 so close to the Sun. The operation was a success, and data was obtained by Spitzer of the 2019 disc event.

The results of the Spitzer observing run have now been published, and are available to download from Cornell University arXiv webpages… Spitzer Observations of the Predicted Eddington Flare from Blazar OJ 287. Laine et al 

The BBC is also running an article on Spitzer and OJ287 on its ‘Science & Environment’ news page

Finder charts for OJ287 can be downloaded from the BAAVSS web page

Gary Poyner

BAA Variable Star Section

Image credits:

Spitzer:NASA/JPL-Caltech

OJ diagram: Stanislaw Zola

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SUN 20200408 0943UT SPFAC CFB

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About this observation
Observer
Carl Bowron
Time of observation
08/04/2020 - 09:43
Object
Sun
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SUN HALPHA 20200408 0915UT AR2759-PROM CFB

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About this observation
Observer
Carl Bowron
Time of observation
08/04/2020 - 09:15
Object
Sun
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SUN HALPHA 20200408 0909UT PROM CFB

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About this observation
Observer
Carl Bowron
Time of observation
08/04/2020 - 09:09
Object
Sun
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Sun_Samworth b_080420

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About this observation
Observer
Roger Samworth
Time of observation
08/04/2020 - 13:08
Object
Sun
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Sun_Samworth_070420

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About this observation
Observer
Roger Samworth
Time of observation
07/04/2020 - 07:49
Object
Sun
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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.

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