Astronomy Cafe – Monday September 21st 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

FDAO Virtual DAO Star Party Saturday September 19th 2020

The Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory are hosting a Virtual Star Party on Saturday September 19th at 7:00PM. Robert Conrad and Andrew Krysa from the Vancouver RASC are speaking on Mars. Click the link for details: https://centreoftheuniverse.org/events/2020/9/7/virtual-star-parties-equinox-to-solstice-mars-opposition-edition

Astronomy Cafe – September 14th 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Transcript video of meeting – Phil Groff portion

This is a special edition with guest speaker Dr. Phil Groff, the Executive Director of RASC. Phil gave an overview of RASC from a National perspective and took questions from Victoria Centre members.

Edmonton Contributions relayed by Dave Robinson

The Cygnus Wall, a portion of the North American Nebula (NGC 7000) in Cygnus. By Abdur Anwar Sept 6
Using ASI1600MM Pro with ZWO LRGBHa filters RGB: 30 mins each L: 74 mins Scope: 8″ f3.9 reflector
Abdur writes: Capturing the Cygnus wall was one of my goals for this year since Cygnus is almost overhead right now. Really happy with how it turned out. I didn’t take any Ha subs for this target as I prefer the more natural colours of RGB. Due to a lot of Ha emissions, the red would overpower everything else with Ha data.
Above Neptune with Triton: total exposure about 1 hour
both photos by Massimo Tori using a 10″ Newtonian f/4.7 and a Canon XSi.
Below Moons of Uranus: total exposure about 2.5 hours

Great Martian Details by John McDonald

At 2AM on September 11th John McDonald captured amazing surface details on Mars. Using his C-8 SCT with a Barlow he used lucky imaging – 1000 frames in R, B, G and IR(for luminance) with a ZWO ASI120MM camera.

President’s Message September 2020

Posted by as News, President's Message

I don’t know about you but I am not ready to change the calendar to September just yet. The uncertainty introduced by the pandemic and the political drama unfolding south of the border distracted me from making the most of the Summer. The restrictions of Covid 19 produced a Star Party deficit and deprived the Victoria Centre of the social interaction enjoyed when sharing the night skies with others. But the constellations march on and they are indifferent to our plight. So enough snivelling and it is time to count our blessings.

On the Covid front, whether it was our favourable geography, good governance or good fortune, so far Vancouver Island has experienced relatively few cases when compared to other areas. On the weather front, relatively cool conditions have reduced wild fire smoke and presented favourable observing and imaging opportunities. On the technological front, Zoom and our tireless hosts, Chris Purse, Barbara and Kurt Lane and John McDonald have kept the doors to Astro Cafe open during the summer months. This allowed us to remain connected and share our techniques, images, sketches and enthusiasm. These sessions were all captured on video by the kindness of Joe Carr and posted on the Astronomy Cafe web page. One antidote to the pandemic was the visit by the beautiful comet C/2020 f3 Neowise. Editor Bruce Lane went the extra mile and prepared bonus issue #420 of the Victoria Centre newsletter, SkyNews, that showcased images and sketches of comet Neowise and conveyed the joy it generated. Bruce also provided a colourful history of comets of yesteryear and their relationship leaders of the day.

The National RASC response to Covid was remarkable. There were so many web offerings that they have developed a very useful weekly email entitled “What’s happening at The RASC?” which alerts you to regional and national presentations. If you are not already receiving this email then I encourage you to subscribe here. In particular they had developed a series of Zoom webinars related to the Explore the Universe program. These and other presentations have been captured and are available on the RASCanada YouTube channel for viewing at your convenience.

As we head into September, the number of Covid cases are on the rise and the rooms at UVic will remain closed. Instead of having a special monthly meeting on Zoom, we plan instead to have one Astro Cafe session each month with an invited speaker. The first presenter, Dr. Phil Groff, executive director of RASC, will attend our Astro Cafe Zoom meeting on Monday September 14th at 7:30 PM. It is a great opportunity meet Phil and share your thoughts with him.

As the nights continue to lengthen I do hope that you will find time to step out, look up and marvel.

