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)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Atmospheric Lapse Rate and Planetary Science; Learning physics from the weather ladies Bri and Ginger and pop singer Iggy Azalea?

Today has been a planning day for observations to be made (hopefully) later tonight, when I have a chance to get an image of Neptune, of which I forgot to do while at Black Star Canyon.  Anyway while waiting, I returned to a topic found in planetary atmospheric science, which is measuring the temperature of a planet or its atmosphere remotely with telescopes and spectroscopy.  I didn't quite get into all of that tough stuff, but I did get intrigued by

Monday, August 29, 2016

Black Star Canyon; Dragonfly optics and nebula; Astrocon 2017 and AIAA Space 2016; Polar Alignment, Camera ISO and Binoculars; M8 and why ring nebulas, Forgot to shoot Neptune, but got M13, M57 and M8; Ruby makes a discovery

Well this week had a lot of practice alignment sessions and we were ready for fun and successful observing Black Star Canyon Star Party and Astronomer Assistant Ruby makes an interesting discovery.  But first, lets look at the calendar and the mail.  It's not to early to plan for Astrocon 2017 in Casper, WY., but it might be hard to find a

Thursday, August 25, 2016

See you at Black Star Canyon; Kavli Prize interview with winners/ inventors of LIGO and the human side of the story; New planet discovered around our next closest star; How real science (sort of) gets done at the bar and through bets; and finally some a nostalgic look back at my years at Big Oil research in Brea

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Remember when you get to the blog site you can sign up to get announcements, when new posts are posted, and not have to wait for an email from me (hooray!) and remember you can also search through the archives, using keywords, etc., to see what was going on in the almost 2 years of postings.  I had almost forgotten about all the trials and tribulations, failures, and some successes that have happened over the years.
Well its time for the Black Star Canyon Star Party this Saturday night and

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

New blog format, homebuilt crosshair frame for camera, galaxy rotation curve, and 600mm full moon photo

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this is the first post since we transitioned away from a weekly email newsletter to an actual blog.  I think this format is much better to meet the goals which I originally had when I first started emailing little notes about my journey as a physicist wannabe and a new beginning amateur astronomer, making the transition from pure armchair cosmology.  Although, I initially

Friday, August 19, 2016

Get Polar Aligned and goto selected target Right Ascension and Declination

Well this week has been pretty spectacular in terms of good observing weather and the marine layer has gone missing at night with our really warm temperatures. Last time I mentioned that I had just received the repaired AVX mount from Celestron and was eager to get

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Big Bear Solar Observatory Tour and Pleides Meteor shower viewed from the lake and discussion of amateur asteroid size determination by occultation timing

This week lets begin with a question submitted by Searching for Gravity Waves and New Drone Pilot, Dr Gary, who asked how the 20 km scale factor shown in last week's image of the Sky and Telescope's asteroid occultation

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Astronomer Assistant Ruby ignores general relativity, quantum mystery, asteroid occultation timing and Jupiter and Moon conjunction

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, this week has  mostly consisted of study.  First of all it was necessary to find out how to return the Celestron AVX mount for repair.  When the motor drive command system failed last week, I had a sense of dread because I was about to enter the unknown, but quite regularly described as poor service in internet postings, of getting the mount repaired.  Nonetheless, I finally made

Monday, August 1, 2016

Fire cancels our scheduled viewing on the Mt Wilson 60-inch, connection between gravity and time, autoguider cable hookup snafu, mount motor drive failure leaves scope pointed at Polaris and one way to get a lift above the rooftop

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week still had a bit of disappointment about not being able to do any observing at the 60-inch telescope on Mt. Wilson, so Resident Astronomer Peggy and I started dreaming about signing up for a night of observing at Kitt Peak in Tucson.  Now that will be a little more expensive, but at least