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Jupiter and Ganymede by Mike Glenny

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Michael Glenny
Time of observation
15/10/2011 - 17:15
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POTW is getting very competitive. We have some skilledimagers out there! This shot of Jupiter was taken (would you believe) with an 8" LX90 classic at approximately f/40. Mike used a Televue barlow and DMK21AU04 colour videocam. Look at the detail on Ganymede with such a modest instrument. The image was taken atVergt, Dordogne, France (latitude N45.00)

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BAA Articles

Draconid Meteor Outburst Observed

Observations by BAA members and by non-members who have so far communicated with the Director of the Meteor Section confirm that a short-lived outburst of Draconid meteors occurred on 2011 October 8.

Draconid rates were generally low until around 1900 UT on October 8 when a rapid increase in activity occurred, peaking between 2005 and 2015 UT. Thereafter there was a rapid decline, with Draconid meteor rates returning to a low level by 2130 UT.  A very preliminary analysis of visual observations made by a group of observers led by the Director, observing from near Goreme in central Turkey, indicates that the peak equivalent ZHR was about 350 m/h between 2005 and 2015 UT, although correction factors are high due to the effect of bright moonlight.  It is possible that lesser, short-lived secondary bursts in Draconid activity were also noted around 1915 and 1938 UT.

Observers in the UK had to contend with cloud and rain on the evening of October 8, but it is extremely encouraging that so many individuals and local society groups battled the elements in the hope of getting a view of the shower.  Some were rewarded for their persistence.  A short period of partially clear weather enabled observers in Dorset, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and Berkshire (and hopefully other areas as well) to glimpse the shower between 1955 and 2030 UT.  By a fortunate circumstance this was coincident with the main peak in Draconid activity.

The Director is extremely grateful to all those observers in the UK who have so far communicated with him by email, including: Len Entwisle, Peter Gill (Eastbourne AS), Gerard Gilligan (Liverpool AS), Tim Haymes (Maidenhead AS), Brian Heath (Nottingham AS), Nick James, Gordon MacLeod, Bob Mizon, Alex Pratt, George Spalding and David Swain.

More observations of the Draconid outburst, using photographic, visual, and radio techniques, from individuals and groups in the UK and overseas, are urgently required to build up a full picture of the shower’s rapidly changing activity.  Even if you have only glimpsed a few meteors during a short-lived break in the clouds, the Section would like to receive your report. Simple counts of meteors seen within given time periods will also be welcome. It is intended that a summary of all the observations received, crediting all of the individual observers and society groups, will be published in the BAA Journal as soon as all observations have been received and the analysis completed.

There must be many observers – including many non BAA members – who witnessed the peak of the shower, and we would like to encourage all these people to submit their observations to the Section, either via email to:
meteor@britastro.org

or by post to:

Draconid Meteor Project 2011
British Astronomical Association
Burlington House
Piccadilly
London W1J 0DU

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BAA Articles

Exmoor – Dark Sky Reserve

Exmoor National Park has been designated an International Dark Sky Reserve by the International Dark-Sky Association.

This means that the UK now has three International Dark Sky places – with Exmoor joining Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park in Scotland and the Dark Sky Community of the Channel Island of Sark.

Bob Mizon and Martin Morgan-Taylor of the BAA Campaign For Dark Skies surveyed the Exmoor Park in August as part of the approval process. Sky Quality Meters were used for quantitative measurements, which gave readings which compared favourably with Sark.

The Milky Way was clearly visible high overhead, with considerable structure.

Exmoor does have some light pollution near to the horizon. However, this did not appear to have much bearing on the SQM readings. Exmoor is very dark for England, given the high population density, and this new status will help to protect the night sky in Exmoor.

The Exmoor National Park Authority will be running a programme of activities for community groups in and around the National Park as part of a nationwide Dark Sky programme this winter.

