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)

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Happy dream of planets eclipsing other planets; Previous Mercury Transit; Imaging new moon occulting stars? Thinking of VLA and OVRO radio observatory tours; Keep your fun ears on for the new year!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well with all of the partying and feasting during this holiday season as we come to the end of this year and entry into the next, I experienced a very wonderful dream during a much needed sleep.  I was using an app to predict when the next planetary eclipse of another planet was to occur and it seems they were happening every month or so and I had successfully measured the light curve going up and down and up and down again as the planets came together and then moved apart.  It was great to be successful, but saddened to find it illusory, when I woke up, but I wondered how often do these planetary eclipses actually occur?  Well,

Friday, December 22, 2017

More on ISS transit; Travel to 2019 Eclipse in Chile?; Cosmic origin of the elements; A Journey of the Universe; Scattered light and wavelengh dependence; Gravity Guy Ken spies glowing orbs in the sky! Merry Christmas!

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

During the previous blog of December 17, we described how we had tried to follow the ISS as it made a pass overhead and managed to take a couple of images, mostly overexposed and out of focus, but the bright track of the ISS was very visible.  At that time I was busy enough just trying to track the fast moving ISS and didn't pay much attention to other voices saying that they could also see the Dragon supply ship trailing behind the ISS.  Wow, I was so busy trying to

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Quick image of ISS track; Cone error with telephoto lens; Estimate of sky brightness (m = 18.9) at OCA Bob Swenson Field; Orion Nebula

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this week the forecast for clear skies was looking pretty good so we elected to attend the OCA star party.  This would be a good opportunity to try the 600mm telephoto lens, in lieu of the telescope, on the tracking mount.  We also wanted to measure the sky glow background at the new location.  Just as we were almost ready finish aligning the mount, OCA Star Party Coordinator, Steve, said

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Astronomer looks up at contrails; Wonderful variable star Mira!; Lazy astronomers' astrometry with tripod; Measuring the current visual magnitude for Mira;

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Many astronomer hate when the clouds come in and interfere with our observations, but just looking up at the sky during the daytime can yield some interesting observations.  We will talk about that in a minute and then we will discuss the wonderful star Mira and this lazy astronomers new approach to making quick observations of impossible to see in city lights and hard to find objects.

Friday, December 8, 2017

201st Palmia Observatory blog post; Hooray, I guess? More indoors radio astronomy discussion during this Santa Ana fire season

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well, how can it be that this is the 201st post on the Palmia Observatory blog site.  It has been over 3 years now since I began this journey as a physicist wannabe and an astronomer wannabe and the journey still continues.  Hey, maybe if I had just gone back to formal school, I would be done by now!  But as all the rest of you amateurs and wannabes know, there is usually not enough time in the day to get everything done and so the journey continues.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Super moon time again!; Finally got another useful Photoshop lesson, Hooray!; Measuring the night sky brightness (m = 14.3) right here in city lights

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well this has been a cloudy week, but a few stars and the super moon were able to peek through.  Check out the images of the super moon below and the availability of a few stars and clear regions of space allowed for an attempt at measuring the sky brightness in these city lights polluted skies.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Ring around the moon; Enjoying the Great Courses Videos on Radio Astronomy; Planning for tour at Green Bank Observatory with SARA; Another free astronomy course from Duke U; Photos of local historic rock paintings

Greetings from Palmia Observatory

Well I started off this week with the goal of making another sky brightness measurement, but the weather has just not been cooperating.  We can see a few stars but way to many clouds.  We have also been looking into booking a visit to Joshua Tree and Pioneertown to get some dark sky observing, but again the weather has not been great for that either.  But just by chance, the cold weather created one opportunity to see the ring around the moon that occurs when light refracts off the ice crystals high up in the atmosphere.