Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Red Moon rising

20140415 – The eclipsed moon and mars rose in the east this evening. A little bit wind around upset the focus of my camera so only got a few good frames. Made a small avi also.

20140415-redmoon

video

Monday, April 14, 2014

Comet C/2014 E2 Jacques

I have been trying to stretch my detection limits using the DMK51 and a 26mm kern lens. Imaging with this setup is very easy to deploy  when mounted on the simple AltAz mount I made earlier.
20140323_212649
This is a no track, but a drift imaging method. The lens allows a FOV of 15x10 degrees. At an exposure time of about 10 seconds the stars do not trail. Using my custom imaging software I can automatically gather a long sequence of PNG images.
Then using ImageJ to make a registered medium of about 60 images. My lower limits are around MAG ~9 – 10 at a push. But Mag 8 is really about it. So looks like I still need wait for the comet Jacques to warm up a bit more.
Montagejacques

Update 20140414 - A clear evening with a beyond three quarter moon. I think I can just about get Jacques to appear after some heavy pixel pushing using ImageJ. Hope it gets a bit brighter.
Here is a cropped section from a 15x10 FOV, seeing down to mag 10. At the arrow very fuzzy..??





Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A new STEREO Comet

Well this was a bit of a surprise.... I had not downloaded the STEREO images data for a good couple of weeks. I have been restricting my data usage due to changing personal circumstances(got to get a real job), so not as active with this stuff. Also I have been working with processing,org software exploring a few concepts.
Any way, the image viewer I have been working on needed some current data so I downloaded and processed the FITS images for 20140204 into PNG's.  Scanning around the edges I saw this fuzzy move up and left near the top edge. A very not usual place for a fuzzy. It moved fast and was almost out of the FOV. So reported to Stereo Hunter Forum and to Mr. Sungrazer, could be a new STEREO comet....


 Then I realized that this was moving out of the FOV and should have been detectable a few days earlier. So, got to downloading 20140202 FITS data.  IT was lower down and much brighter, hmm....must have been there for a good number of days.


 Checked out the online SECCHI images for COR2A, after a detection report on STEREO Hunter forum. Quite evident as it crossed the COR2A FOV from lower right to upper left quarter, crossing the center of view.
the dotted line across the centre is the comet(20140131) the angled lines are stars.

over night the other members of the STEREO Hunter forum got active and confirmed the comet and even measured an estimate of the comets orbit.  From Man-to
"As a quick attempt I assumed eccentricity e=1 for this object in FIND_ORB, thereby I got the following result:
Orbital elements:  WATK14A
   Perihelion 2014 Feb 18.476940 +/- 0.268 TT;  Constraint: e=1
Epoch 2014 Feb  4.0 TT = JDT 2456692.5   Earth MOID: 0.2865   Ve: 0.0406
q   0.51008071 +/- 0.000731
H    1.2  G 0.15                    Peri.   56.86757 +/- 0.25
                                    Node   283.34633 +/- 0.0018
e   1.0 +/- 0                       Incl.  135.39576 +/- 0.032
From 86 observations 2014 Feb. 1-4; mean residual 29".611.
Cheers, Man-To
--------------------------------------------------
Man-To Hui (Cantonese)
Wentao Xu, Wen-Tao Hsu (Mandarin Chinese)
Astrosite: comethunter.lamost.org
Blog: pachacoti.wordpress.com "
This put the comet some were in the Northern morning twilight according to my Starry night settings.

In the next few days I looked for the comet in Stereo HI2A wide field images across 20140210-15, the orbit put the comet in the upper right quarter of the FOV. No, luck the comet had faded to below mag 10 and was likely lost to detection and being small and in the twilight not good prospects for ground detection. An Mpec was released with a proposed orbit solution a few days later,  http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K14/K14C25.html
 and softcmt file for starry night updated. The comet now has a name C/2014 C2 STEREO.

