My best detections of meteors ever by radio scatter at Rosliston Forestry Centre Science Event 29/4/2017

During the science day, the RAG team helped my erect a 4.8m ex-military aerial (purchased from ebay few years ago for around £30) – I attached to the top of this Bill Watson’s homemade Slim-Jim aerial, purpose-cut for 143.049MHz. Using my Yaesu FT-817 radio, I set about trying to detect meteors from Graves radar in France by radio scatter at 143.049MHz upper side band and……….

My best detections ever!! The meteors were coming thick and fast – sometimes 3 on the screen at any one time on Spectrum Lab! I have NEVER detected meteors so well as I did today. A true WOW! moment.

Below are pictures from the event and some examples of meteors detected (WSJT-10 and Spectrum Lab software screenshots) – a more comprehensive account of meteors detected can be found in PDF format by clicking of this link: Meteor detection screenshots 290417

Andy

Photos of the event:

Photos of meteors detected during the day at the forestry centre using the radio and aerial above:

The following screenshot from Spectrum Lab shows the carrier from Graves (usually not seen but atmospheric conditions today meant it was intermittently visible) and two meteors (showing offset between meteors and the carrier of around 200Hz)

The screenshot below shows that the carrier is usually not seen. In addition, these meteors have spread on the frequency axis – indicating doppler shift in speed in components of the meteor (slightly different speeds of travel)

Other good examples of meteors on Spectrum Lab screenshots:

Meteors were also shown on WSJT-10 software waterfall traces – each time a meteor appeared on either WSJT-10 (below – the peaks on green trace + coloured spot above it – see for example second line on screenshot below where four meteors are shown) an audible ping could be heard from the laptop speakers.

Interpretation of above WSJT-10 screenshot:

Other good examples of WSJT-10 meteor detections (these would have simultaneously been seen on Spectrum Lab on 3D chart):

  

Rosliston Forestry Centre Science Day 29/4/2017

RAG was present at the Forestry Centre’s Science Day on 29/4/2017. Despite cloudy skies for the whole day, this must merit as one of the best outreach events we have ever run. I bought along my mobile meteor radio scatter detection gear, Ed Mann bought his All Sky Camera, and many members of the group bought along telescopes and spoke to the public. Many families came over to visit our display and talk about astronomy. It was also the best detection of meteors I have ever had!

Special thanks to Ed for setting up the Barn Room for folks to read information on the club and our activities, and to Dave/Lee/Roger/Paul for bringing scopes and a wide variety of other equipment, and to every one else who came and helped set up and talk to the public. We could not have done it without you!

Andy

  

Guest lecture on our local star by Mark Townley

Mark Townley from Brierley Hill gave a fantastic guest lecture tonight on our local star – if you weren’t interested in observing the sun before this you were definitely interested afterwards!

Mark is heavily involved in outreach and explained how solar astronomy fits in with modern lifestyles, works in spite of light pollution and is a great way of getting others involved in our hobby – something we have noticed before at Rosliston Forestry Centre science days.

Andy

Awards for Ed and Julian for reading the charity paperwork!

Our guest speaker, Mark Townley gave out awards for going beyond the call of duty by reading all of the charity application paperwork to two members of our committee, Ed Mann and Julian Palmer (The latter in abstentia). This was a major task – be warned that this is what you might need to do if you join the RAG committee!

Andy

Early Summer Triangle.

Swadlincote 200f6 Orion Optics. 26th April 2017.
Up and set up under early , dark clear skies. By 4 ,pre dawn light blew the final whistle on the Summer Triangle. The Milky Way ran lightly through Cygnus, coming to a dark stop beyond Deneb. This was a decent bit of dark sky for here !

Quite surprised to catch the “Fetus nebula” (NGC 2008),as a glow. Then a cluster trip along Cygnus starting with the huge M39. NGC 7039 is a bright cluster and NGC 7063 gave the appearance of a chair with a curved back. NGC 6866 gave some dense star clouds.

Rukh showed it’s close +6.3 companion (2.5″)as did ψ (Psi)Cygni . Σ2624 split easily at 1.9″ (+7.1, 7.4). S 738 split open as a triple (42.1″, 1.8″). This rate I’m going to ditch the fracs for observing binaries !
Couldn’t miss the huge glow of M27 with a simple SW UHC filter. Good test for a pre loved tack sharp 15mm TV Plossl. This picked out the binaries with a x2.5 Barlow , giving a useable 6mm or x200 in the scope. The single secondary vane ( Orion Optics) makes binary observation a joy.

Some detail of planetary nebulae spotted;
NGC 7027, found this to be compact and bright.
NGC 6905 ( in Delphinus) , the ” Blue flash”.
NGC 7048, faint , but there.
NGC 6826, the “blinking” planetary , doesn’t do this with the filter in.

Best of the clusters.
NGC 7039 , large and bright with compact areas.
NGC 6871, bright with four doubles spotted.
NGC 6811, half moon size , packed !
NGC 7086, faint and compact.
NGC 7083, lovely loop and chain.
M29, the “shopping trolley.”

Don’t forget the speedy “Piazzi’s flying star” delightful pair (61 Cygni) and the blood red U Cygni , a pulsating and obviously red variable( +8.5 at the moment) at 21h19.6m. +47 53’42”. This area is packed with interest , many many targets easily observable from the edge of town. Although Saturn was up in the south , the low Newt couldn’t see it through the fence, looks like the higher frac is returning !

Cracking session, superb seeing and transparency. The frost set in hard about 3.30 under those
Clear skies ! Nick.