Useable Skies

Reg Dunkley

Astronomy Cafe – August 31st 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of meeting

Sketch of fading Comet Neowise by Bill Weir

Bill writes: Using Stellarium as a guide, with my 15X70 binoculars it was an easy long star hop from Arcturus to the precise area where I should be able to see the comet. Due to the 1/4 Moon being maybe only 25° away and even though I had the Moon blocked by a tree the comet was invisible through binoculars so on to the f/3.3 508 mm Dobsonian scope. Bill’s persistence allowed him to glimpse and sketch comet C/2020 f3 Neowise.

What’s happening at The RASC?

Not all members of the Victoria Centre have been receiving this valuable email which provides information on weekly RASC online offerings such as the Explore the Universe and some regional Zoom presentations. To subscribe to this interesting message click here.

Impressive Images of Mars from Edmonton RASCal Abdur Anwar

Abdur Anwar dusted off his old Celestron 8 inch Schmidt Cassegrain Telescope and put it to good use using a lucky imaging technique to capture some amazing images of Mars. On August 25th Abdur experimented with the program WinJupos which can remove the blurring effect caused by rotation. Check out the before and after images below.

Mars on August 25th Image uncorrected for rotation
Same image as above with “derotation” corrections from WinJupos applied
Abdur’s derotated image of Mars taken on August 28th using Celestron C8 with 2X barlow and an ASI600MM camera with zwo RGB filters and a CG5 mount using 1/60s exposure time and a gain of 175. Images were stacked in Autostakkert, wavelets applied in Registax, and derotated in Winjupos.

Speaking of Mars check out this 4K video

The video in this link displays a collection of high resolution images taken on a number of Martian space missions. It is 12 minutes well spent.

Observing

Astronomy Cafe – August 24, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

Hawaiian Nights: A Personal Journey from Vancouver Island to Maunakea, with Cam Wipper

Don’t miss this interesting Zoom presentation at 4:00 PM PDT on Friday August 28th. Growing up in Nanaimo, Cam never imagined he would spend nearly a decade living in Hawai’i and working on Maunakea, the best place on Earth for astronomical observations.

In his talk, Cam will tell the story of how he found himself on Maunakea, from his days as a student at Vancouver Island University, to his first night up on the summit of Maunakea, nearly 14.000 feet (4200m) above sea level. This will include a brief history of astronomy in Hawaii, as well as an exploration of how a modern astronomical observatory conducts scientific observations. All will be told from the perspective of a telescope operator and scientific observer; a position Cam has held at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope since 2015. Click here to register.

Lagoon & Trifid Nebulae – Dan Posey

30.5 minutes (61x30s) of exposures captured from Metchosin. Each frame was captured at f 1.4 using a Sigma 105mm lens, and a Canon Ra at iso 640 off of an unguided iOptron Skyguider Pro – Messier 8 & 20 RGB – Dan Posey

Moon shadows on Jupiter – John McDonald

Three of 20 images of the shadows cast by Io and Ganymede on Jupiter during a double shadow event, one near the start, one in the middle and one at the end. Io can just be made out on the upper two images as a white spot between Ganymede’s shadow and Jupiter’s red spot. In the lower image Io has just left the planet’s disk and shows up clearly. Details Date 08-04-2020. 8″ Edge SCT on AVX mount. ZWO ASI120MM-S camera with filter wheel and TV Powermate barlow to give focal ration f/25. Captured 1000 frames in each of R,G and B filters for each color. The best 30% for each filter were stacked in Astrostakkert. Sharpened in Registax. Winjupos was used to derotate the R,G and B frames before combining to make RGB color images. Post processing in ACR and Photoshop. Time lapse movie

A Poetic Pelican by Doug MacDonald

A wonderful bird is the Pelican.
His beak can hold more than his belly can.
He can hold in his beak enough food for a week!
I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican.

Dixon Lanier Merritt
IC 5070 Pelican Nebula – Doug MacDonald

Shot this Aug. 9 – 13 with Bortle 6 skies. This bird lives in Cygnus, not too far from Deneb. I processed it in the SHO palette; it represents just over 8 hours of narrowband exposure with a 5″ refractor at f/5.5.

