Astronomy, Photography and Weather
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News: IAA lecture programme continues alternate Wednesdays from September - an excellent programme of lectures- Queens University Belfast - Bell Lecture Theatre. Also keep an eye out for the Summer Events
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16  General Category / Weather & Atmospherics / Re: UK/Ireland Thunderstorm Outbreak Thurs May 5th - Wed May 11th on: May 05, 2011, 07:53:18 am
better take my brolly to work today
Hmmm, I bought a new brolly about 6 weeks ago, it hasn't rained since until this morning. Probably a good idea to buy another.
17  General Category / Photography / Re: Dunluce Castle, Sunset & Distant Gorse Fire on: May 03, 2011, 09:27:35 am
Nice images, you can see the curve of the horizon Wink And real "exam weather" ...

That smoke has been a real issue these last few days, there's ash on everything ... hereabouts there seems to be two plumes, one I think from the Mournes & one from a major fire at Ballypatrick Forest which has been burning for days but hasn't had the same coverage as some of the others.
18  General Category / Weather & Atmospherics / Re: TS-Gloucester on: April 30, 2011, 09:36:21 am
Thankfully not as destructive as those in the USA. Could do with some rain to wash the pollen & smoke out of the air ... the haze is awful & my eyes are itching horribly!

My "thunderstorm alert system" (migraine of a special type) triggered at 0900 yesterday (29th) but cleared at 1600.
19  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: First Image Of The International Space Station on: April 25, 2011, 08:50:47 am
Superb imaging of a difficult fast moving object!

Have you had a go at Nanosail-D?
20  General Category / Photography / Re: Microsoft ICE and Photosynth on: April 06, 2011, 07:48:09 am
I've used MICE (for solar & lunar surface mosaics) and am very happy with it : but I've declined the EULA which goes with the Silverlight application required to play Photosynth. Read the EULA carefully and I think you'll see why.
21  General Category / Astronomy & Space / An Outbreak of Solar Measles! on: March 27, 2011, 11:53:38 pm
Saturday March 26th: The Sun has many spots visible in white light; there are five active areas in the eastern sector (plus a very small sixth near the west limb).

2011 Mar 26, 1055 UT. WO FLT 110, Lunt solar wedge, ND 3.0 & Wratten 29 (deep red) filters, prime focus, DMK41; 80% resize.

Here's a closeup of the main active area (AR 11176):

2011 Mar 26, 1038 UT. WO FLT 110, Lunt solar wedge, ND 3.0 & Wratten 29 (deep red) filters, 3x tele-extender, DMK21.

And here's the main activity (south of the solar equator) in hydrogen alpha:

2011 Mar 26, 1119 UT. WO FLT 110, Solarscope SF-100 Ha filter set, 2x Powermate, DMK41: 2 frame mosaic, 55.5% resize; full size version here.
22  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Epsilon Aurigae eclipse ending on: March 18, 2011, 08:34:06 am
Was still at minimum (around 3.75V) on March 1st but on March 15th had risen to 3.66V ... just about noticeably brighter to the naked eye. Watch the end of this eclipse carefully, there won't be another one for 27 years!
23  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Coming Soon - To a Universe near you.............. on: March 07, 2011, 07:38:26 am
Don't forget about this tonight
I wish I had .... Dull, dull, dull. What a pity that they couldn't have found a less shallow presenter; I think Michio Kaku would have done a good job of presenting this material (and might have avoided some of the glaring oversimplifications too).
24  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: ISS Flyby 27/2/2011 on: March 03, 2011, 12:51:02 am
Here are my images from the 27th, both made with Canon 40D & 17-40mm f/4 zoom used at 17mm, f/4.0, ISO 400.

8 sec exposure of early pass, this is a crop from the centre of the frame:

60 sec exposure of the late pass, note the track fading close to gamma Ceti; this is the whole frame resized: the dome of light pollution is from Coleraine  Angry

25  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: ISS Flyby 27/2/2011 on: February 28, 2011, 12:58:23 pm
Very interesting: I nearly missed the early pass as I was busy doing other things but managed to "snatch" a couple of short exposures. I was much better prepared for the late pass but didn't realise that the satellite would be going into shadow so close to the start of the pass. Our different locations show quite clearly, from my house the ISS passed very close indeed to gamma Ceti as it was fading. After the ISS went into shadow it remained visible (onboard lights shining through windows?) just barely visible to the naked eye.
26  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Solar Activity: AR 11163 & AR 11164 on: February 27, 2011, 11:56:04 am
... have just come round the limb; AR 11163 isn't much ...

2011 Feb 26, 1135 UT.

... but AR 11164 is complex & with scope for lots of flare activity.

2011 Feb 26, 1134 UT.

Here's a hydrogen alpha view of the north east area of the disc showing the ARs and related prominence activity:

2011 Feb 26, 1339 UT.

All images made with William Optics FLT 110 4.3" f/7 fluorite triplet refractor & Imaging Source cameras. White light images with Lunt solar wedge, ND 3.0 & W29 (deep red) filters, 4x Powermate, DMK21. Ha with Solarscope SF-100 Ha filter set, 2x Powermate & DMK41.
27  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Re: Feb 14/15 Moon Mosaic on: February 21, 2011, 09:06:53 am
Thanks guys ...
28  General Category / Weather & Atmospherics / Re: SunPillar on: February 20, 2011, 08:42:35 am
Yeah, there's ice in the upper atmosphere ... probably responsible for the "soupy" appearance of the sky behind the low level cloud banks too.

Lovely colours!
29  General Category / Astronomy & Space / Feb 14/15 Moon Mosaic on: February 18, 2011, 07:13:17 pm
Finally, the whole disc mosaic:

2011 Feb 15, 0001-0026 UT. William Optics FLT 110 4.3" fluorite triplet apo refractor, 2x Powermate, W29 (deep red) filter, Imaging Source DMK41 camera: 19 frame mosaic, 23% resize: full size version here.

Apparent diameter 32.47 arc min. Colongitude 51.9 degrees. Illumination 85.2%. Solar inclination 1.3 degrees; libration in latitude +01 deg 42 min; libration in longitude -07 deg 26 min. Altitiude 44.8 degrees.
30  General Category / Weather & Atmospherics / Re: Interesting Weather on: February 18, 2011, 07:03:50 pm
I think you've got our weather - that's just typical late Feb weather on the North Coast of Ireland!
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