Saturday, 26 January 2013

Friday Night (25 Januarie 2013) C/2012 F6 (Lemmon)

Friday - About 23:30 to be precise. I spent some time to find Comet Lemon with my 10X50 binoculars. With the help of my Skytools map it and the binoculars steady on a tripod it was easy. Even with the almost full moon and some street lights. A black cloth over your head will also help. 

The techno info the same: Canon 30D with a 300mm (X1.6) lens. 10 Seconds with ISO 3200. I used  Nebulosity software ( Stark Labs) to prepare the image.

Compare with the original RAW image below.

And the final image without the text.

Friday, 25 January 2013

Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) 23 Januarie 2013

Click to enlarge

With Crux on the left and Musca to the right, Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) on the late night 23 Januarie 2013 is a little green spot. Photo: Hannes Pieterse

Info: Canon 30D with 50mm lens; 20 X 15 sec exposures; ISO 1600, f4. 20 X Dark frames. Images were prepared in Deepskystacker > Separate registered and dark frame subtracted images were created.  These were stacked in Rot`nStack. Final image was tweaked in Photoshop.

- A tree interfered on the right 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

For the Bibliophiles: Deep-Sky Companions: Southern Gems

Hot off the Press!

Deep-Sky Companions: Southern Gems - Stephen James O'Meara

In Southern Gems, Stephen James O'Meara makes a detour beneath the southern skies, presenting a fresh list of 120 deep-sky objects for southern hemisphere stargazers to observe. Showcasing many exceptional objects catalogued by the pioneering observer James Dunlop, known as the 'Messier of the southern skies', all are visible through small- to moderate-sized telescopes or binoculars under dark skies. The list features some of the blackest dark nebulae, icy blue planetary nebulae and magnificent galaxies of all types. Each object is accompanied by beautiful photographs and sketches, original finder charts, visual histories and up-to-date astrophysical background information. Whether you live in the southern hemisphere or are just visiting, this new Deep-Sky Companion will make a perfect observing partner, whatever your background. There is no other southern sky guide like it on the market.

  • Magda Streicher a southern observer from Polokwane also contributed to make this book a must have!   

  • Published: 31 January 2013 
  • Hardback
  • ISBN:9781107015012
  • 450pages
  • 204 b/w illus. 114 maps
  • Dimensions: 253 x 177 mm
- Search inside the book - Amazon
-The Book Depository (Free Shipping to South Africa)  - $40.80  (Best Price)

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

From Bloemfontein: Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6)

22 January 2013 - Moves into Constellation, Musca (23:00) In spite of the moon and other lights the comet is still clearly visible
January 21, 2013 - Near Acrux, Constellation Crux

For the night owls: Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) is clearly visible. Bright star on the image is Alpha 2 Cru (Acrux).

Technical data: Canon 30D with 300mm X 1.6 lens. ISO 3200; Aperture f5.6 Shutter speed 5 seconds. Camera on tripod. 15 photos stacked on each other in Deepskystacker; 10 Dark frames used to remove digital noise. It is also easy visible with a 12X50 binoculars. Even better with a 20X80 binoculars. The light pollution is quite bad in Bloemfontein and the moon was still up. Despite this I found it easily. According to Skytools 3 it is magnitude 7.2.

A look or you see it tonight and let you know.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6) brightens faster than expected

 Comet Lemmon (Michael Jaeger)

In Crux
2013 is gearing up nicely to be a superb year for bright comets. Already we have two comets that promise to be spectacular this year; Comet PanSTARRS (C/2011 L4) should peak at magnitude -1 in March and then later in the year comet ISON (C/2012 S1) may even reach the dizzy heights of magnitude -15 in November.

There is another comet that is currently brightening faster than expected and although will probably not be bright as the above-mentioned comets, it may prove to be the surprise package of the year. Its name is Comet Lemmon (C/2012 F6).

Alex Gibbs of the Mount Lemmon Survey discovered Comet Lemmon on March 23, 2012. The Mount Lemmon Survey is part of the Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), a Near-Earth objects searching project, specifically aimed at finding potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs) that may pose a threat of impact to Earth. Currently there are a number of telescopes participating in the survey, each of the order of 1-metre in aperture, located at various astronomical sites. The project is producing superb results with the Mount Lemmon telescope currently the most prolific telescope in the world for discovering Near-Earth Objects.
The objects discovered are often faint; Comet Lemmon was only magnitude 20.7 when found.

More information...

Polish your metal mirror - Sir William Herschel

This is an example of a polishing machine devissed by William Herschel for small speculum metal mirrors. Image: Herschel Museum of Astronomy, Bath 

For your book shelve

From: The Complete Guide to the Herschel Objects: Sir William Herschel's Star Clusters, Nebulae and Galaxies - by Mark Bratton

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Near-Earth Asteroid 2012 DA14 to Miss Earth on February 15, 2013

In this oblique view, the path of near-Earth asteroid 2012 DA14 is seen passing close to Earth on Feb. 15, 2013. 

Discovered by the LaSagra observatory in southern Spain, the small asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass within about 3.5 Earth radii of the Earth's surface on February 15, 2013. Although its size is not well determined, this near-Earth asteroid is thought to be about 45 meters in diameter. Asteroid 2012 DA14 will pass inside the geosynchronous satellite ring, located about 35,800 km above the equator. Its orbit about the sun can bring it no closer to the Earth's surface than 3.2 Earth radii on February 15, 2013. On this date, the asteroid will travel rapidly from the southern evening sky into the northern morning sky with its closest Earth approach occurring about 19:26 UTC when it will achieve a magnitude of less than seven, which is somewhat fainter than naked eye visibility. About 4 minutes after its Earth close approach, there is a good chance it will pass into the Earth's shadow for about 18 minutes or so before reappearing from the eclipse. When traveling rapidly into the northern morning sky, 2012 DA14 will quickly fade in brightness.
Source: NASA