Monday, August 28, 2017

And Then There Were Three

Last week and over the weekend we had a couple of good nights, so with no current alerts on, Jonathan took the opportunity to complete Shaun Fletcher's training, now there are three people who are capable of operating the setup in the main dome of Kumeu Observatory, we will still be looking to train more members of the Auckland Astronomical Society so that we can ensure that the observatory will never become disused and derelict again.

Speaking about derelict, Jonathan Green also met up with the treasurer of the society Niven Brown on Sunday afternoon to show him the damage to the dome that Steve Hennerley had discovered before he went overseas, basically we have a bit of rot on one side of the dome, probably because the skirting was never replaced and is inadequate to protect the under side of the dome from the elements, David Moorhouse had mentioned this problem to Bill Thomas last time he saw him in the city, Niven took some photos of the damage and will circulate them to the council, so hopefully with the consent of the council we will be able to hire a builder to come fix the problem, we also want to get the dome cleaned up as well seeing as it looks quite grubby with loads of moss and mold on the outside of the dome, it will probably need treating with a chemical wash and perhaps could be re-painted afterwards as well.

< Screen shot of an image of the Trifid Nebula that I'm working on in PixInsight, I'm still learning how to use PixInsight but it's a fantastic program and I can really see why Rolf Wahl Olsen gets such great results using it.

Posted by Jonathan Green

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Internet and a Few Good Nights.

Sorry for the lack of updates, since you last heard from us, we now have the internet out at Kumeu Observatory thanks to Steve Hennerley, we also had a number of good nights last weekend, we didn't have any current Microlensing alerts on, so Jonathan invited Auckland Astronomical society members Shaun Fletcher and Carolle Varughese over to learn the basics of MaxIm DL, Shaun having his own home observatory and being an Astrophotographer picked it up really quickly and Carolle having studied Astronomy and having done a years worth of observations at Mt John Observatory also picked it up quickly, so we probably only need a few more nights of training to get these two up to speed, with no current Microlensing events to follow we do need to start thinking about new projects to tackle.

Another issue that has been discovered with the amount use of the dome is now getting is that the fibreglass sides are starting to really degrade and will require some maintenance, we will be bringing this up at the next society council meeting to hopefully devise a plan of action to repair the dome and perhaps even get the dome cleaned and painted at the same time as it's quite grubby after all these years.

<- M8 The Lagoon nebula captured and processed by Shaun Fletcher at Kumeu Observatory.

Posted by Jonathan Green

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