Final UVic Open House of the Summer is a Block Buster!

What happens when the largest objects in the Universe go face-to-face? Be sure to join UVic Phd Candidate Mallory Throp for this fascinating Zoom presentation that begins at 7:30PM on Wednesday August 26th. The zoom guest link (with password embedded) is: https://zoom.us/j/97173236268?pwd=V2hhYTAwVVY5cXl5eEFoOUxSYmZGdz09

Cosmic Collisions
Abstract: What happens when galaxies collide? Right now, the Andromeda Galaxy is hurtling towards us, on a direct collision course with our galaxy. Surely the Milky Way will not escaped unscathed? For almost a century astronomers have been trying to figure out what happens when galaxies clash, and from that investigation a harrowing tale of starvation, cannibalism, and complicated acronyms has arisen. With today’s massive telescopes and high-tech simulations, we can hope to understand what happens when the largest objects in the Universe go face-to-face. And perhaps we can predict how our galaxy will be changed for the better (or the worse)​

Robotic Telescope Editing Contest for August: M82 the Cigar Galaxy

Instead of being a spectator you can be a participant! Click on the link to find how you can get your hands of the raw data for this fascinating galaxy. https://skynews.ca/introducing-the-rasc-robotic-telescope-editing-contest/

Imagine: 8 Hours of LRGB data and 7.5 Hours of Hydrogen Alpha! Check it out and remember the contest is Only in Canada … Pity!

Global Hands On Astronomy Conference 2020

Local Astronomical Education evangelist Sid Sidhu is enjoying this online conference that is currently under way. Click the link to learn more about the conference program: https://handsonuniverse.org/ghou2020/programme/

Youtube videos of many of the presentations will be made available here: https://www.youtube.com/user/GTTPGHOU

Edmonton RASCals Focus on the Deep Sky: relayed by Dave Robinson

Elephant Trunk Nebula by Arnold Rivera. He had to do some colour correction due to filters used:
The star on the lower right is Herschel’s Garnet Star (Mu Cephei). It is a red supergiant – one of the largest stars known (it’s diameter is estimated to be larger than Saturn’s orbit). Equipment and details: Celestron RASA 8”Camera: ZWO ASI294 MC Pro (cooled to -16 C) 30s subs, 50 frames, 450 gain
Arnold Rivera August 22 Lobster Claw Nebula
The large nebula in the centre is Sharpless 2-157 (The Lobster Claw Nebula), is described as a “ring nebula surrounding a Wolf-Rayet star (WR157, SAO 20512, mag 9.58)”. To the right edge of this image is NGC 7635 (The Bubble Nebula). Towards the bottom of the image is the small but relatively bright nebula NGC 7538 (in Cepheus), “home to the largest yet discovered protostar (~ 300 times the size of the Solar System)”.
In addition, there is a tight grouping of bright stars located just below Sh2-157 – open cluster NGC 7510.
Equipment and details: Celestron RASA8, ZWO ASI 294MC Pro ( -16C) 30sec subs, 50 subs.
On August 23rd Arnold Rivera imaged the very faint and very large nebula Sharpless 2-129
(The Flying Bat Nebula)
Larry Wood from Caroline AB Aug 20. Above Bubble Nebula & M52 and Below M13
Alister Ling August 22
Channeling some E.E. Barnard last night at the microwave tower on the hill above the north shore of Pigeon Lake…. 70mm on full frame, and it is NOT Sagittarius or Scutum.

Press Briefing on Starlink and other mega-constellations

At 11AM on Tuesday August 25th the American Astronomical Society (AAS) and NSF’s NOIRLab will have a press briefing on the SATCON1 LEOsat mega-constellations workshop report. SATCON1 gathered astronomers, satellite operators, dark-sky advocates, policy makers, and other stakeholders to discuss, understand, and quantify the impacts of large satellite constellations on ground-based optical and infrared astronomical observations as well as on the human experience of the night sky. The briefing will be live-streamed on the AAS Press Office YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/c/AASPressOffice)

Observing

Astronomy Cafe – August 17, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

Robotic Telescope Editing Contest

Want to put your image editing skills to the test? Now you can, with the RASC Robotic Telescope image editing contest.

