Celebrating 20 years
since the establishment of the Newcastle Astronomical Society
May you have clear skies!
Welcome to Newcastle Astronomical Society.
As a NAS Member, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Astronomy as well as share your knowledge.
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3 Images above courtesy NAS President David Hough showing designation and nova Nova Cen 2013. Imaged from Wallsend NSW Australia.
Well this is another lesson – always do another set of darks and bias’s because of the unpredictability of the nightscapes sensor? Though I did set the sensor to be a -1 and it was at the same temperature it obviously didn’t have the same hot pixels. This is a stack of 40 x 2min shots, stacked in AFX software for the camera and processed in PI. Imaged from the Doghouse Observatory using a 127ED and Celestron Nightscape OSC from 2:30am through to 4am AEDST.
Calibration of my image is
Center (RA, Dec):
Center (RA, hms):
13h 53m 43.131s
Center (Dec, dms):
|-59° 05′ 56.183″|
66.2 x 50 arcmin
|Orientation:||Up is 83.6 degrees E of N|
|New FITS image:||new-image.fits|
Reference stars nearby (RA,Dec table):
|Stars detected in your images (x,y table):||axy.fits|
|KMZ (Google Sky):||
An amazing discovery this week of a new nova called Nova Centauri 2013 (Nova Cen 2013) was made by observer John Seach based out of Chatsworth Island in New South Wales Australia. The preliminary discovery magnitude for Nova Cen 2013 was magnitude +5.5, just above naked eye visibility from a good dark sky site. Estimates by observers over the past 24 hours place Nova Cen 2013 between magnitudes +4 and +5 “with a bullet,” meaning this one may get brighter still as the week progresses.
Read more and a great animated gif of supernover : http://www.universetoday.com/106932/a-naked-eye-nova-erupts-in-centaurus/#ixzz2mrvUfm1K
PNV J13544700-5909080 2013 12 02.692 * 13 54 47.00 -59 09 08.0 05.5 U Cen 8 9
2013 12 02.692
Possible new nova in Centaurus. Discovered by John Seach, Chatsworth Island, NSW Australia. Instrument DSLR with 50 mm f/1.0 lens. Visible on 6 images, limiting magnitude 11. Nothing visible on image taken with same instrument on November 26.69 UT 2013 limiting magnitude 11. Nothing visible on variable star index, DSS2-red, or minor planet checker.
2013 12 03.621
Low resolution optical spectrum of PNV obtained, with DSLR @ 200mm and Star Analyser grating. Spectrum shows strong Ha & Hb emission lines. Rob Kaufman, White Cliffs, NSW, Australia. Spectrum available here: http://i727.photobucket.com/albums/ww271/Rob_Kau/PNVJ13544700-5909080spectrum03Dec2013.jpg
2013 12 03.6867
Following the posting on the Central Bureau’s Transient Object Confirmation Page about a possible Nova in Cen (TOCP Designation: PNV J13544700-5909080) we performed some follow-up of this object remotely through the 0.50-m f/6.8 astrograph + CCD + focal reducer of ITelescope network (MPC Code Q62 – Siding Spring, AU). On our images taken on December 03.68, 2013 we can confirm the presence of an optical counterpart with unfiltered CCD magnitude ~ 5.0 at coordinates: R.A. = 13 54 45.22, Decl.= -59 09 04.5 (equinox 2000.0; UCAC-3 catalogue reference stars). According to Vizier the nearest star (located at 1.538 arcsecond from this transient) to this position in the USNO-B1.0 catalogue is: USNO-B1.0 0308-0442031 (J2000) 13 54 45.374 -59 09 03.52 mag. B2=15.52 R2 =15.12. An animation showing a comparison between our confirmation image and the archive POSS2/UKSTU plate (R Filter – 1999): http://bit.ly/1bfm4IR – Our confirmation image: http://bit.ly/1cWNPIW – Ernesto Guido, Nick Howes & Martino Nicolini
Launch success sends Chinese Yutu rover to the Moon
Chinese state television broadcast the Chang’e-3 rocket’s successful launch from the Xichang Satellite Launch Centre carrying the Jade Rabbit rover at about 02-Nov-2013 1:30am local time.
The rover’s name Jade Rabbit, or “Yutu”, was chosen in an online poll of 3.4 million voters.
On the 28th November 2013 comet ISON flew through the sun’s atmosphere and appears to have survived….
Nasa said if the comet does break up, this would provide a good opportunity for scientists to look at the insides of a comet and gain a better understanding of its composition. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the comet appeared in the view of the European Space Agency/Nasa mission the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory in the Large Angle and Spectrometric Coronagraph instrument.
