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, November 28, 2016

Upcoming colloquia and workshops; Astronomer Assistant Ruby has Thanksgiveing reunion; Writing equations backwards in video lectures; Observation plans for seeing eclipsing binary Algol

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This post covers four topics including:  (1) reminding readers of a couple of upcoming colloquia and workshop events, (2) Happy Thanksgiving Holiday reunion for Astronomer Assistant Ruby, (3) How to write equations full of Greek characters backwards?, and (4)  Observational plan for observing the binary eclipsing star Algol.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Resident Astronomers return to the observatory; Pages read = 30, martinis made = 3; Pages win!; Black Star Canyon clouded out; You can still sign up for the GR course; Cosmology and big picture theory not constrained

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, we are finally back home from our Mediterranean odyssey, with stops in Greece, Israel and Italy, and ports of call in several islands, and want to clear up a few loose ends associated with that journey before coming back to future observing plans.  First, I should comment about an issue that many cruisers face and that is how much weight gain is acceptable for a a two week cruise.  Well, I have no idea of what a norm might be, but can comment on my own personal experience, which resulted in

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Alert reader notices slipped digits; Surprising connection between LIGO and Fermi detection of merging black holes, Travelling through the Straights of Messina, on to Napoli and Amalfi

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite in vicinity of Napoli, Italy)

Well we are still offsite and having fun seeing the Mediterranean sights.  Before getting to the fun stuff, we should look at the incoming mail.  I got an email from alert reader Science Squad Member and Gravity Guy, Ken, noticed an error in the previous post discussing

Thursday, November 17, 2016

More super moon apparent size discussion; Previous photo of plane in the moon; Wondering about the rate of supernovas in the galaxy and mixing of new elements

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite somewhere near the Straits of Massini and volcano on Stromboli)

Well did everyone enjoy the super moon?  I only heard from two amateurs, one who was interested in confirming how much larger the moon would appear to be and one who attempted to get a photo of the super moon.  So let's take a look at

Monday, November 14, 2016

Advance notice regarding the super moon; Ad on Finding location of ships at sea

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite in Ashdad, Israel)

Well, we have made several earlier posts, primarily of the vacation kind, with just enough touch of astronomy to allow its inclusion in this post.  You can always take a look at those posts if you are interested.  In the November 13 post, I talked about an epiphany I had regarding how the Einstein equations of general relativity give more appropriate interpretation for the doppler shift for the expansion of the universe.   This post is just a quick announcement to be sure to look for the giant moon tonight and this announcement is made possible because

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Searching for Aphrodite's ocean birthplace; Counting pages read and martinis ordered; Finally got needed insight into Einstein's General Relativity

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite and docked in Haifa) Well this has been a busy vacation week and I have just a couple of astrophysics and cosmological topics to go over today. First of all, Resident Astronomer Peggy and I have been having a lot of fun and had a chance to investigate the birth place of Aphrodite (or Venus if you prefer the Roman name. The legend has it that she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione and rose out of the sea near the island of Cyprus. Well, we went to Cyprus and looked

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Trying to do astronomy from a moving ship and does the shipboard physics colloquia actually exist?

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite at the island of Cyprus)

Well its been a busy week, what with trying to find our way around the cruise ship "Viking Sea", but we are getting used to it.  We also tried viewing the stars from the top deck and found that even though the skies are dark, the cruise ship itself is surrounded by lights.  There are lights illuminating the water and wake and even though it is

Saturday, November 5, 2016

What books do you take on vacation or a cruise?; Here are the half dozen or so books I am packing.

Greetings from (offsite) Palmia Observatory

Well, I've had quite a time deciding what books to take with us on our cruise vacation.  Resident Astronomer Peggy has a couple of paperback novels and some science periodical, like Science News, The New Scientist, Astronomy, and Sky and Telescope magazine and her Ipad, so she is good to go.  I had a hard time because as much as I want to read a lot of good books, I know that as often as not, the books

Friday, November 4, 2016

Resoution of Pluto's RA and Dec discrepancy and electing to try new astrometry software package

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, we left off last time with one remaining mystery regarding the different values of reported RA and Dec for Pluto.  What to do about these different reported values?  They don't differ by much and as long as you are just interested in getting Pluto in your camera frame field of view, both seem to be acceptable.  But if you want to use astrometry to verify that yes, indeed that dim object of just a few pixels in your image is Pluto, then, yes, you need accurate astrometry and the catalog location used for finding Pluto has to be right.  So this is what

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The most precisely tested physical theory; More analysis of Pluto images and validation of 95mm aperture viewing; Five events for consideration to be on your calendar: Offsite travel

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we are finally resting up from our wild weekend at Nightfall in Borrego Springs just in time to pack our bags for vacation travel.  Last time, I described the attempted capture of an image, or at least a few pixels, of Pluto and how, as a lot of amateurs know, the first and second and maybe other attempts often does not go as planned.  Well Borrego Springs was no exception as we discussed earlier, but you might be interested in some of the other analysis I've been doing to explain what went wrong.  But before that we should