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)

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! Recommendations for textbooks for astrophysics and light curve collection and analysis; Looking back at astronomical activity in the blog archive this time of last year

Greetings and Happy New Year from Palmia Observatory

Well this is the last day of this year and as we get ready to begin a new part of our journey around amateur astronomy and physicist wannabe activities, I am remembering where we were just a year ago on this journey.  It is interesting to look back and see what was going on a year ago, but before that let us

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Caldwell Objects; Quiet Sun Image; New physicist blog sites and Palmia Observatory website statistics; More Algol observing times; See you at the 229th AAS meeting in Dallas

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season and stayed in where its warm.  At least the rain let up for Christmas day.  Resident Astronomer Peggy gave me a copy of "The Caldwell Objects" by Stephen O'Meara.  The Caldwell catalog was created by legendary amateur astronomer and author, Patrick Alfred Caldwell-Moore, and publicized in Sky and Telescope in 1995.   The catalog has 109 deep sky objects, just as many as the Messier catalog, These 109 objects are not objects to avoid, but include other worthwhile and beautiful objects to be observed in the night sky.  Many amateurs work their way through

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Astronomer just barely captures image of Algol during eclipse minimum; Christmas Lights? Bah humbug! Typical Algol Light Curve; Happy Holidays!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, finally the Algol minima occurred on a night with clear weather.  Yes, the forecast was for poor observing, mostly due to high winds and wind gusts, but we were relatively protected here at the observatory, and we set up to do some observing and then experienced a couple of problems including

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Weather cancels more observing sessions; Are you ready for Python? Funny astronomy fails; Is time positive or negative? Revised Algol observation plan

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This week the weather has just been terrible for most observing opportunities.  The planned observing of the light curve for eclipsing binary star Algol was itself eclipsed by clouds and rain.  The OCA black star canyon party was also cancelled, not because of clouds on Saturday, but

Monday, December 12, 2016

Weather looks bad for Dec 15, but Black Star maybe ok on Saturday; Aim for Dec 18 to capture Algol minimum instead; 28 year anniversary

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well, the weather this week is not cooperating at all for doing any nighttime (or daytime) observing, unless you are an amateur meteorologist.  Look at the ScopeNights app forecast below and see just how bad it is supposed to be.  Yes, the weather might change, but

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Recognition of flaw in Algol minima observing plan; Adapting Algol observations to new observing location; Comments from the Searching for Life Workshop

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week has already been very busy with trying to get ready for the December 15 Algol eclipse measurement and with the ongoing workshops and meetings.  We will have a few comments to say about the Searching for Life though Space and Time Workshop and other ongoing calendar events in a moment, but first lets look into the recognition of a near fatal flaw in the

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What is on your calendar for December 15? Sterile neutrinos at the physics colloquia; Getting ready for eclipsing Algol and light curve measurement

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

So, what is on your calendar for December 15?  For me, I've already penciled in the night for observing and measuring the magnitude minima for the eclipsing binary star, commonly named Algol.  The last post from November 28 described how the visual magnitude would dip from 2.1 to 3.4 for several hours during the eclipse before returning to the normal 2.1, and this happens every 2.87 days.