Damian and I went outside at my house in Lichfield and manually guided the spectroscope to get a bundle of spectrums of stars tonight. Once he had got the technique there was no stopping our boy Damian!
He calibrated the spectroscope using a compact fluorescent bulb – we used linear equation for figures for calibration file tonight.
Comparing images of spectra from brighter stars with online typical spectra – we could immediately find most of main lines generally within 2nm (20A) or real values. Wow!
Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm, Manfrotto alt-az manual mount, hand guided, CCDSPEC, Nebulosity 4 software, QHY6 camera.
Note spectral classes:
Deneb A2 la
N.B. With the peak of the Perseids tomorrow night and a reasonably clear night tonight we had expected to see a number of Perseid meteors…….Damian saw one in the nearly two hours we were outside and I missed even that one!
Calibration of the CCDSPEC/QHY6/Sky Watcher Equinox Pro 80mm/Nebulosity setup:
Calculation spreadsheet for higher order polynomials Excel Andrew Thornett 100818
Damian’s calibration below (his measurements circled):
Some spectra were amazing, showing incredible lines:
Spectral type A7V
Some spectra were not so amazing:
Just had a hefty thunder storm over the hills from Westendorf, Austria.
I quickly downloaded the iLightningCam app that Ed mentioned (well the free version to trial)!
This was the result from having a play with the settings sitting on the balcony from our room (hand held no less)…
Walking through the park in Lichfield, Damian and I saw this ISS pass. Hand held photo with Samsung S7 phone.
Damian, Rhys and I took a fluorescent bulb and stood under the electricity pylons on Dartford Lane just past the A38 bridge. We had heard that bulbs would illuminate…..and it did indeed do just that. Closest we have ever been to owning a light sabre!
Damian took these photos using his iPhone when we went out for a walk
Yes, the same ones Andy has also posted!
Woke up, looked out the bedroom (back) window… could see them bright as anything. Shot round to the front and grabbed camera. Couldn’t get the angle from my office window. Tried Julie’s office window (also on the front), but no joy… Headed downstairs in dressing gown and into back garden. Pulled wheelie bin out (for small tripod) but still no joy! Opened side gate and plonked tripod on car roof and started taking pictures…. rang Andy’s mobile – no joy, rang house number…. got a pretty vacant “…..heeellloooo…”. I think my curt response went something like…” Andy, it’s me, you need to get your arse outside, Noctilucent clouds..!”
This is a 1 second exposure @ f/2.8. ISO 200, 48mm focal length was shot at 3.30am on Friday morning 6th July 2018
My trusty old full frame Nikon D3 on a small travel tripod, itself sitting on my car roof.
Off the iPhone6…
This entry is more a statement to say we are both still active and interested than a detailed account as we only went outside to observe for about an hour 23:45 on 6/7/2918 to 00:45 on 7/7/2018.
Damian and I observed from my garden in Lichfield using my Orion ten inch Dobsinian with 14 mm Explote Scjrntific eyepiece.
We had good views of: Ring Nebula, Dumbell Nebula, M13, and Saturn, the latter enhanced using my 6mm Ethis eyepiece to give higher magnification.
On a Saturn we could see hints of bands, a shadow of the ring on the planet and the Cassini Division.
Andy and Damian
On Friday evening after RAG, members of the astronomy group were invited to walk down to the Moth Group’s moth-observing area further in the forestry centre. It’s fantastic when scientific groups can share information and experiences. They showed us many beautiful moths but they did not have any examples of this intimate pair which Damian, Ean Ean and I saw on Saturday evening on a walk in Lichfield (the day after RAG) – these two are Six Spotted Burnet moths and were visible in broad daylight – I had not known that was possible until the moth folks told us that some moths were active in the day, and indeed Six-Spotted Burnets are one such species.
The following information comes from https://butterfly-conservation.org/1034-1540/six-spot-burnet.html
Six-Spotted Burnet Moths. Scientific name: Zygaena filipendulae
June – August. All over Britain, mainly coastal in Scotland. Medium-sized black moth with six red, occasionally yellow, spots. Frequents flowery grassland, woodland rides and sandhills.
The only British burnet moth with six red spots on each forewing, although care must be taken with identification, as in some cases the outermost spots can be fused. Rarely the red colour is replaced by yellow.
Flies with a usually slow buzzing flight during sunshine and is attracted to a range of flowers including thistles, knapweeds and scabious.
Size and Family
- Family – Burnets and Foresters (Zygaenids)
- Medium Sized
- UK BAP: Not listed
Particular Caterpillar Food Plants
Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil, but also occasionally on Greater Bird’s-foot Trefoil.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
- The commonest and most widely distributed burnet moth in the UK. Well distributed in England, Wales and Ireland, becoming more coastal in Scotland and found on the Outer Hebrides. Also found on the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
Frequents flowery grasslands, including downland, cliff-edges, woodland rides, roadside verges and sand-dunes
We’re on something of a roll at the moment with ‘sun’ related observations!
Popped out tonight with Julie for a quick evening walk (before Andy comes round and we try again to see the noctilucent clouds) and spotted this sun dog (the other is hiding behind a tree).
Taken with an iPhone6