Internet Links:

Exmoor National Park – International Dark Sky Reserve

BAA Campaign for Dark Skies

International Dark Sky Association

Galloway Forest Park – Dark Skies

Sark Dark Sky Community

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M27 by Bob Winter and Steve Fossey

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Bob Winter
Time of observation
08/10/2011 - 22:00
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M27 imaged using the C14 West telescope at theUniversity of London Observatory, Mill Hill, on 27th September 2011. Bob and colleague Steve Fossey used an SBIG 6303 Camera, plus a combination of Ha andOlll filters for atotal exposure time of 24 mins.
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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M27 by Bob Winter and Steve Fossey

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Bob Winter
Time of observation
08/10/2011 - 22:00
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As the summer constellations gradually begin disappearing in the west, we have been sent this gem by Bob Winter. It was taken using theC14 WestTelescope at the University of London Observatory, Mill Hill, on 27th September 2011. Bob and colleague Steve Fossey used an SBIG 6303 Camera, plus a combination of Ha andOlll filters for atotal exposure time of 24 mins.

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

Get ready for the Draconids

There is the possibility of an unusual outburst of Draconid meteors on the evening of Saturday, 8 October 2011.  The meteors are connected with periodic comet 21P/Giacobini-Zinner, so the shower is also known as the Giacobinids.

The Earth intersects a number of dust trails laid down by the parent comet during the evening of 8 October.

The first and most probably weaker outburst, due to a number of rather old trails, is likely to occur sometime after 16h UT, but the timing is uncertain and will favour observers in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.

A second and more likely stronger outburst is possible sometime between 19h and 21h UT but the outburst, if it occurs, is likely to be sharp and brief.
Observations across all longitudes are important, but it will be essential for would-be observers to be far enough north to ensure that the radiant is at a respectable altitude above the horizon at that time.

The peak rates of these outbursts are highly uncertain, and no meteor storm is likely.  Estimated peak levels of meteor activity range from 40 meteors per hour to 800 meteors per hour.  The only way to find out what happens is to go out and look for yourself!

Unfortunately, there will be a waxing gibbous Moon in Aquarius, less than four days from full at the time of peak Draconid activity, so there will some interference from moonlight.  Observers should look to the northern half of the sky, keeping the Moon behind them.


The radiant of the shower will be  near  the star Nu Draconis in the ‘head’of Draco.  Draconid meteors are typically very slow moving, in marked contrast to members of showers such as the Perseids or Leonids.

From the British Isles, observers should go out as soon as twilight falls on the evening of Saturday, 8 October.

Observations will also be of considerable value on the evenings immediately before and after the predicted peak to provide a check on background meteor rates at this time. Let’s hope for clear skies everywhere on the evenings of 7, 8 and 9 October 2011, but particularly on the 8th!

The BAA Meteor Section would welcome any observations of the Draconid meteor shower this year from individuals or local society groups, using any of the observing methods outlined on the BAA website.  Visit  our Draconid Meteor Project page’.   Even simple counts of meteors seen within given time periods will be welcome.

It is intended that a summary of all the observations received, crediting all of the individual observers and society groups, will be published in the BAA Journal as soon as possible after the event.

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NGC 7000 by Graham Relf

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Graham Relf
Time of observation
03/10/2011 - 22:45
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Taken by Graham from Rookhope, Co. Durham, UK on 20110929, this image used a Canon EOS 5D MkII at ISO6400 and a 254mm Newtonian f/4.8 (f=1200mm) and HEQ5 mount, driven but not guided. Exposure was 65x30s.The image was processed using Graham's own GRIP software (Java).

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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The solar disc on 20111003 by David Arditti

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David Arditti
Time of observation
03/10/2011 - 22:33
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We will be posting David's solar images from time to time. Details are on the image.
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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M31 by Ian Sharp

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Ian Sharp
Time of observation
03/10/2011 - 22:30
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Taken by Ian from Ham, Near Selsey West Sussex from 28th to 30th September using a Pentax 75 SDHF APO, ATIK 383L, SX Filter Wheel with 2" Baader RGBL filters. SX OAG with Lodestar. The image is an L:R:G:B of 240:120:120 (all in 10 min subs). It was calibrated with Bias, Darks and Flats. Calibration and stacking in Maxim DL. The rest in Photoshop CS5.

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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NGC 7023 by Bob Winter

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Bob Winter
Time of observation
03/10/2011 - 14:21
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This image of the "Iris Nebula" in Cepheus was taken by Bob Winter using a Takahashi TSA 120 Refractor andQSI 583 Camera fitted withAstrodon L, Ha, Red, Green and Blue filters. Exposure time was90 mins intotal and the image was taken inWales.
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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