October 2007 Observations

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Comet 17P Holmes October 31, 2007 00:30-01:00UT Tri color image

The image above was obtained using a Celestron 8" F/5 with Stellacam II at prime focus, and color filter wheel and is comprised of:

L 50 4.2 second Broadband filtered images;
R 50 4.2 second red filtered images;
G 50 8.55 second red filtered images;
B 50 2 second blue filtered images;
L 50 2 second Visible light unfiltered images...

All images dark subtracted then stacked in Registax and LRGB'd using Adobe. Color levels were tweaked so that the result closely matched what I visually observed using a 8" F/6 @ 48X

Comet 17P Holmes Oct 29, 2007 00:30 UT

Comet 17P Holmes October 28 versus October 29

Image of Comet 17/P Holmes
Comet 17/P Holmes October 28, 2007 Larger Image
Holy Crap, what a comet! The jury isn't out on what happened. I easily was able to see this as being larger than stellar with the unaided eye. It is gold and of appreciable size in the finder.

This image is a combination of a few hundred dark subtracted half and one second images, shot with a StellaCam II at prime focus of a Celestron 8" f/5 reflector.

Orionid impact candidates:

Orionids - 10/20/2007
23:17:03UT #a21 - duration = 4 video fields Image Animated GIF 694Kb
23:23:48UT #b4  duration = 2 video fields, very dim Image
23:43:14UT #d3  duration = 3 video fields Image Animated GIF 708Kb

Orionids - 10/21/2007
00:47:53UT #e58 duration = 4 video fields Image Animated GIF 855Kb
01:03:05UT #f37 duration = 2 video fields Image
02:52:46UT #h(2) duration = 2 video fields Image
03:41:23UT #i(2) one video field only
03:48:12UT #i3 duration = 2 video fields Image

The data looks good. Unfortunately, nobody else was imaging the moon.

Orionid meteor lunar impact candidate

Shooting the Orionids proved to be difficult due to a polar alignment problem that I could not resolve. The scope kept slewing to the south and required declination adjustments about every 30 seconds or minute. I realigned the scope 4 times to no avail but this could have been because I was tracking at a lunar rate and the calculations made by the mount may have caused the problem. I did not test tracking a star. My polar finder scope might need to be aligned.

October 7, 2007 - Meteor tracker

Ran the meteor tracker recording a 9 hour 30 minute single segment which is the longest video segment I've ever shot. A tera-byte drive really beats changing the tapes every hour and twenty minutes. Around 6:00 AM local time, Venus and the crescent moon rose above the tree line. I have noise in the high res 1394 feed caused by the second video feed's USB connection for the wide field camera. It is a sporadic problem and I have not isolated it yet.

There was severe dew. I ran a small 155 watt heater below a shroud which kept the mirrors warm and dew free. Dew has presented problems in the past that this little heater will solve.

I also recently got a Prius. I tested laying down inside it with the seats down and it happens that the rear window is perfectly situated for looking up at the night sky! It also has a wide field back-up camera that I'll at some point hook an image intensifier up to, just to see...

I'm interested in some of the Prius hacks that will come out...

October 7, 2007 Venus, Moon and Saturn

Images of Venus and the Moon, Saturn and Regulus. Venus is at the upper right, Saturn to the lower left. Regulus is directly above the moon. A lens flare shaped like a crescent appears in the wider field image. Venus was dazzelingly bright. I could seemingly almost hear it. With Orion, Taurus and Mars to the west, the red of Mars, Betelgeuse and Aldebaran all conspired to make for a wonderfully stunning view. Sirius was nearly free from Scintillation!