Thursday, August 6, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-137

MOA 2009-BLG-137
RA: 17:51:37.95
Dec: -29:32:43.23
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observers: David Moorhouse

Monday, August 3, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-387

MOA 2009-BLG-387
RA: 17:53:50.79
Dec: -33:59:25.20
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observers: David Moorhouse, Guy Thornley
3rd Aug Target very faint, resonable run for about one hour till cloud came
4th Aug much brighter however much passing cloud and worse seeing
5th Aug Guy got the evening started about 0900UT and went until about 1530UT clear skies and good seeing, moon although full was further away from target.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-406

MOA 2009-BLG-406
RA: 17:59:17.61
Dec: -28:26:35.52
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observers: David Moorhouse
Got a few images starting at 1100UT then nothing till 1330 when I got a break until about 1530 when the cloud came back again. Seeing good early falling off later. Transparency was fantastic however. Looks like it may be a binary now though.

Monday, July 13, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-365

MOA 2009-BLG-365
RA: 17:58:47.32
Dec: -30:42:54.42
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observers: Guy Thornley, Steve Calveley, David Moorhouse

Friday, July 3, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-259

MOA 2009-BLG-259
RA: 17:57:57.51
Dec: -29:11:39.39
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observers: Guy Thornley, Steve Calveley, David Moorhouse

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Observing Report

A new observing report from Paul Kemp for observing conducted Saturday 20th June is now available at;

http://southernsentinel.co.nz/Observing/Observations/OB-09-06-20.htm

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-319

MOA 2009-BLG-319
RA: 18:06:58.13
Dec: -26:49:10.89
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observers: Guy Thornley, David Moorhouse
Tried and failed to get even a single exposure, the clear patch was seen ten km or so to the east so Jennie was getting clear skies.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

OGLE 2008-BLG-270

OGLE 2008-BLG-270
RA: 18:05:20.03
Dec: -30:33:46.1
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Guy Thornley, Steve Calveley, David Moorhouse
This is a followup of a 2008 event that they think may well have the earth pass through the lens a second time. We are going to be doing periodic measurements over the next few months of about 20 minutes each time when practical.

Guttering fix-up.

There was a small section of roof about 1.5 meters wide that just ran off the roof and onto the ground running under the building. This now has it's own guttering so it should be drier underneath. There is still an issue with the long gutter run, outside the kitchen, that has a leaky joint in the middle.

Second New Window and carpet!

The downstairs area has just had a makeover. I have put in a second window to allow light and afternoon sun in to keep the place warmer and drier. We also put insulation in two of the walls so should be warmer all night. Many thanks again to Peter our neighbour and Guy Thornley for help wrecking the old wall to get the framing done and the carpet down. The carpet was provided by Paul Kemp several years ago but we have just been slack, until now. The whole area now feels totally different and cleaner. Now we just have to find some planets!


Thursday, June 4, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-273

MOA 2009-BLG-273
RA: 18:14:04.84
Dec: -27:16:51.84
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Steve Calveley, David Moorhouse
04 Jun 09
Steve got us going at about 0900UT with David looking in remotely. Reasonable seeing, no cloud untill 1800UT when the autoguider lost the plot. To late/ tired before dawn to get any more data. Cloud rolling in mid morning, rain in afternoon.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-268

MOA 2009-BLG-268
RA: 18:04:26.81
Dec: -28:48:39.31
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: David Moorhouse
02 June 09 1520hrs UT
Got a run until dawn, clear skies good seeing

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-274

MOA 2009-BLG-274
RA: 17:53:23.04
Dec: -33:07:16.83
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Steve Calveley, David Moorhouse
02 June 09UT
With Steves help we got imaging at about 0930UT things didn't go to plan as we had used all this months internet usage of 3Gb it slowed to dialup speed. This meant I couldn't operate the PC remotely. We got there in the end. Ran until 1500UT then changed targets as this one was to faint and merged with another star.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Wasp roof

Finally finished the eastern eves and replaced the ridge cap with the final version. All weather tight and secure for the winter now.

