Category Archives: Observing

nPAE – Precision Astro Engineering Astrophotography Competition

Greetings, fellow astrophiles – the following made its way into our email inbox recently. For interested parties, details are below:

Northern Hemisphere Objects

For our next competition we are asking you to show us your favourite Northern Hemisphere object. Send us your best astrophotography images for a chance to win £300 (~$400)

1st Prize: £300 or $400 cash
2nd Prize: Theia90 Diagonal
3rd Prize: £50 nPAE discount voucher

The competition is free to enter and open to all budding astro photographers and group entries are also welcome. The closing date for submission is 31st March 2019 with the winner announced May 1st. So get set up, snapping, stacking and processing! Photos can be of any Northern Hemisphere astro object. Participants can enter a maximum of 2 photos and the images must be new, taken specifically for the competition.

Submit your entries by copying and pasting the following information into an email and send it to competition@npae.net

  • Your name
  • Title of your Astro photo
  • Equipment used
  • Imaging Target
  • Digital processing methods employed (if any)
  • I confirm that the submitted image was taken specifically for the purpose of this competition.
  • Delete as appropriate: I consent to nPAE sending me information about future nPAE products and services / I do not consent to nPAE sending me information about future nPAE products and services

The winner will be announced on the 1st May 2019. Full details, terms and conditions can be found here.

CNYO/SAS Joint Scope Clinic At The Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville, 11 November 2017

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

And apologies for the short notice. To the titles of “SAS treasurer” and “lecturer”, our own Dr. Dave Wormuth will be adding “lead clinician” to his local astronomy outreach profile at the Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville tomorrow morning from 10:30 to noon (event page can be found HERE).

Community Library of DeWitt & Jamesville google map. Click to make directions.

Scope or no scope, these clinics can be very insightful. If you have a scope and still haven’t mastered it yet, such opportunities are perfect for some hands-on advanced topics when it’s bright enough to see what you’re doing! If you’ve barely picked off the pieces of styrofoam from your newly-acquired scope, this is your chance to save many hours of frustration – and to make some cellphone vids to remember how to set it back up when you get it home. And if you don’t yet own a scope and are thinking about making the dive into your first piece of optics, these clinics can be very useful for helping you decide what *not* to get.

The event is free, for all ages, and open to the public (as all good library events are)!

T-2 Years? The Anticipated Fizzle-Out Of The Iridium Flares – Do Not Take Them For Granted!

Greetings, fellow astrophiles!

The following thoroughly depressing link was sent off – with a specific mention of the possibly extra-short future of the Iridium Flares many of us enjoy observing at night – by Kopernik member (and celebrity volunteer! – featured in a great article last month readable at pressconnects.com) George Normandin earlier this year. We’ve potentially lost 7 months already from the possible countdown with this approximate-ish late post to the CNYO site (my bad).

Iridium satellite #6 (upper) and its replacement, #51, flaring 6 seconds apart in a 21.4-second exposure. The bright object on the right is Jupiter. Arcturus is the bright star at about the 7 o’clock position. Spica is just out of view in the lower right. The satellites were moving left to right. Image by Jud McCranie.

For the record, the bbc.com article title was a little less dramatic than the also excellent nationalgeographic.com and spaceflightnow.com articles about the same.

From the article at bbc.com:

One thing the new [Iridium NEXT satellites] satellites will not be capable of doing, however, is producing Iridium “flares”. These are the flashes in the sky that result when sunlight glints off the antennas of the old spacecraft.

The new satellites do not have the same configuration, so once the original constellation is de-orbited the flashes will cease.

“I’m afraid those who’ve been tracking that phenomenon over the past 20 years have another year or two to see it,” Mr Desch told BBC News.

“As someone who’s seen a couple myself, you can imagine what a thrill it is to be the CEO of a company like this and watch your satellite go overhead. But we weren’t going to spend money just to make angular shiny things on our satellites, so that phenomenon will go away – but it’s been fun.”

For the full article: www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38613275

Iridium Flares are very easy to find once you know where – and when – to look. Predictions for your locale are easy to obtain from www.heavens-above.com/IridiumFlares.aspx.