In collaboration with SkyNews, each month the RASC Robotic Telescope team will release the data for an image for the public to edit. Judges from the team will pick a winner out of those submitted. Click here to learn more: https://skynews.ca/introducing-the-rasc-robotic-telescope-editing-contest/

Deep Sky Images from an Edmonton RASCal

Edmonton RASCal Abdur Anwar Captured the Cacoon and Bubble on August 9th

Abdur writes: Finally had a clear night last week and I spent most of my imaging time on the Cacoon Nebula (IC 5146) and the Bubble nebula. I got about 2 hours of data on the Cacoon and about 1.5 hours on the Bubble nebula using an ASI1600mm and an 8″ reflector. Really happy with how they turned out 🙂

Equipment and capture details for each target in order:
ASI1600MM Pro
ZWO LRGBHa filters
Ha: 12 mins (Cacoon) / 27 mins (Bubble nebula)
RGB: 20 mins each / 10 mins each
L: 60mins / 30 mins
Scope: 8″ f3.9 reflector
Mount: EQ6R Pro

Cacoon Nebula (IC 5146)
The Bubble Nebula NGC 7635 …Caldwell 11

Rho Ophiuchi Cloud Complex by Dan Posey

Bill Weir encouraged Dan Posey to visit the Pearson Site. The result was at stunning photo at this link: https://rascvic.zenfolio.com/posey/head1949f#hebe220b7 This file is large but the click is worth it! Check it out.

Dan writes: “Thanks to Bill kindly hosting last night, as the conditions at Pearson provided that opportunity I have been waiting for. The result isn’t perfect but that just means I’ll need to revisit in the future; I know where I need to be to take a longer stab at this target next year. This is 48.5 minutes (97x30s) using my Sigma 105 at f1.4 and my Canon Ra at iso 640.”

A Lunar Album from Mike Nash

Victoria RASCal Mike Nash captured images of the Moon 9 nights in a row. Watch the features change as the terminator crawls across the surface. Check it out in mouth watering detail at the following link: https://www.westcoastcaptures.com/Lunar-and-Planetary-Imaging/Aug-7-Aug-16-9-days-of-Luna/n-8j7f2Z/

Dr Doug Johnstone Presents at UVic Open House this Wednesday

You are invited to the UVic Open House which starts at 7:30PM on Wednesday August 19th. The zoom guest link (with password embedded) is:
https://zoom.us/j/97173236268?pwd=V2hhYTAwVVY5cXl5eEFoOUxSYmZGdz09

Title: Peering Into the Darkness with the JCMT: Witnessing the Birth of Stars

The birth of stars remains shrouded in mystery. Stars form inside thick puddles of gas and dust located primarily along the spiral arms of the Galaxy. Astronomers use infrared and radio telescopes to peer into and through these murky puddles to witness the birth of stars. For over 25 years the JCMT has been leading investigations to uncover the formation of stars in the Galaxy. In collaboration with the Spitzer Space Telescope, the Herschel Space Observatory, and the ALMA Observatory in Chile, the JCMT has transformed our understanding of stellar birth. Join me on an adventure to uncover nearby stellar nurseries.

Astronomy Cafe -August 10, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe, Meetings

Video transcript of the meeting

Presentations and Discussions

  • Mars and the Moon – David Lee
  • Colour Filters for lunar observing – Randy Enkin
  • Yellow Filters and how human sight works for lunar observing, then seeing colour when observing nebula – Dorothy Paul
  • Space Educator’s Institute -3-day online conference – Lauri Roche & David Lee
  • Perseid meteor shower and other observing hints – Chris Purse
  • Discord chat service being used by RASC National for Perseids observing group – Bill Weir

A Medley of Lunar Images by many RASCals

Edmonton RASCal Alister Ling recorded a wonderful Coho Salmon Moonrise time lapse on August 3rd-4th. Enjoy the YouTube video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=28&v=jC8eZOwmEnk&feature=emb_logo

Victoria RASCal Mike Nash captured 70% Waning Moon on August 9th. Check out the following link: https://www.astrobin.com/rbewkl/0/?real=&nc=WestCoastCannuck If you Zoom in you can glimpse Hadley Rille.