“As long as there are pieces there, we’ll see something,” Carey Lisse, senior research scientist atJohns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory said on Tuesday.
Dr Dan Brown, a lecturer in astronomy at Nottingham Trent University, said: “If the comet does survive, it may have a huge and impressively long tail with a brightness that might make it an easy to spot object even with the naked eye”. But if it is very weak, it could also break up into a cloud of dust and be a complete bust for viewing.
Scientists have found a huge, diffuse ring of dust near the orbit of Venus, marking the second time such a structure has been discovered in our solar system.
A huge but diffuse ring of dust near the orbit of Venus is revealed in this surface brightness map compiled using data gathered by NASA’s STEREO-A probe in June 2009. Venus’ orbit is indicated by the black dots; brighter areas show up as red and dimmer ones as blue.
Credit: M.H.Jones / The Open University
The dust ring stretches about 137 million miles (220 million kilometers) from end to end, though it’s just 10 percent denser than the background cloud that pervades interplanetary space and produces the glow known as zodiacal light, researchers said.
“If we could see it unaided from Earth (which of course we can’t because it is far too faint), it would stretch 45 degrees either side of the sun,” study lead author Mark Jones, of The Open University in the United Kingdom.
This new view of Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON)
was taken with the TRAPPIST national telescope at ESO’s La Silla Observatory on the morning of Friday 15 November 2013. Comet ISON was first spotted in our skies in September 2012, and will make its closest approach to the Sun in late November 2013.
TRAPPIST has been monitoring comet ISON since mid-October, using broad-band filters like those used in this image. It has also been using special narrow-band filters which isolate the emission of various gases, allowing astronomers to count how many molecules of each type are released by the comet.
Comet ISON was fairly quiet until 1 November 2013, when a first outburst doubled the amount of gas emitted by the comet. On 13 November, just before this image was taken, a second giant outburst shook the comet, increasing its activity by a factor of ten. It is now bright enough to be seen with a good pair of binoculars from a dark site, in the morning skies towards the East. Over the past couple of nights, the comet has stabilised at its new level of activity.
These outbursts were caused by the intense heat of the Sun reaching ice in the tiny nucleus of the comet as it zooms toward the Sun, causing the ice to sublimate and throwing large amounts of dust and gas into space. By the time ISON makes its closest approach to the Sun on 28 November (at only 1.2 million kilometres from its surface — just a little less than the diameter of the Sun!), the heat will cause even more ice to sublimate. However, it could also break the whole nucleus down into small fragments, which would completely evaporate by the time the comet moves away from the Sun’s intense heat. If ISON survives its passage near the Sun, it could then become spectacularly bright in the morning sky.
The image is a composite of four different 30-second exposures through blue, green, red, and near-infrared filters. As the comet moved in front of the background stars, these appear as multiple coloured dots.
TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is devoted to the study of planetary systems through two approaches: the detection and characterisation of planets located outside the Solar System (exoplanets), and the study of comets orbiting around the Sun. The 60-cm national telescope is operated from a control room in Liège, Belgium, 12 000 km away.
26 October 2013
ESA’s supply and support ferry ATV Albert Einstein has served the International Space Station faithfully since it was launched from Europe’s spaceport in French Guiana in June. Its mission comes to an end next week when it undocks on Monday and enters Earth’s atmosphere five days later.
Albert Einstein is the fourth in the series of ESA’s Automated Transfer Vehicles that delivers supplies to the Station, reboosts its orbit and frees up space on the orbital outpost when it undocks with waste.
This year, the ATV team has planned a special departure. After undocking at 09:00 GMT on 28 October, Albert Einstein will be instructed by ATV Control Centre in Toulouse, France to perform delicate manoeuvres over the course of five days to position itself directly below the Station.
Controllers will start the reentry procedure around noon GMT 2 November when ATV-4 is 120 km below the Station – so astronauts will observe the craft from above as it disintegrates over the Pacific Ocean. This procedure will provide valuable information to calibrate future spacecraft reentries.
Watch the undocking live and follow ATV’s final moments with updates as they happen on ESA’sATV blog.
The Expedition 37 crew onboard the station closed the hatch and said goodbye to ATV-4 “Albert Einstein” cargo ship on Oct. 28. The ATV-4 resupply vehicle arrived at the station in mid-June, delivering more than 7 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew and . It will undock from the complex on Oct. 28 and will be deorbited Nov. 2 for a destructive entry back into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. View on youtube….