So, this morning of 20140220, the tweets from Sungrazer  indicated that Hidetaka Sato had used Itelescope T11 to get a set of confirmation images, very close to the calculated orbit. A much appreciated effort.  Amazing that this small comet was ground detected, and still showing a small active tail.
image credit Hidetaka Sato



Monday, January 20, 2014

STEREO image Rotator

Made a bit of software to show the concept of how STEREO takes images around the sun.
Needs more work and more images for a full year worth of rotation, 1 degree per image should do it.
Name that comet.......??
Flickr looked too chunky, so loaded it to Youtube.

Youtube STEREO Rotation concept



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Comet ISON

Leaving the Sun
Comet ISON now a diffuse object leaving the harsh solar environment. Not much left ...

ISON in SOHO
A couple of views of ISON first fading in SOHO C3 and the new tail reappearing in SOHO C2.
Those with a keen eye will see the ISON gas tail swing away clock wise  the C3 images and persist across the perihelion passage to continue to grow  in C2

A new angle on ISON in SOHO C2


Ground Viewing 20131130
No luck as the comet was not condensed or bright enough, just dusticles and smudges. I could see some thermals when i pushed the pixels around with imageJ.

Update 20131130 ISON gets Hot!
You already know this and much more,but the data lag means we have to wait for the good images.
ISON brightness flares and Encke flys on..

Update 20131129 - Well is was Fryday  for ISON. It has been quite surprising, I'll post images when the good data is publicly available. But you may like to see these two long HI1A sequences.Here are my two avi's , may not load in windows viewer so use quicktime. Log scaled and contrast adjusted to make one pixel bright on ISON nucleus. Shows the tail material better.

STEREO HI1A ISON 20131120-24

A longer sequence 20131120-24
What dynamic features can you see? double click to make the video full screen, looks better..8)
A better long sequence 20131121-22
Logscaled images.


ISON Enters HI1A 20131120
more details become visible due to better imager resolution. Some rotational aspects become apparent,  I think

ISON tail dynamics
more tails interactions in with the solar wind across 20131119 seen in STEREO HI2A
ISON tail dynamics

Make that four
A fourth small comet has appeared in the HI2A FOV. Comet Nevski..
Comet ISON has brightened and is interacting with passing CME material.


CME passing by ISON 20131114

ISON interacts with CME, tail disconnection event 20131114


Three comets in the wind
ISOn, Lovejoy and now Encke are all detectable in STEREO HI2A images from 2013110
ISON showing some elongation. CME materials is passing by, long ION tails are being seen from ground images of all these comets. Encke is also in the FOV of STEREO HI1A showing some tail dynamics.

ISON in the solar wind

  Update 20131030-
ISON has been detected in STEREO HI1B roll data.
Recent images from the ground have seen some tail disturbances of LoveJoy. A CME plume is passing by, more are following.


I tweaked these images and data from the Goddard  and STEREO NASA guys to show where ISON is in relation to the windy inner solar system. You can also see the new Lovejoy comet tracking northwards. The colorful charts shows CME predictions into the future, while the STEREO images are from the past 5 days.





ISON possibilities

This image of comets disrupting or vaporizing as seen from STEREO COR2 image data. Well known Lovejoy is the only one that made it around the corner before failing. A few Kreutz examples are here and a SWAN detected comet. I think there are different events happening in the images. SWAN appears to vapourize while the others appear to disrupt before getting close. These are possibilities for ISON as it get close to the SUN.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Comet Encke 2013

update 20131203- Encke exhibits some tail dynamics closer into the Sun .


Comet Encke is now in the FOV of STEREO HI1A. It has some interesting features. I Can see the dust tail radial discovered by Spitzer and seen in this image from Micael Jager.  MJ image Encke dust tail

My Image processing in this anim GIF,

Friday, October 4, 2013

DIY Passive Radar Meteors

Found this very interesting use of USB TV dongles. This very smart guys had made a passive Doppler radar that can see aircraft and occasional meteors . I gotta try this at least once...need more info though.
see this link and follow to the guy doing the really cool stuff.

howto Passive Radar RTL-USB

take a good look at the video....