The first “technical” light

We have the first “technical” light on April 8. Images, taken in this test give information about good callimation of optical scheme. But we will continue work on this task. Mount mechanics in good condition. We can make special mention of light gathering power of our telescope. With 2 seconds exposition we have reach 18m! Of course we don’t have absolutly flat field across the image. But we can succesfully use pseudoflats to resolve this problem. The telescope will need a shroud.  The large unshielded mirror and a very sensitive camera cause reflections, such as from the moon, and a full shroud on the truss structure will be needed.

In whole we satisfied with the first test observations.

In the course of two weeks we will accomplish all planned work and telescope will be moved to it’s permanent place. The true “first light” planned to beginning of May.

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Another attempt to recovery P/1999 XN120

Within the bounds of ROCOT project, on April 6 and 7,  I was obtain observations of the P/1999 XN120 (Catalina). This short-period comet last observed on March 30 2000.

In the field of view I detected new unknown object, which moved parallel to predicted motion of  P/1999 XN120 (Catalina). All astrometric measurements from two nights was sended to MPC. After what, I receive answer from B. Marsden:

The observations on the two nights are mutually inconsistent with their being P/1999 XN120.

Proceeding from this opinion letter, I can state a fact what P/1999 XN120 (Catalina) at this time have magnitude less than 22.1m (with predicted magnitude about ~19.3m).

This observations obtained on Tenagra observatory with the 0.81-m f/7 Ritchey-Chretien telescope.

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New bright comet by Boattini – C/2010 G1

The new comet discovered by Catalina Sky Survey. This object was detected on April 5, on the twilight segment of the sky. Another bright comet С/2010 F4 (Machholz) was recently discovered in such segment. The object described as diffuse with a strong, condenced coma about 40″ in size and total magnitude about 14m.

The comet pass perihelion today, on April 6. After what comet will be decrease elongation and moving to the Sun.

My images of the new comet was taken on April 6 at Tenagra II obervatory with 0-8m telescope. On the image you can see result of stacking 4 exposures per 30 seconds. Unfortunately, the comet located near bright star on my images. From my measurements, C/2010 G1 have condenced coma with size more than 33″ and nucleus brightness about 16m.

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Spliting of C/2007 Q3 (Siding spring) nucleus

Alison Tripp and Nick Howes succesfully observe C/2007 Q3 (Siding spring) on March 27 and April 2 at the FTN (Faulkes Telescope North , Haleakala, Hawaii). After images stacking and futher processing, fragment b is clearly visible with offset about 6.5″ from fragment a. In this case I don’t use deconvolution, because fragment b can be measured without any filters. From previous images, obtained on March 23 and 25, splitted object increased distance from parent body.

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New editorial notice by MPC

The MPC has issued the new statement in MPC 69147. From now there is no point in submitting two-night discoveries, as they won’t be given priority over one-night discoveries received earlier by the MPC. As we can see, MPC gain an advantage to large sky surveys, and number of amateur discoveries will be reduced drastically.

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