Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Murphy's Law

My imaging efforts to date have used webcams, and I do intend at some point to continue this imaging.  However, I was really looking forward to doing  some imaging with a Nikon D40.  Nikons are not built with astroimaging in mind, but I have seen some excellent results with the D40.  Today, thanks to an act of great generosity, I received a T-adapter and Nikon lens mount adapter.  I was looking forward to doing some solar work, and, until yesterday, the weather seemed as if it would cooperate with at least partially sunny skies.  However, a line of storms moved through throughout the night in anticipation of the arrival of this equipment.  The result is that it is likely to be cloudy for the rest of the week.  Anyone who has bought a new telescope is well aware of the "5 days of cloud" curse.  But to have the same ill-luck when a camera adapter arises argues that the powers that control these things have lost their sense of proportion!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sunspot 1130

Saturday, Nov. 27 was clear and a beautiful day for observing.  I set up the ETX-90 to do a little direct observation.  Unfortunately, not a spot in sight.  I note that sunspot 1130, currently near the center of the sun's disk, is developing rapidly and is becoming quite an active area.  Unfortunately there is a solid overcast today, with rain and thunderstorms expected tonight.  However, it looks as if the sun might make an appearance tomorrow and I'll take a stab at imaging 1130 if I can see it. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Coronal Hole

Solar wind is streaming from a coronal hole and buffeting the earth's magnetic field.  A high-latitude auroral alert has been issued.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Quiet Sun

The earth facing part of the sun is currently quiet.  Active regions 1126 and 1127 are not active sources of flares.  However, on the far side of the sun, there are a number of active regions (5 or so), so there's something to look forward to.  Skies continue obstinately cloudy here in Indiana, so I've been unable to do any imaging.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Early Pix

Imaged on 9/27/00 @ 11:20 UT. Equipment was ETX90RA, Quickcam VC Captured with Vega 1.1; processed with AstroStack; tweaked with Photodeluxe. Each image is a composite of 25 BMPs. These are prime focus images--no barlow or eyepiece projection was used.  The pinkish coloring was a common artifact of the Quickcam.  My aim is to move to the next level and capture better images.

What this blog is about

Notes from a Small Observatory is a blog about my work as an amateur astronomer.  My main interests are Solar, Lunar and Planetary observing and imaging.  I'll post observations, images, and news items of interest here; I'll also talk about the tools I use and the challenges involved in observations and imaging.