Archive for the “News” Category

I don’t know who kicked this meme off, but some dipstick Journalist ignorant in the history of astronomy started it a couple of years back, and successive dipstick Journalists have carried on being lazy and simply copying this crap.

What has annoyed me this time?  Vera Rubin DID NOT “discover” Dark Matter in the 1970s by observing anomalous star movements in galaxies.

The person who DID first discover Dark Matter by applying the virial theorem  to star motions in galaxies was in fact Fritz Zwicky who did this work way back in 1933.  He even called the unseen matter in the Coma galaxy cluster – dunkle Materie – Dark Matter.

I was incensed to see the BBC propagating this Vera Rubin myth in the recent 60th Anniversary Sky at Night, and they actually got back to me with an answer as to why they did this.

They kindly brought it to my attention that as this was a look over the last 60 years of astronomy, and as Vera Rubin was working in the 70s, then that’s why Zwicky didn’t get a mention.

What?  So if they knew that Zwicky was the real discoverer in 1933, why mention Vera Rubin at all?  What did she actually bring that was new to the party?

I’ll let you come to your own conclusions on that one.

 

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If you would like to discuss courses, either existing or one tailor made for you, or you would like to discuss image purchasing, then please contact me on:

                                                                                                greg@newforestobservatory.com 

 

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A 22-degree lunar halo taken last night (09/03/2017) at 8:20 p.m.

Lovely view of Orion too.

Red flashing light photobombing the image was a military helicopter which was tailing another military helicopter that had NO LIGHTS showing!!

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As a month has now gone past, I have just this minute ordered another 4 x Xeon 2.93GHz hex-core CPUs for the DELL PowerEdge C6100 quad node server.  So when they arrive and are put in I will have 4 dual processor nodes number crunching the primes.

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Peter Rusling has also used one of the Amazon supplied light panels for taking flats.  He says:

“I’ve bought one of these excellent panels and thought I’d share that the light USB L4S version will mount safely on a £15 articulated TV arm in an obsy using Velcro. This allows me to position it up against either of my scopes and has the added bonus of providing an observatory light (albeit white) when stowed against the wall.”

A picture of Peter’s setup is shown below.

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It was a spectacular display of the Perseids last night – and unbelievably the persistent thin high cloud disappeared shortly after 11 p.m. leaving completely clear skies – and after 12:30 a.m. they were Moonless skies as well!  Out of 220 images taken with the Canon 5D MkII and Canon 15mm fisheye lens, 27 images had meteors – and the colourful Perseid below was the best image of the evening.  Possibly the best Perseid evening I have ever witnessed.

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Having swapped out the Master Computer and mucked around a bit with Sky 90(1) I had some clear sky last night to take some test shots to see what needs fine tuning.  This image is just 12 x 5-minute subs with the array.  I now know that I need to very slightly flatten the Sky 90(1) chip and I need to re-align Sky 90(2) and Sky 90(3) to Sky 90(1).  Then the Sky 90 array will be ready for the new season.  The Canon 200mm DSLR array is of course fine and needs no attention!!  I wish now that I had built the whole array out of Canon 200mm lenses – live and learn 🙂

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From 05/08/2016 Canon 15mm fisheye lens and Canon 5D MkII DSLR.

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I have recently finished the Second Edition of the Springer publication “Making Beautiful Deep-Sky Images” and it has been sent off to them to make bookworthy.  Springer then sends me back the draft (with all the page numbers) and I then have the final (mind-destroying) job of putting the Index together.  You will see the new 2nd Edition in the shops next year (I’ll let you know when) and if you have the 1st Edition, there’s enough new stuff in the 2nd Edition (including completely new chapters, and completely re-written old chapters) to warrant raiding your wallets for a second time.  The biggest change you will see on the front cover is the removal of the sub-title “Astrophotography with Affordable Equipment and Software” – with a chapter dedicated to the New Forest Observatory mini-WASP Array – some of the equipment is now anything but affordable.

 

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