Friday, February 19, 2010

Imaging Course at Thunder Bay Observatory

More Internet research produced this link to Thunder Bay Observatory there I found the header Astronomical Imaging Course Spring 2010. After reading over the course description off went an email to "astrorandy." This site could be just what we need, we have to learn it all, not only CCD imaging but observatory start up and shutdown, telescope setup and operation this site could even save us from damaging our scope during set up. Randy's reply email was very positive, he will get back to us as more people sign up and he seemed excited to hear about our observatory and also asked if we want to collaborate on projects. One project he suggested is the All Sky 24/7 sky cam, this system is used by mutable observatory's to triangulate objects to determine speed and direction. Jim and I had previously discussed getting involved in research,and our understanding is that a properly set up observatory flows data like water and the more people with access to this data the better.

Other then that, just more research and reading, Jim sent 1/2 the books my way so the highlighter and reading glasses are back at work. As a true beginner I have found Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series to be very helpful.

I knew two thing about astronomy at the start of this project
1. Astronomer's do it
2. Look in the small end of the telescope

I have looked at the moon through a kids telescope on a wood tripod and have a few star charts in the pontoon boat where my wife and I actually at times think we know what were looking at, so with that little astronomy background I get a ton of information out of every book I pick up.

I also have started watching this Clear Sky Chart from the BWCA

You can view the full page at:
Clear Sky Chart
Legend Page
Spend some time on this page and it will show you how to read the chart. It also has some great links for stars and weather. You might also enjoy the Clear Sky Home Page, it's a very funny and informative read "run by those very cool guys at the Canadian Meteorological Center". We will sign up for our own Murmur Creek Observatory Clear Sky Chart later this spring.

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