David Lee captured the conjunction of the Moon and Mars on August 8th together with a wonderful foreground shot taken from Rithet Bog.

Some Great Planetary Detail

On August 4th Edmonton RASCal Arnold Rivera captured martian suface details. Arnold writes: I managed to observe and image Mars this morning starting at around 6:00 am from north Edmonton. Seeing conditions at the time were above average and the surfacefeatures on Mars included the dark prominent area of Syrtis Major on the north hemisphere and the rapidly shrinking south polar cap:
Equipment and details: Celestron CPC1100 (in alt-az mode)
Camera: ZWO ASI120MC-S 9.7ms, 2500 frames, processed in Registax
John McDonald captures Jupiter, this time in fairly good seeing shows fair detail. Date 08-08-2020. 8″ Edge SCT on AVX mount. ZWO ASI120MM-S camera with filter wheel and TV Powermate barlow to give focal ration f/25. Captured 1000 frames in R,G and B filters. Stacked best 45% in Astrostakkert. Post processing in Images Plus and Photoshop.
John McDonald writes: My best image of Saturn to date. I had fairly good seeing as the image shows. Date 08-08-2020. 8″ Edge SCT on AVX mount. ZWO ASI120MM-S camera with filter wheel and TV Powermate barlow to give focal ration f/25. Captured 1000 frames in R,G and B filters. Stacked best 45% in Astrostakkert. Post processing in Images Plus and Photoshop.

Lucky Imaging of Planets and the Moon

If you want to learn how to capture wonderful images like the above perhaps you should attend the following webinar!

Tuesday, August 11th – 7:00pm ADT / 6:00pm EDT / 3:00PM PDT
Nova East 2020 – Lucky Imaging: Astrophotography of the Moon and Planets
Lucky imaging is a technique used to capture high resolution images of the Moon and planets. It involves taking as many images as possible, often several thousand, with a high-speed “video” camera and using specialized software to identify and stack only the sharpest images. The talk, presented by David Hoskin, will cover the equipment, software and processing workflow used in lucky imaging.

Click the following to register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJcvd-isqDopGNaC-bUKGBgFgl2NkMkVl4hv

Noctilucent Hummingbirds from Edmonton

Edmonton RASCal Mark Zalik – captured this remarkable sequence on August 4th which closely resembles hummingbirds. All Edmonton content kindly relayed by Dave Robinson.
Mark writes:
Wonderful NLC display tonight! Nice arrays of billows formed way down near the horizon, where the twilight imparted a beautiful cinnamon colour on the NLC. A bit earlier in the display, the clouds formed an ethereal hummingbird.

Observing

Astronomy Cafe – July 27, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of meeting

Historical Comets

The Great Comets - 1680, 1682, 1744, 1811, 1835, 1842
The Great Comets – 1680, 1682, 1744, 1811, 1835, 1842

Members’ photos, sketches and observations of comets past, including some famous ones!

