While there has been some discussion about using a DSLR camera for photometry, and there will be a Workshop devoted to it, those with DSLR cameras may also find using them for spectroscopy an interesting and rewarding challenge.
During the first Workshop in Chicago, part of the Workshop will be devoted to low resolution spectroscopy using a DSLR camera with a Star Analyser spectrograph ($200). As with DSLR photometry, no modifications are needed for the camera, save a means of attaching the Star Analyser (easy). You can even do it on a tripod without a telescope.Read more
Finally some real data! On 6/23/09 we were fortunate to get a photometric morning and could begin to measure J & H band fluxes of stars in broad daylight - including alpha Cet, alpha Tau, alpha Aur and epsilon Aur - marginally in the latter case at first pass, but we will try to improve on the statistics in the coming week. The high altitude location helps darken the daytime sky.
The Hopkins Phoenix Observatory will be presenting two workshops on Friday, August 7. One will be on spectroscopy of epsilon Aurigae and the other on Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera photometry of epsilon Aurigae.
The spectroscopy workshop will provide an introduction to spectroscopy. There will be a discussion on what spectroscopy can be done with a minimum amount of equipment and expense. For those people wishing more, a review of the Lhires III spectrograph and its use for high resolution spectroscopy with some tips and tricks will be presented. Spectroscopy is exciting and easier than you may think.
Our second week showed some progress. We put both the SSP4 near-IR photometer and the FLIR mid-IR camera on scope, but we frustrated by the continued unsettled weather - see image. It's hard to go much IR work with clouds constantly in the way. However, a drying trend is forecast for the coming week, and eps is starting to move away from the sun's glare, so fingers crossed. We're still hopeful to be among the first to obtain new season eps Aur data prior to eclipse.
This weekend marks both the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of France that changed the course of World War II, and the time of the year when the Sun and epsilon Aurigae are at their closest approach (minimum angular separation, 21 degrees). Both were and are difficult periods, but for both, conditions gradually improved. So it will be for observing epsilon Aurigae as it becomes an increasingly prominent morning star just as eclipse begins in August. If you are fortunate to see Capella and the Kids rising in the next 2 months, memorize the brightness of epsilon relative to eta and zeta - it's about to change.Read more
Science isn't done in a vacuum. In addition to the famous "standing on the shoulder of giants" analogy, science is also collaborative. This is becoming even more so as scientists specialize in narrower fields and the Internet makes communication much more efficient. My latest paper in the Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific had 22 coauthors! There are many different phases of this project and each takes a different skill set. Some people can do it all alone, but most people will want to share the load with others.
Citizen Sky is a big project with big ambitions and asking big questions. I'd like to take a few posts and outline what Citizen Sky is and is not. In this first post I'll describe the plans for training.
Citizen Sky is a three-year project with two goals. The science goal is to gather data and ideas from citizen scientists to help unravel the mystery of epsilon Aurigae. The education goal is to involve citizen scientists in authentic scientific research and make them real scientists. Participants are not helping scientists, they are scientists.
So we want participants to experience all phases of the scientific process. This begins with training ...Read more