Archive for January, 2009

Dave Parker has created a new look for the New Forest Observatory galleries.  To view these – first of all make sure you are seated!  Now download Cool Iris www.cooliris.com Now go to the images section and open up the nebula pages.  O.K. brace yourself – now click on the text Pic Lens!!!  Grab and drag the blue lights in the grey rectangle at the bottom to scroll through the images.  Click on an image for full screen mode (you may need to wait a few seconds for it to load).  Wow!  Thanks Dave – what a rush 🙂

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The Astronomy Group at the University of Southampton will be holding an International Year of Astronomy event on 1st April 2009 at the University.  Yours truly will be giving a lecture on “Deep-Sky Imaging from the New Forest Observatory” at 7:00 p.m. and there will be telescopes available (weather permitting) for imaging and observing.

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 Read about the amateur astronomer Percy B Molesworth written by Nalaka Gunawardene, research assistant to Arthur C Clarke for over 20 years.  Nalaka has kindy allowed NFO to host this article for your viewing.  Percy B Molesworth operated out of Sri Lanka and gets a mention in Arthur C Clarke’s final publication (with Frederik Pohl) “The Last Theorem”.

Download The Percy B Molesworth Story Version 1

Click the download icon to download a PDF version of the article

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Noel Carboni has applied for a passport renewal, meaning that it looks like he’ll be attending the Star Vistas book signing at AstroFest 2009 on Saturday February 7th.  This is quite likely the only time in the near future that we will get together to sign Star Vistas, so if you would like a rather unique copy of Star Vistas, signed by BOTH authors, get along to this event 🙂

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With the odd clear hour here and there, plus an intrusive Moon, it has been cluser time for the beginning of January.  Noel has just finished processing M36 in Auriga, and this image unexpectedly threw up a bonus object – NGC1931, the little emission nebula off to the right.  Looking this up in planetarium software I saw that NGC1931 was associated with a much bigger region of emission nebulosity – IC417, so I have been busy imaging this one in the breaks between the clouds.  3-hours of not very good data so far, so a bit more to get yet before it’s worth processing.

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Not long to go now for the International Year of Astronomy AstroFest conference at South Kensington – February 6th & 7th.  Springer are pulling out all the stops to get copies of Star Vistas to AstroFest on time for a book signing.  Keep visiting this site for the latest news on this forthcoming event.  I intend to be at AstroFest 2009 on both days, so if you are planning to attend, just come up and say hello 🙂

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 Noel has just processed this recent image taken in Orion.  A nice little open cluster, which sits in the centre of this frame.

Zoom in on the cluster and you will see that unlike the Douglas Adams prediction whe answer is not in fact 42, but it is actually 37!!!!!!!!  The Universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine 🙂

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The New Forest Observatory web site hit some technical difficulties yesterday, I hope you now find us back once again in good condition 🙂

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Hey!  Looks like we got today’s EPOD with the deeeeeeeep Coathanger Cluster image 🙂  Thank you Jim at EPOD for publishing this one!

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Being January, Orion once again is the obvious choice for deep-sky imaging.  But how about some deep-sky imaging with a difference?  What about some infrared imaging?  Silicon-based CCD detectors will detect photons up to 1um in wavelength, although the efficiency of CCDs drops to near zero at this long wavelength.  Deep red extends to around 6900 Angstrom or 690 nm or if you prefer 0.69 um.  So a filter that only transmits beyond say 720 nm would be useful in deep-sky imaging as an infrared filter for your Silicon CCD imager. Read the rest of this entry »

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