Archive for April, 2009

We have now acquired 50% of the entirely new image portfolio for inclusion in Star Vistas II 🙂  I estimate that the full set of images for the next publication will be completed late 2009, early 2010.  If you liked SVI, then SVII will really impress you!

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Sir Patrick Moore hosted one of his legendary St. George’s Day parties from his Selsey home.  The camera-shake was real as he wielded his Sword of St. George with a little too much enthusiasm 🙂

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I’ve been kicking my heels waiting for a clear night since hearing of the new supernova in NGC 4088 a few days back.  By some miracle I have a clear Moonless night tonight (18th April 2009) and I’m locked on and imaging the supernova which is still pretty bright and obvious.  Will try to get at least a couple of hours on this, weather permitting, just so I have it for the records.  A couple of other small galaxies can be seen within the 2.4 x 1.6 degree field of view, but apart from NGC 4088 and the supernova it is a pretty uninteresting region at first sight (might find more hidden in there when processed).

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The talk at Southampton University on 1st April went very well, and the few copies of Star Vistas that I brought along sold out 🙂

Tomorrow I will be on a local radio station – I have no idea what the format will be – tune in from 8:00 until 9:00 a.m. if you want to hear what happens.

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From deep-space images back to inner space images once again!  Just found this in the shed this afternoon and had to take a macro of it:

A wasp’s nest, with the honeycomb region about half an inch across.  Amazingly beautiful structure crafted in paper 🙂

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It does look like an artificial grouping of stars to make up the number 37 – but the group of stars at the centre of this image are for real and clearly show the number 37, proving Douglas Adams although very close with 42 – was actually slightly out.  The 37 cluster is today’s Earth Science Picture of the Day (APOD) – thank you Jim for a good choice of image on this April Fool’s Day.  The 37 cluster can be found residing in the constellation Orion.

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This month’s imaging object is a star – but a rather special star of course – it is La Superba, one of the redest stars in the sky and it resides in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs).  La Superba (Gamma Canum Venaticorum) is a semi-regular variable star, it is also a Carbon star and at a temperature of around 2800K it is one of the coldest true stars known.  La Superba is therefore a pretty unique object and highly worthy of our attention.  La Superba may, or may not be in your telescope’s “go to” database – if it isn’t you will need the co-ordinates which are R.A. 12h 45m 07.83s Dec. +45 26′ 24.92”.  You won’t need particularly long subs as La Superba will be between magnitude +4.8 and +6.3 – but it is certainly worth getting as many subs as you can to obtain a nice smooth image.

Wishing you clear April skies and the opportunity to get some great data on this unique object!

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