Angella Rodgers

Museum of the Moon installation in Derby Cathedral

Thanks to a tip off  at RAG on Friday we went on Saturday to Derby to see the Museum of the Moon installation in Derby Cathedral. It was an amazing amd moving experience. It is still on for a few more days, and is well worth a visit. Further details can be found at this link – http://www.derbycathedral.org/about-us/what-s-on/478-museum-of-the-moon.html

Angella and Alan

Trip to Jodrell Bank radio observatory 4/9/2019

Angella and Alan from RAG took me today to Jodrell Bank. We were accompanied by another of their neighbours and friend, Liam.

Jodrell Bank houses the Lovell Telescope (Mark I) and other radio telescopes and was the brain child of Sir Bernard Lovell.

I remember last visiting the site as part of a RAG trip around 10 years ago and following the planet trail (a scale model of solar system that involves running around trying to find the planets at scale distances from the Mark I telescope) with my son Rhys, who must have been around 6 at the time.

The activities available for visitors have increased significantly since then and more are planned for the future with a new visitor building about to be built.

Andy

Making base for HEQ5/EQ6 Andy & Alan+Angella from RAG 3/9/2019

Now that I am doing astrophotography, it is important that I create stable, mobile base to allow me to roll the mount in and out of the log cabin. The more that can remain set-up between sessions, the easier it will be to image – especially important in the UK as weather liable to deteriorate again quickly.

Angella & Alan came around today and helped me build a fantastic base – thanks Angella & Alan!

Andy

Microscopy of diatom in water from canal @ Samuel Barlow @ Alvecote

Alan and Angella took me out for lunch to the Samuel Barlow @ Alvecote – a lovely little pub next to the canal. Before we left, we took a water sample from the canal. The sample proved to be relatively sterile – I suspect due to oil from the multiple boats in local marina.

Andy

On analysing the specimen, this diatom could be seen, viewed through my Zeiss IM35 microscope. I concentrated the specimen first using a centrifuge. Otherwise the following are live unstained views. Colours on the diatom are due to refraction as the organism’s shell is crenulated, refracting light, and has depth making it impossible to focus precisely upon it, worse when magnification increased.

 

Photo x20 objective:

Photo x32 objective:

Video (various objectives):

https://youtu.be/HMyUq8tKuuw

https://youtu.be/QveTzCODOSM

 

Spectroscopy of Vega, Polaris and Deneb with Angella, Alan and Chris Ford 28-29/5/2019

Angela, Alan and Chris Ford came to my house tonight and did a brilliant job calibrating CCDSPEC spectrometer on Equinox Pro 80mm, and hand guiding it to obtain three spectra. Amazing for first ever try!

Andy

The team (Chris Ford, Angella, Alan, Andrew):

Angella controls the imaging software while Alan hand guides the scope:

Calibrating the CCDSPEC (Angella, Alan and Chris):

The image below taken with Samsung S7 phone hand held at eyepiece of CCDSPEC spectrometer shows compact fluorescent bulb with spectrometer slit and cross-hairs of illuminated eyepiece:

Compact fluorescent bulb spectrum:

Compact fluorescent bulb spectrum profile in RSPEC after calibration (after calibration shows angstroms of wavelength rather than pixels on x-axis):

Angella used the following graph to calibrate the spectrum of the compact fluorescent bulb – it shows known wavelengths of specific lines in the length (prepared using data in Wikipedia):

Vega (Angella and Alan) – the profile showing the Vega spectrum compared to that of reference library A0V spectrum shows close match with hydrogen Balmer lines:

Polaris (Angella and Alan) – much fainter and more difficult to obtain high quality spectrum tonight – nevertheless some significant lines can be seen to match on the rather noisy spectrum obtained tonight:

Deneb (Angella and Alan):

 

VideoPad

Thanks to Ed for bringing VideoPad to our attention at begginners’ RAG group. His super demonstration showed how useful it was. It was clear that this is a good replacement for the much lamented MovieMaker. I went home and tried out the free version. As ever with video software it is a bit tricky, especially when trying to make changes to something you have already done. I went back and inserted a title and then had to shuffle the clips to fill in the gap. Still I was delighted to be able to crop the clips and make a compilation.

I’m afraid my first attempt is not astronomical. Still you might want to see how it turned out. It is at – https://www.flickr.com/photos/belgrave-lakes/42912750590/in/datetaken-public/ . I now know that using the typewriter effect for the title is not good, as it makes for a blank preview image. To hook people in I would have been better with no title at all. Still it did what I wanted to.

So far I’ve not been nagged about upgrading to the paid version, but I am so pleased with it that I think I will do that eventually. I’m looking forward to trying out other features.

Thanks again to Ed for suggesting this software. I look forward to reading anybody else’s comments and tips when they have had a chance to try it out. I’ll let you know when I’ve done something a little more RAG orientated 🙂

Angella