La Crosse weather station

Kumeu Weather Station

Put in a La Crosse weather station from Dick Smiths. Using weather display software which is locally written. I have also made a WAP page for the mobile which is http://www.astronz.co.nz/weather/wap/index.htm just enter this on your mobile web in your phone and get ten minute updates. I have integrated the Boltwood cloud sensor data to make an icon showing current conditions as well.

New window

Spent a few days putting in a new window in the observatory wall facing NW next to the dome. Got the window free from a friend of Grant Hay a work mate. Peter next door basically did the install for me which was a great help. Inside is now much warmer with the afternoon sun streaming in.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

MOA BLG-2009-262

MOA 2009-BLG-262
RA: 17:55:41.69
Dec: -29:51:22.94
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: David Moorhouse

27 May 1250 UT
Started late after hearing about this new target. Faint but visible. Seeing is good and no cloud for now. Ended up being fine till dawn.
28 May UT
Fine just for a few hours early evening then fog and scattered cloud rolled in.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Wasp Floor

After several years of concrete flooring I have finally got around to putting down a wooden floor. It cost about $600 of a pre-engineered material that has tounge and groove on boards about 1000mm x 200mm the top layer is about a 5mm veneer and is pre-vanished so it goes down and is finished. I needed to do about two days concrete grinding to get the floor flat enough.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-229

MOA 2009-BLG-229
RA: 18:05:19.86
Dec: -30:05:50.09
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Steve Calveley, David Moorhouse, Guy Thornley

21 May 09
Off to a slow start with passing cloud making imaging almost impossible cleared at about 3am till dawn
22 May 09
Just getting one hours worth of normalising data

C14 Dew Sheild

Finally got the dew sheild installed today. It looks fantastic, bright yellow! It is made from three 4mm thick MDF rings 398mm ID and 450mm OD then skinned in a 2mm balsawood sheet outside. The sheet was made with ten 100x600mm sheets glued side by side to form a massive sheet. The outside coating is Solarfilm made for model aircraft, it is easy to apply and a nice shiney finish. Inside is matt black paint. Yet to get clear skies to test it out but it looks real black looking down the barrel.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-227

MOA 2009-BLG-227
RA: 18:07:34.92
Dec: -27:00:44.06
Kumeu didn't end up getting data on this event

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-174

MOA 2009-BLG-174
RA: 18:02:07.60
Dec: -31:25:24.20
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 120 sec
Observer: David Moorhouse

12 May 2009
Lots of passing cloud and rain, needed to use 120 sec because of close moon and close to peak at mag 11. Got several good runs through the night.
13 May 2009
Just five normalising images taken as MB204 was doing an exit crossing so was more important
14 May 2009
Finally some clear skies without rain. Did about one hour normalising data at two minutes to keep it standard.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Optec TCS focuser installed

Installed last night with no issues. ASCOM driver downloaded and MaximDL is happy. Autofocus routine in MaximDL seems OK time will tell. Temperature compensation will be a big help once we get a co-efficient worked out. Many thanks to Ohio State University Astronomy Dept, who have provided this unit to us for help with microlensing events.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-204

MOA 2009-BLG-204
RA: 18:02:23.62
Dec: -28:45:18.48
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Guy Thornley

May 04 2009
Lots of passing cloud and rain.
May 13 2009
Again a poor night but managed to catch a caustic crossing exit that will help nail this one down, only 16 five minute images through the night.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Painting

Finally after years of talking about it I painted the dome last weekend over a few days. It had two coats of white Wattle Solarguard. There were a few places that I did repairs on the fibreglass first with west system epoxy resin and glass cloth. The top of the hatch is rotting and needs repair still. Also a coat of Forestwood stain was put on two sides of the Wasp Observatory

Saturday, April 4, 2009

MOA 2009-BLG-106

MOA 2009-BLG-106
RA: 18:09:56.49
Dec: -27:14:59.36
Optics: Celestron C14
Focal length: 2634mm
Pixel Scale; 0.70"/pixel
Camera: SBIG ST7 XME Deluxe
CCD: KAF-0402ME class 1
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Guy Thornley