  • 2015 Lovejoy – Sherry Buttnor photo
  • Observing Highlights – website archive 1995-2013
    • 2013 – 2012 S1 (ISON) , 2013 R1 (Lovejoy), 2012 X1 (LINEAR), 2013 V3 (Nevski), 2P/Encke, Panstarrs (C2011/L4).
    • 2012 – 168P-Hergenrother, 2009 P1 Garradd
    • 2011 – Comet 2009 P1 Garradd
    • 2010 – Hartley, C/2009 R1 McNaught
    • 2009 – C/2007 N3 Lulin, Kushida 144P
    • 2008 – no comets observed
    • 2007 Jul-Dec – 8P/Tuttle, 17/P Holmes
    • 2007 Jan-Jun – Lovejoy C/2007 E2, McNaught C2006 P1
    • 2006 Jul-Dec – C/2006 M4 Swan
    • 2006 Jan-Jun – 73/P Schwassmann-Wachmann
    • 2005 – Temple, Machholz C/2004 Q2
    • 2004 Apr-Jun – C/2001 Q4 NEAT
    • 2003-2000 – no comets observed
    • 1999 Feb-Mar – Comet Linear
    • 1997 – Hale-Bopp – Sherry Buttnor photo, John McDonald photo, Lola wood block painting from Belize
    • 1996 – Hyakutake – Sherry Buttnor photo
  • Zenfolio comet collections
  • The Great Comets – Carpenter & Westley slide 14 (Wikipedia article)
    • 1680 – C/1680 V1, also called the Great Comet of 1680, Kirch’s Comet, and Newton’s Comet, has the distinction of being the first comet discovered by telescope
    • 1682 – Halley’s Comet or Comet Halley, officially designated 1P/Halley, is the best-known of the short-period comets and is visible from Earth every 75–76 years.
    • 1744 – The Great Comet of 1744, whose official designation is C/1743 X1, and which is also known as Comet de Chéseaux or Comet Klinkenberg-Chéseaux, was a spectacular comet that was observed during 1743 and 1744
    • 1811 – The Great Comet of 1811, formally designated C/1811 F1, is a comet that was visible to the naked eye for around 260 days, a record it held until the appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. In October 1811, at its brightest, it displayed an apparent magnitude of 0, with an easily visible coma.
    • 1835 – Halley’s Comet or Comet Halley, officially designated 1P/Halley, is the best-known of the short-period comets and is visible from Earth every 75–76 years. Last apparition was in 1986, and the next apparition is in 2061.
    • 1843 – The Great Comet of 1843 formally designated C/1843 D1 and 1843 I, was a long-period comet which became very bright in March 1843 (it is also known as the Great March Comet)

The First FDAO Virtual Star Party: 7PM August 1st

You are invited to the inaugural Virtual Star Party hosted by Friends of the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory. David Balam, Plaskett telescope operator and Near Earth Object specialist will deliver a presentation on comets. For more information and hyperlinks to the Zoom meeting please click on the following:

https://myemail.constantcontact.com/Invitation—Virtual-Saturday-Night-from-the-Centre-of-the-Universe.html?soid=1132744782935&aid=Kn9A2Z3_-74

Canadian Comet Sleuth David Levy: Webinar 4PM Thursday July 30th

The Canadian Comet Sleuth David Levy, author and comet hunter
Comet NEOWISE has been the sensation of our July skies, the first naked-eye comet for the Northern Hemisphere in ages. David Levy knows all about comets that snag the spotlight. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, which broke apart in July 1992 and collided with Jupiter in July 1994, garnered the “Canadian comet sleuth” media attention around the world, including the headline on the very first cover of SkyNews 25 years ago.
Join The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada’s Jenna Hinds and SkyNews’ Allendria Brunjes as they sit down with Levy in the next Speaker Series, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 30.
Levy has discovered 22 comets, given innumerable lectures and written countless articles and more than 30 books — including an autobiography, A Nightwatchman’s Journey. There’s an asteroid named in his honour, and his awards include the Chant Medal of The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
Click this link to register for this Webinar

Dr Gordon Walker speaks at the Wednesday UVic Open House

You are invited to the UVic Open House which starts at 7:30PM on Wednesday July 29th. The zoom guest link (with password embedded) is:
https://zoom.us/j/97173236268?pwd=V2hhYTAwVVY5cXl5eEFoOUxSYmZGdz09

Dr. Gordon Walker will deliver a presentation entitled “Falling Through Space”

Observing

Astronomy Cafe – July 20, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Video transcript of the meeting

While Waiting for Neowise by Dan Posey

North America Nebula region
This is a 6 minute test (12x30s) of the North America Nebula with a light pollution filter from Mt. Tolmie. Shot with my Sigma 105 at f2 and my Canon Ra at iso 640

Comet Neowise: An Urban Challenge by John McDonald

Comet Neowise captured from my 8th floor patio in Ross Place. 2020-07-13 Canon Ra with 24-105mm at lens at fl of 105mm on Skytracker mount. Single exposure at f/4 for 3.2s at ISO 640.
Stack of 10 subs cropped from a full frame showing detail of Comet Neowise captured from my 8th floor patio in Ross Place. 2020-07-13 Canon Ra with 24-70mm lens on Skytracker mount. Combination of 10 frames taken at f/4 for 3.2s at ISO 640. Processed in ACR and Photoshop. Comet was aligned and stars and combined with stars from a single image.
From FaceBook by By Ian Terris with thanks from Marnie Essery
Comet Neowise reflecting over Thetis Lake.

