Monday, April 21, 2014

A Comic Guide to Observing Meteors

Here's a little something to serve as a practical guide to observing meteors. I hope you enjoy it.

1. During a meteor shower be sure to observe in a dark site. The darker the site the better the visibility for meteors. Observing near city lights or during a bright phase of the moon will limit your visibility. However, make sure that the dark site is secure.

2. Know where to look. Meteor showers are named after their apparent source or radiant. Look for meteors away from the proximity of the radiant. Using star charts may be helpful.

3. Grab a mat or reclining chair so you can observe the meteors with ease. You may end up with a stiff neck if you don't.

4. Use insect repellents. You want to be counting meteors and not counting bites or swatting at elusive mosquitoes.

5. Check the weather forecast prior to a scheduled observation. The last thing you want is to waste your time waiting for clouds to clear up.

*PS. If you have other things you want me to add, feel free to comment :)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Morphological View of the Sun

Here is a little animation showing the daily changes in the solar surface. I plan to track the transit of AR 2032 across the solar surface. Hopefully I won't have any cloudy days to cause gaps in the data. The following is taken from April 9 - 13, 2014.

Monday, April 7, 2014

3D Sunspot Rendering using ImageJ

Resolution is one problem in scientific image data acquisition. In observation of sunspot groups, we need to have enough resolvable detail to make out the proper features for sunspot counting and McIntosh classification. A lack of resolution may lead to lower estimates to the level of solar activity. As a result, some image processing measures are taken to improve resolution, however this tampers with the data.

A useful technique is to render an isophote of the image in order to make out details. Isophotes use pixel intensity to map out areas with different concentrations. This is usually used in mapping out topological terrain.

The software ImageJ allows users to construct 3D isophote rendering of sunspot groups. This helps make out points which are hard to see visually. Intensities can also be adjusted to make out fainter points.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Lunar Observation - 1 April 2014

It has been a while since I have been able to image a thin Waxing Crescent Moon. There was this condominium unit being built beside my old place in Cubao, Quezon City which completely obstructed my Eastern view. Now I have a wider and darker sky here at Proj. 6.

Here are 2 pictures of a roughly 2 day old moon with 3.7% illumination. The first one is taken with a 6" Newtonian reflector, while the second was through a short-tubed 70 mm refractor.