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)

Friday, September 29, 2017

Ocean streaks and Langmuir's observation and theory; Approaching Quebec and the end of our Viking cruise; Some insights into relativistic simulation paradoxes; Extragalactic source of cosmic rays

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite closing in on our last cruise night in Quebec, Canada),

Well our In the Wake of the Vikings cruise comes to an end the day after tomorrow and we were only able to photograph the northern lights on two separate days.  Nonetheless we had a great time and meet some great folks and saw some great scenery.  One image that turned out to be steeped in physics was the following one of long parallel streaks in the Saguenay River, Quebec, Canada.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Vikings at L'anse aux Meadows; How did Viking sun tracking work? Viking Sea ship cruise map; Great classical mechanics and astrophysics website; Time zones and martini service!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well we just left L'anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland last night and headed into the Gulf of St. Lawrence as our journey "In the wake of the Vikings" continues on the cruise ship Viking Sea.  The stop in the location of the first and oldest Viking settlement there was very educational and I identified at least two topics that i want to study further and they are: (1) Smelting of "bog iron" for weapons, jewelry and nails, and (2) Viking navigation westward by looking at the sun.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Transition to safe harbor at Qaqortoq, Greenland; Viking Sea sails past icebergs; Relativistic simulations of special relativity; Another night of dim green aurora

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite near Qaqortoq, Greenland),

Well the journey in the wake of the Vikings continues and the search for brighter Northern Lights goes on also.  As luck would have it there were gale force winds predicted for our first scheduled stop in Greenland, and many nearby icebergs, so we have to move further down the coast to Qaqortoq, Greenland and spend the night at anchor there.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Great NASA Aurora photo; Hooray, finally saw some green northern lights! Icebergs in the passage to Greenland

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

This NASA photo of auroras around the North Pole is really fantastic.  Wow, if we could see that! Thanks to chance encounter with fellow passenger Valerie who provided the reference for this photo. Thanks, Valerie! Anyway, we didn't get this great space based view, but did have a chance to finally get some more images of the aurora from our cruise ship.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Another day waiting and searching for the northern lights; 10-second exposure of star taken from cruise ship at sea; Finally a glimpse of Northern Lights,

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite some at sea heading from Iceland to Greenland),

Well this has been another great fun day and another day in our search for the northern lights.  How did this day go you ask?  It started off with a great sunrise, then with the onset of rain, a great rainbow.  Oh well, at least the NOAA aurora forecast showed some improvement and offsered some hope.  But as luck

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Offsite in Iceland and Bergen, Norway; Geysers and clouds; NOAA aurora prediction website

Greetings from Palmia Observatory (offsite somewhere in the North Sea)

We are offsite this week on the "In the. Wake of the Vikings" cruise.  We hope, in addition to having fun and seeing the local sites, to have dark enough skies to see the Milky Way and especially see the Northern Lights.  So far, the skies have been just on cloudy to see much of anything of lights or even stars.  We can share a couple of photos of geothermal activity along the intersection of the tectonic plates that bisect Iceland and show a great NOAA site for aurora predictions.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Missed OCA Events; Supernova spectra worked example; Mars or bust at 20th annual Mars Society meeting kicks off at UCI;

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this has been such a busy week and we have missed or will miss several planned OCA events including, Astroimagers SIG and the General Meeting.  We have been busy at the 20th annual international Mars Society meeting at UCI.  This week we are packing and getting ready for our Iceland cruise next week and will miss the OCA Astrophysics SIG and the OCA Blackstar canyon star party again.  We hope to see all the sights there, but especially the Northern Lights and Milky Way.  Now, there is just enough time to discuss a neat homework problem from Astrophysics: The Violent Universe and offer a few comments from the Mars Society convention.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

See you at Mars Society conference; Astrocon 2017 Group Photo; Eclipse and lens damage; First light with O-III narrowband filter; When is 48mm equal to 2 inches? Geat new book on Chandra X-ray Telescope

Greetings from Palmia Observatory,

Well its almost time for the Mars Society conference, so we will see all of you attendees at the Pacific D Ballroom at UCI Student Center this Thursday at 9:00 AM.  In the meantime, we can report on a group photo from Astrocon 2017, some examples of lens damage due to improper eclipse viewing, some first light with the new O-III narrowband filter, and finally, a great new book on findings with the Chandra X-ray telescope.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Tried finding the Milky Way in city lights -- couldn't, but found comet 200P/Larsen instead;

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well after having an opportunity to enjoy seeing the Milky Way in the dark skies of Casper, WY, it was time to see just how much of the MW would show up in a camera image in these city light skies.  So, since a major portion of the Milky Way is located just to the left of Saturn at this time of year, I aimed the non-tracking DSLR with new 28mm lens at that location and took this 30 second exposure.