Andrew Thornett

Adding anti-slip rubber sheet of Ed Mann’s battery pack

Ed Mann built a fantastic battery pack for several members of RAG including myself. These packs are based around a 75AH leisure battery and provide 12V and 230V outputs abd plenty of juice to power anything we need in the field from mounts to laptops.

However they are quite heavy. To help with transpirt i purchased a Homebase foldable sack truck.

There was still a problem left – the battery pack is housed in a plastic box that tends to slip on the sack truck and fall off. Bungy cords provided part of the solution and today I added the second aspect: I glued 3mm rubber sheet to the bottom of the battery pack and now it will never slip again! To acheive this, I had to empty the battery box first before I coukd turn the box over, but I got there eventually and aI am pleased with the result.

Andy

 

Peter Bolas Lecture 2018 – Dr. Braddock astronaut space science 19/10/2018

The subject for last evening’s Peter Bolas Lecture was definitely a change for RAG. Those of you who were able to join us enjoyed a comprehensive and very thought provoking presentation by an active Scientist, based in Cambridge, who was extremely generous with sharing both his time and knowledge. Dr. Braddock had the skill of all successful Speakers – to be able to explain extremely complex concepts in a very simple and easily understood manner.

Dr Braddock is also very generous with his information, and we learnt a great deal about the science behind human existence in space.

Martin has agreed to return to us some time in the future with a different focus.

Andy

 

Notes on DADOS Calibration Lamp from Baader Planetarium Website

The following explains why the light kept switching on and off when Lee and I changed the plug at RAG mid-monthly meeting last Friday!

It also explains the black ring under the lamp – this appears to be so that it can fit over 2 inch end of a spectrograph – will it do same on my CCDSPEC?

Andy

 

Notes on DADOS Calibration lamp

The Neon calibration lamp only shines in the dark due to a twilight switch. So incidence of extraneous light while taking spectra of this Neon lamp is avoided. Please fix the Neon lamp with its adapter directly at the 2 inch entrance of the DADOS spectrograph to focus DADOS and to take reference spectra. The brightness of this Neon lamp is adequate in this configuration.

However, the lamp is too faint to be used in front of a telescope. The visually perceived color “Neon red” is a quite unique color between dark-orange and light-red due to the spectral distribution of the emission lines.

Video from International Astronomy Show 2018 (12-13 October 2018)

This is video from the International Astronomy Show in Stoneleigh Park 12-13/10/2018.

Andy

Video from IAS 2018:

https://youtu.be/oo4wl7fMU0U

Other posts on the International Astronomy Show 2018 with photos and impressions on the event:

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day One 12/10/2018: Talks & Impressions

International Astronomy Show 2018 Day One – 12/10/2018: Photos of vendor displays

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day Two 13/10/2018

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day Two 13/10/2018

Rhys and I came back to the International Astronomy Show today on day two. I attended yesterday but this was his first visit this year.

This follows on from Geoff’s and my posts from yesterday:

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day One 12/10/2018: Talks & Impressions

International Astronomy Show 2018 Day One – 12/10/2018: Photos of vendor displays

See also video from day two:

Video from International Astronomy Show 2018 (12-13 October 2018)

Rhys and I opted to attend two talks – one by David Bryant and another by Allan Chapman.

David’s talk was a fascinating exploration of different types of meteorites and their history.

 

International Astronomy Show 2018 Day One – 12/10/2018: Photos of vendor displays

Below are some photos from the vendor displays at the International Astronony Show 12/10/2018, which Geoff Dryland and myself visited.

This post follows on from the following post:

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day One 12/10/2018: Talks & Impressions

Once you have read today’s post, you may also like to read the post from day two of the International Astronomy Show this year:

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day Two 13/10/2018

See also video from the show at:

Video from International Astronomy Show 2018 (12-13 October 2018)

Andy

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day One 12/10/2018: Talks & Impressions

Geoff Dryland and myself arrived early to meet Pete Hill, Ed Mann and Terry for the start of the first day of this year’s International Astronomy Show at Stoneleigh Park just south of Coventry around 4 miles beyond Warwick University. This annual show lasts two days and is located just southeast of Birmingham in the middle of the UK.

Plenty of space allows vendors to expand the area occupied by their stalls  in the display hall and to therefore display far more stuff than in some other astronomy conferences.The talks as always were great. Today we booked for all 5 speakers, thereby leaving us with limited time for looking at the vendors. I sm back here with Rhys tomorrow and he and I can then spend more time exploring the stalls.

The first talk was on creating simulations of the universe by a professor fron Nottingham. This was an unexpectedly excellent talk and even included information in free software to generate your own universe simulation on a Linux machine called Gadget – anyone can download this so let me know if you want the link. I think i am going to dowload it myself and give it a go……

The second talk was on Astrophotography. The speaker recommends Sequence Generator Pro and Straton software. He gave lots of detail on his photo processing techniques but my own lack of pre-existing knowledge of the area snd poor acoustics in the room meant most of it went over my head.

Next talk was about commercialisation and resource utilisation of space. Another really interesting and unusual topic with information that changed my perspective on the subject.

Meanwhile Ed had bought the lowest profile 2″ to 1.25″ adapter I have ever seen and Terry a Baader zoom eyepiece. Both purchases were bargains, so well done to both for spotting those!

Ed then came back with a planetarium projector of his very own…..see photo below where Terry interogates the new device…..take me to your leader!

There followed a talk on Exomars and finding life on Mars. For me this was most interesting talk of day with lots of detail on evolution of Mars over 3.8 billion years and bringing it right up to date with recent scientific papers.

The last talk of the day was another excellent discussion, this time around the solar wind.

Each talk was nearly one hour – much longer than those at Astrofest- so giving a chance to get far more under the service of a topic.

This was a great set of lectures. Definitely worth attending the conference! Only spent about 15 mins at stalls during the day and further half hour at end of day but tomorrow I am hoping to take more time to look at those with my son.

Photos below from talks and a couple vendors.

More photos from the vendors today can be seen st:

International Astronomy Show 2018 Day One – 12/10/2018: Photos of vendor displays

Rhys and I attended day two and photos and thoughts from that visit can be seen here:

International Astronomy Show 2018 – Day Two 13/10/2018

See also video from day two of the show at:

Video from International Astronomy Show 2018 (12-13 October 2018)

Andy

 

Using the “subtract background” function in RSPEC Software to bring the baseline down towards zero on Altair spectrum from 10/10/2018

Following my recent post:

Attempt to generate instrument response curve in RSPEC software for CCDSPEC using Altair spectrum from 10/10/2018

Peter Hill asked me whether I had used the “subtract background” option in RSPEC to bring the baseline down towards zero on the spectrum – I had not done it and did not know what to do so I looked it up and here is the difference it makes……(below)

A dramatic improvement! Thanks Pete for the advice!

Andy

WITHOUT the “subtract background” feature being used (below):

WITH the “subtract background” feature being used (below):