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My Main Telescope - C14 and Paramount ME

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Skywatcher Star Adventurer Mount with Canon 40D


My Solar setup using a DSLR and Mylar Filter on my ETX90

DSLR attached to ETX90. LiveView image of 2015 partial eclipse on Canon 40D

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 I try to log my observing and related activities in a regular blog - sometimes there will be a delay but I usually catch up. An index of all my blogs is on the main menu at the top of the page with daily, weekly or monthly views. My Twitter feed is below. I am also interested in photograping wildlife when I can and there is a menu option above to look at some of my images. I try to keep the news feeds from relevant astronomical sources up to date and you will need to scroll down to find these.

The Celestron 14 is mounted on a Paramount ME that I have been using for about 10 years now - you can see that it is mounted on a tripod so is a portable set up. I still manage to transport it on my own and set it all up even though I have just turned 70! It will run for hours centering galaxies in the 12 minute field even when tripod mounted.


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« Day 45 How much dark time in the summer in Almeria? | Main | Day 43 Skychart download and Messier galaxies »

Day 44 A Lunar Eclipse from 2001 and today's observations of Variable Star V 0552 Auriga

Outside my front door today I was lucky enough to bump into the Norwegian author George Manus who kindly provided me with signed copies of two of his books. Browsing throught them briefly today I noted an astronomical observation made from Cabrera on January 9th 2001. This was a total lunar eclipse. I used my "time machine" to go back and run through the eclipse. Here is the simulation of the Moon part way through the eclipse courtesy of Software Bisque "The SkyX". The time was 18:14 U.T. when the Earth's shadow was part way across the Moon as in the image.


At 22:27 U.T. the shadow was half way en route to the end of the eclipse.

If you can get hold of "Thoughts and Events - The first 51 days in 2001" then it is worth reading the whole section to see the background to the observation by George Manus.

The other book is "Reflections" by George Manus.

Another clear evening and I decided to try to monitor a variable star with a very short period of less than 2 hours. I had managed previously to image BL Cam the rapidly varying star in Camelopardalis the Giraffe. From a sequence of images I was able to generate the light curve for this star:

This star has a period of 0.0391 of a day which is about 56 minutes.

Tonight's target is V0552 Auriga which was chosen because it also has a short period - 0.0609 days which corresponds to about 88 minutes.

The AAVSO provides a locating chart for the variable as shown below.

Variable Star V0552 Auriga


This is my 15 second image as a negative. Note also the presence of another variable star VV Auriga.

This variable star has a period slightly longer than 88 minutes - about 425 days!

When I started to develop a light curve I realised that the SNR - Signal to Noise Ratio was insufficent so I need to reimage this object with a longer exposure - making sure I do not saturate comparison and check stars. To be continued.....