I have recently been contacted by the editor for a magazine entitled "The Classroom Astronomer" about writing an article discussing how DSLR cameras can be used in the classroom. The magazine is geared towards secondary and undergraduate teachers who have an interest in astronomy. The article is suppose to answer two primary questions:
- What you can do with a DSLR Camera
- Why you should use it in the classroom
Well folks, the end is near: third contact arguably arrived 2 weeks earlier than predicted - sometime during late Feb, early March**. We've seen a rise from V ~ 3.75 then, to V ~3.55 last night according to several observers. At this rate, ~50 milli-mag per week (0.050 mag/week), we will climb to out of eclipse level, V ~ 3.0, during April and May.
**Caution: there is a chance, albeit small, that we are being fooled by one of those out of eclipse variations that can add/subtract up to 0.1 mag to brigthness trends, so careful watch is still needed.Read more
Mark your calendars: members from the DSLR Documentation and Reduction team will be hosting a second chat on Saturday, March 19 at 11:00 AM Eastern. If you have questions about using your DSLR camera for photometry, or any portion of our tutorials please plan to attend.
Although the chat has since ended, you can read the PDF transcript here. We look forward to seeing you at our next chat!
Observers are reporting a slight increase in brightness during these final 2 weeks until PREDICTED "third contact" (March 19, 2011) - signaling the end of total phase of this long, long eclipse.
When two spherical stars of unequal size eclipse, there is a moment when one star is inside but in tangential contact - like the end of a total lunar eclipse, when the moon emerges from the darker part (umbra) of the earth's shadow. We can this moment the Third Contact - see attached figure.
However, epsilon Aurigae differs from the classical model in at least 2 respects:
1. the two "stars" aren't simple spheres - the eclipser is an elongated disk, and,
2. egress seems to happen twice as fast as ingress.Read more
The Southern Gems team is at it again. This time they have released a Portugese translation of their 11-Star Tutorial for the Southern Hemisphere. Thanks to Jonatas Ramos and Marcelo Souza, who did the translation. And also to team leader Joan for continuing their great work.