Observing with Street Lights

Observing with Street Lights
Dark sky sites not always necessary to see the Milky Way (This image was taken ouside of a B&B in Julian, CA)

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Surface Brightness estimation for Milky Way using Vega star for DSLR image and lens comparison; Spaceweatherwoman; OCA Star Party at Bob Swenson Field

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well the clouds keep coming in and creating not that great of nighttime observing opportunities, but we were able to learn about space weather at the OCA general meeting and even performed some dark sky surface brightness measurements and calculations and made it to the new OCA star party location.  So, first,

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Upcoming OCA and other events; Astronomer Assistants get stressed out; Cloudy skies; Cosmic string observed? Starlight deflection near the sun; Muons find new void in Great Pyramid

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well after coming back from Julian, CA and being clouded out both nights, we are getting anxious for some good nighttime observing.  But again the clouds are not cooperating here either and when we got back to the observatory, we were faced with some complaints from the observatory staff, but before getting into that, we should check the schedule for the coming weeks.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

More on neutron star mergers; Radioactive and other decay; Hoped for dark skies in Julian, but had to settle for Dark Star Cellars consolation wine; Lens exposure-tradeoffs; Toured Curiosity Peak Observatory; New books;

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This has been a very busy week with a lot of topics coming together just at this time, especially with the trip planned for Julian, CA, in order to get in some dark sky observing.  We have some follow up information on the recently observed neutron star merger and discussion regarding the recent physics colloquium and upcoming conferences and camera focal length and exposure timing tradeoffs.  First, before getting to the disappointing clouded out observing session in Julian,

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fire cancels observing with 60-inch at Mt. Wilson; LIGO Livingston Observatory Tour; Some more images and discussion of binary neutron star merger, GW170817, and the Multi-messenger era of astronomy

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we have had a wonderful time at the Gravity Wave and Astrophysics symposium in Baton Rouge and included tour of LIGO Livingston Observatory.  We flew back to OC with the expectation that the fires on Mt. Wilson would not interfere with our planned observing night at the 60-inch telescope, but again, the third time now, we have been canceled out because of the ongoing fire.  Darn!  OCA Tour Coordinator, Michelle, has done a valiant job in trying to keep our observing group together of these cancelled opportunities, and here we are again, cancelled.  Thanks for that, Michelle!  Luckily we can report on the successful LLO  tour and some of the symposium discussion of GW170817 and the beginning of  the new multi-messenger era in astronomy.

Monday, October 16, 2017

First day of gravity astrophysics symposium; Hooray, LIGO Collaboration reports the first detection (GW170817) of the merger of a binary neutron star system and the first detection of electromagnetic counterparts

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (Offsite in Baton Rouge, LA)

Well, here I am at the Gravitational Wave Astrophysics: Early Results from GW Searches and Electromagnetic Counterparts Symposium sponsored by IAU, hosted by LSU in Baton Rouge, LA.  This location is conveniently about 80 miles from New Orleans and especially significant for this meeting is the LIGO (observatory) in Livingston, LA being only about 25 miles away.  A key part of this symposium is the included tour of LIGO and finally the long anticipated announcement of the detection of the merger of a binary neutron star system.