New Moxon aerial for meteor radio scatter

From: bill Watson [mailto:bill.g4eht@yahoo.co.uk]
Sent: 27 April 2017 17:31
To: Thornett Andrew (05Y) Walsall CCG
Subject:

 

HI ANDY

WE HAVE……………GOOD NEWS…….AND………BETTER NEWS. !

I HAVE TESTED THE 2 MTR MOXON…….IT IS FINE…..ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH IT……ITS BANG ON RESONANCE…..NO PROBLEMS. I TRIED MOUNTING IT VERTICALLY THOUGH………….NO CHANCE. !! HAVING THE POLE BETWEEN THE 2 ELEMENTS IS A……NONE STARTER. – SENDS IT WAY OFF RESONANCE, AND THE SWR GOES THROUGH THE ROOF. !

MOUNTING IT VERTICALLY WOULD MEAN USING A …NONE METALIC SUPPORT AT THE TOP SECTION…..AS I POINTED OUT. SO……I SET ABOUT MAKING YOU ANOTHER ONE ANDY. THIS ONE, I HAVE DESIGNED DIFFERENTLY……ITS MOUNTING POSITION IS DESIGNED TO FIT AT THE BACK OF THE REFLECTOR, AND NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE 2 ELEMENTS.

WHEN DESIGNING THEM LIKE THIS, YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE REFLECTOR AND THE MOUNTING POLE IS STILL NOT TOO CLOSE. !    A SIMILAR DISTANCE BETWEEN THE 2 ELEMENTS ID USUALLY SUFFICIENT….SO THATS HOW IT IS BUILT. I HAVE RESONATED IT AGAIN, SO THAT IT IS USABLE FOR 2 MTRS……IT CAN NOW BE USED EITHER VERTICAL/HORIZONTAL VERY EASILY WITHOUT BOTHERING ABOUT THE TOP POLE NOT BEING MADE OF METAL. I HAVE ALSO TREID USING IT FOR YOUR ‘METEOR RECEPTION’…….BRILLIANT. !

I MOUNTED IT VERTICAL FOR THIS TEST OF COURSE, HOWEVER I HAVE HAD ANOTHER THOUGHT. YOU PROBABLY HAVENT HEARD OF THIS ANDY – SLANT POLARIZATION. THIS MOXON, YOU CAN NOW EASILY…………SLANT POLARIZE…..IF YOU WISH. BY DOING THIS, IT’S POSSIBLE TO ( IF YOU LIKE ) GET THE ‘BEST OF BOTH WORLDS’. A BIT OF VERTICAL…………. A BIT OF HORIZONTAL………WHICH, IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, MAY WELL E BETTER FOR YOUR METEOR DETECTION. FOOD FOR THOUGHT.?

ANYHOW……ITS UP TO YOU, TO USE IS IT, AND MOUNT IT AS YOU WISH. WHAT YOU MAY OF COURSE FIND, IS THAT AS YOU WILL NOW HAVE THE CAPABILITY OF EXTRA GAIN DUE TO IT BEING DIRECTIONAL  ( UNLIKE THE 5/8 VERTICAL )  AND BEING ABLE TO MOUNT IT VERTICAL AND BEAM SOUTH EAST, THEN IT COULD OUT PERFORM THE 5/8 WAVE. !!!!!!!!!!!!

HOWEVER…..IT WONT LOOK AS ‘NEAT’ AS THE 5/8  FOR YOUR XYL AND NEIGHBOURS. !

ANYHOW………ONCE AGAIN…ALL VERY WELL MADE AND SET UP, AND FOR CERTAIN IT WILL MAKE YOU A EXCELLENT PORTABLE AERIAL ANDY.

LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU CAN PICK IT UP, OR I CAN EASILY DROP IT OFF FOR YOU WHEN YOU ARE IN.

BYE FOR NOW

Vy 73……………..de……………….Bill…………..G4EHT

Late April skies.

Swadlincote 23 & 24/25th April 2017. C6r and 200f6 Orion Optics.

The seeing hasn’t been up to much , varied around the sky for some reason. Before it got properly dark, Jupiter was very enjoyable. The GRS was very dark in it’s pit. The southern belt piled up before and after. The southern belt appeared very wide ,with ragged edges and rips. X200 was useful, just don’t fiddle with continual focussing, let the seeing bring it in and out. Better details at x150, so worth backing off a bit.

From the Leo Galaxies , into the Virgo bowl and up to Coma Berenices. Galaxies popped out , with bright cores and surrounds. Even M51 gave a great view near the zenith.M3 and M53 gave resolved globular clusters. Some time to complete some binaries in Corona Berenices. HV 38 giving a lovely starfield at x50 , with the delicate companion easy to spot. Σ1932 gave a wide open split at 1.6″.  

Went through the Draco galaxies, picking up NGC 4125 and NGC 4236. Over to Canes Venatici and from NGC 4111 through to NGC 5033 ( see chart)

Hercules was up gave M13 a go. It was very sharp and contrasted with the now darkened sky in the east. Even before focusing , both this and M92 showed the bright points of the brightest stars. Tried for NGC 6207, but not enough contrast from the edge of town. NGC 6229 is worth a look being 100,000 lys.away .M53 presented a dimmer view than the other Messier’s. The asterism “Webb’s wreath” at 18h02m. +26 18′ (SAO 85678) is worth a look.
Tried  for the comet 41p, not showing, but V2 Johnson was clear by direct viewing in the star field.

Now in deep sky mode , found the small “White Pea” planetary nebula, IC4593 and the bigger and brighter NGC 6210. The brightest galaxy in I found to be NGC 6482.
Played around with Jupiter with various eps and a Barlow as high Misty stuff moved in,

clear skies, Nick.