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)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Where is that mysterious light we saw last time? More Nightfall in Borrego Springs; Watch out for "them"; Trying to capture Pluto again... and again; How to turn a 4 minute exposure into a 1 second exposure

Greeting from Palmia Observatory

Well Resident Astronomer Peggy and I are offsite attending the Nightfall 2016 event in Borrego Springs.  This is the second time we have been at this event sponsored by the Riverside Astronomical Society.  Long time readers of this blog will remember about our November 8, 2015 post where this strange mysterious light bloomed up as all of us attendees were gathered in the outside amphitheater at that time.  What is that mysterious glow?  Check out the November 8 post for the details.

Mysterious light in sky
We didn't see this mysterious lightshow this time at Nightfall
So, this time in Borrego springs, no mysterious light show, but wow, guess what we saw when we looked up in the sky this time?

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

See you at Nightfall 2016 in Borrego Springs; TED talk; UCRiverside Are We Alone? lectures; Asteroid astrophysics; Halloween Fun!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well its mostly cloudy with a bit of rain here at the observatory and so no observing for these few days.  Actually, there could have been a little bit of observing lightning flashed early in the morning if you are into that kind of thing.  It was pretty exciting since we normally don't get

Saturday, October 22, 2016

AAS meeting comes to an end; Return to the observatory and start to get back to normal after repiping; Great T-shirt found

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, its been a long week in Pasadena and I'm completely worn out and in need of a break.  Attending the AAS/DPS meeting was a lot of fun and I heard about a lot of interesting science and astronomy, but I am definitely on overload, so I am back at the observatory for some needed rest.  Oops, what do I mean?  How can I get any rest at the observatory?  Remember, while this Resident Astronomer, George, has been off having fun in Pasadena, the other Resident Astronomer

Friday, October 21, 2016

Asteroid Families and the Yarkovsky and YORP effects; OSIRIS-REx mission to Asteroid Bennu; Gamma rays from Vesta and Ceres; Determining spectra for cold moon hydrocarbon oceans

Greetings from (offsite) Palmia Observatory

Well, I've been here in Pasadena for several days now and I guess I should take a stab at reporting some of the neat things I learned about planetary science.  There were a lot of interesting topics, but I think I will mention just a couple of things that I found interesting and

The old planet 9 and the possibly new planet 9, or the controversy continues as new discoveries in the Kuiper belt continue to amaze us; And New Horizons Team wins Planetary Society's top award, The Cosmos

Greetings from (offsite) Palmia Observatory

Well this blog is mostly about Pluto, the old Planet 9, and the controversy over its name change, and the new contentious and possibly new Planet 9.  So, there were quite a lot of fireworks and passion and emotion at the AAS/DPS meeting, so don't be mislead into believing that

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Resident Astronomer at the AAS/DPS meeting in Pasadena; Sad faces during live Exomars landing broadcast; Ceres asteroid and bright spots; Pluto losing its atmosphere?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, I'm still offsite at the AAS/DPS meeting in Pasadena.
Started yesterday's meetings with a live broadcast from ESA covering the landing of Exomars lander, Schiaparelli.  Well, there were a lot of sad faces when the lander communication was lost just about a minute before touchdown.  Yes, we know it is hard to get to Mars and things don't always go right.  The latest news from ESA says that the premature ejection of the heat shield and parachute were found in the telemetry.  We will have to wait for

Monday, October 17, 2016

Resident Astronomer attends the AAS/DPS meeting in Pasadena; Math Whiz Dave's hat is well known; Remembering Carl Sagan; New Asteroid observation book for amateurs

Greetings from (offsite) Palmia Observatory

Well, the American Astronomical Society meeting of the Division for Planetary Science is off to a great start for a week long series of events at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Now this set of meetings is for professional astronomers and planetary scientists and students and they let in

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Resident Astronomer tours Carnegie Observatory open house; original glass slide of Jupiter; American Astronomical Society in Pasdena; Comet 67P; Missed opportuity to photgraph novae

Greetings from (offsite) Palmia Observatory

Resident Astronomer George is offsite this week at the Carnegie Observatory open house.  I had not attended the open house before and it was quite interesting to walk on the grounds and down the halls and sit in the library where the great observers thought and pondered the images taken at Mt. Wilson. Check out this photo taken in the library

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hooray, Mystery of the "+" signs solved! Lessons learned about doing the blinking software; See you in Pasadena and be sure to check out Nightfall in Borrego Springs; And the Galaxy Song

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Hooray, we got some good feedback and help understanding the mystery of the "+" signs, which were found in the images of the asteroid Ceres, about which we posted last week.  Remember that at that time we first used the blinking software help us see a slowly moving dim object against the nearly fixed background stars.  It turns out to be quite a mystery, but first we should

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Hooray, that darn blinking software shows asteroid Ceres moving; "Beautiful" sunset; Repiping the observatory and next week calendar showing Carnegie open house, AAS meeting and free Coursera course on emergence

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

I had every intention of getting some more observing in this week but couldn't fit it into the schedule because of events at the observatory.  First, as I looked outside to get a sense as to what the cloudy weather was like and found this "beautiful" sunset.  I say"beautiful" because one hand sunsets are beautiful and on the other hand,

Friday, October 7, 2016

Physics colloquia about topological insulators; Nobel prize announcement; Set Silence Packing demonstration on campus; Gamma-ray spectrometry; Energy Storage conference and the duck curve; And finally getting another image to try getting the darn blinking software to work

This has been a busy week with a couple of off site activities including the physics colloquia at CSULB and the Energy Storage North America Conference in San Diego.  We finally did get a chance to schedule one brief observing time to get another image of asteroid Ceres as part of our ongoing program of trying out the blinking software used to detect faint objects like asteroids.  But first we have several comments about physics, gamma ray detectors and astronomy and findings from the energy storage conference.  So lets get to the