Day 1: 04-04-2009 1200 to 1515hrs UTC
Occasional cloud no issues




Day 2:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

OGLE 2009-BLG-076 MOA 2009-BLG-094


Day 1: Off to a slow start with guiding issues, target very faint
Day 2:
RA: 17:58:31.93
Dec: -29:12:17.91
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: David Moorhouse

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

OGLE 2009-BLG-020 MOA 2009-BLG-011

Day 1: UTC 25-03-09 1300 to 1400 hrs
Started run only to have cloud roll in soon afterwards
Day 2:

RA: 18:04:20.96
Dec: -29:31:08.96
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: Guy Thornley
David Moorhouse




Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Moa 2009-BLG-048

Day 1: UTC 23-03-09 1430 to 1745 hrs
This is the first target for the year. Easy and bright, perfect evening clear, good seeing.

Day 2: UTC 24-03-09 1300 to 1730 hrs
Another good run till dawn. Perfect skies one break due to a computer issue so autoguiding on different star at about image 10?

Day 3: UTC 25-03-09 1200 to 1300
Just a few images to be able to calibrate our results

RA: 17:52:06.71
Dec: -32:35:24.91
Filters: No filter
Exposure: 300 sec
Observer: David Moorhouse








Friday, February 20, 2009

File naming and directories

So we can easily find files and know instantly what they are, when they were taken, what temperature, which darks and flats to use for calibration etc. we are going to use the following file naming conventions. This fits easily into MaximDL's auto sequence system. The names also allow easy sorting of images when put into a common processing directory. Also the calibration masters needed for each dataset will be placed in the dir with the raw images.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ted Argos Focal Reducer

I have just recieved the focal reducer tube from Ted it has my Celestron x0.63 optics installed in it. Will be installing it on the back of the Wasp's 10" Meade OTA hopefully tonight.
http://www.ziplink.net/users/lester/FLR.html
Update 5 Feb 2009 I have installed the focal reducer and it was no problem to get back to 1600mm (the correct ratio) from 1900mm without the tube (optics in the old housing) stars look tight and field curvature isn't much of an issue. Makes for a much nicer installation with less mass away from the center of rotation.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cloud sensor page now working

In the middle of last season the cloud sensor page showing all three Auckland Boltwood Cloud Sensors stopped working as the AAS updated their webservers. It is now working again and has had two links added from the Metservice that show both rain and cloud animations. The page is at
http://www.binoscope.co.nz/weather.html

Proceedure changes for a fast startup

We have been working on a number of different ways to speed up the observatory startup. To date they are.

1. Re-arranging the power supply so the ArgoNavis can remain powered.
2. Developing a HFD V curve to aid in faster manual focusing.
3. Making a library of darks, rather than doing so each evening.
4. Using logmein remote desktop to allow startup with Steve onsite.
5. Getting Skype running via Dect phone.
6. Learning the new issues caused by new version of MaximDL

ArgoNavis DSC coordinate errors

We are currently having issues with the ArgoNavis DSC (digital setting circles) in that when used in LX200 protocol emulation we get positional errors being returned to the PC.

What we have found is that the ArgoNavis under LX200 returns J(now) instead of J(2000) coordinates. This is a one direction only error. Entering J(2000) in the scratch objects on the unit works fine. Doing a from planetarium command and issuing a slew to object from a planetarium works correctly. However the returned value is in the wrong format for either TheSky6 or MaximDL so as to be able to do a plate solve.

Skype phone


We now have a new phone which is a Linksys CIT200 it has a local number which is (09) 889 9227 so you can call us at the dome!

Start of a new BLOG

First entry for the Kumeu Observatorys daily log, we will have info about the images taken and issues when we are onsite

Time Zone

All times on this page are in New Zealand Daylight Time in winter GMT +12 or summer GMT +13.