UVic Astronomy Open House 7:30PM Wednesday

The zoom guest link (with password embedded) is:
https://zoom.us/j/97173236268?pwd=V2hhYTAwVVY5cXl5eEFoOUxSYmZGdz09

Bigger, better, faster: how changes in technology drive astronomy data collection by Nat Comeau

Abstract: There are roughly five variables of interest in observational astronomy: where the object was (sky position), what it looked like (spatial resolution), when it was seen (observation time), how bright it was (brightness), and what colour of light it was (spectral resolution). In this talk I’ll give an overview of how enhancements in technology have driven how precisely we can measure these five variables, and how increasing this precision unlocks wonders that were previously invisible to us. From the first naked eye measurements of the planets, to automated networks of telescopes working hand in hand with gravitational wave observatories, I will describe how far we’ve come in astronomy data collection and how much more there is to do​.

Observing

Astronomy Cafe – July 13, 2020

Posted by as Astro Cafe

Transcript video

Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3

RASC Victoria members’ photos of Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3

More Victoria RASCal images and sketches of Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3

Bill Weir sketched Comet Neowise from Taylor Beach, Metchosin on the evening of July 12th.
Comet Neowise C/2020 F3 above the glare of Oak Bay Marina at 11:15PM on July 12th by Reg Dunkley
Non tracked 55 mm lens on Canon T3i. 5 Sec at ISO 3200
From Bamberton: Nathan writes: My dad got a picture with his Pentax K1 with a Macro 1:2.8 100mm (weather resistant) lens, with a 20 second exposure, an F5.6, and ISO 800, mounted on with an Astro tracer.
From the top of Mount Douglas on July 12th by Remi Odense
From Majestic Park on July 12th by Remi Odense
Lauri Roche captured Neowise this morning about 12:15 am. Lauri writes: I didn’t have to go far: the balcony of my townhouse. Struggling with aperture, ISO, focussing and an old camera but at least it’s there.
Comet C/2020 F3 Dawn July 13 2020
David Lee writes: I was determined to see if I could see more detail in the comet this morning so I brought the Star Adventurer tracker with me. As with most of my imaging adventures something goes wrong. This morning I tried a different mounting not realizing my orientation of the camera would be limited. Usually not a problem when your subject is isolated with no landscape. So my composition is a bit crooked. With this exposure the stars are peaking through and the second tail is more apparent.
Camera: Nikon Z6 Lens: Nikkor 24-70/4 set at 70mm Sensor ISO: 4000
Exposure: 13 seconds at f/4 Processing: Adobe Photoshop CC Tracking: Skywatcher Star Adventurer
Dorothy Paul captured this image 3:30AM on July 12th from the bench at Hollydene Park at the east end of Arbutus Cove.
Dorothy Paul sketched Neowise at 3:30AM on July 12th from the bench at Hollydene Park at the east end of Arbutus Cove
Dorothy and Miles Paul walked down to Hollydene Park an hour earlier this morning than yesterday. The comet was even better positioned than yesterday for viewing from the bench at the end of the path, overlooking Haro Strait.

Useful Comet Websites

The following websites are a rich source of information about visible comets including Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3. Check them out:

The Sky Live https://theskylive.com/comets

Comet Chasing has excellent finder charts: https://cometchasing.skyhound.com

Computer Science in Astronomy: A UVic Open House Webinar

You are invited to attend the Wednesday UVic Open House which starts at 7:30PM. This week student Sarah Clapoff is talking about the important role of comp sci in astronomy. The zoom guest link (with password embedded) is:
https://zoom.us/j/97173236268?pwd=V2hhYTAwVVY5cXl5eEFoOUxSYmZGdz09

Image may contain: 1 person, text

Observing