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Let’s Do Exoplanets

A simulated planetary transit, with the associated light curve

An amateur astronomer colleague of mine, Mátyás SZŰCS, got me inspired to look into exoplanets — once again. I already had a close encounter with distant solar systems, while looking into the Kepler measurements as published on the planethunters org website, going through some 4k stars of interest, of the some 160k that Kepler observed during its first mission.

I’ve never done observations of this kind before, maybe I never will. But I wanted to see what it is I could expect. I put together a naive simulation and then looked up some professional material to check for those into such stuff.

So I went for a rather naive approach here, went for numeric simulations in… well, PHP… with a color (rgb) selective limb darkening and planets with no atmosphere. The stars are simple, spherical, no polar brightening and no flattening, as with say Vega.

The interesting thing is the sharp drop between the first and second contacts and then the steady drop till the maximum — see below.

 

(tovább…)

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Mars 2021-01-02

Could well be one of the last astrophotos I publish, the fuck knows. The balcony observatory is over, thank you real estate maffia, thank you. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, automated filter wheel, ASI 462MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher.

Apparent size: 10″

(tovább…)

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The Chess Clock

chess clock

Showing a 5+0 setup, 5 minutes main time with zero increment

At the end of this stupid year, ravaged by GovId-19 too, not just by covid-19, I put together a chess clock. Even though the number of people I can play with physically is really limited — obviously not everyone thinks, like me, that a calculated risk is worth a decent amount of freedom, poor old BF with who does or does not deserve what exactly — I just wanted to put together the clock, cause why not. Although it is a microsoft site, I published the project on github.

One thing a friend of mine noted: the lunch box… I find it one of the greatest challenges about home made gadgets to find the right box for them, without the 3d printer black magic. I also wanted this one to be transparent.

Another thing, more of a philosophical nature: the more I play around with arduinos, the more I realize how much effort went into the whole thing to be easy like a toy, instead of the PITA it could have been, to enable one to really create on top of an abstraction layer, in contrast with such mindfucks as that of  manually calculating the value of a register to attain a baudrate on some obscure microcontroller I ran into at work, because libraries, because bootstrapping, and because it’s the business logic we are focused on, not reinventing the wheels of bit counting. Really, it’s almost 2021.

(tovább…)

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Jupiter 3D – 2020-09-10

This is a cross-eye 3D rendition of the data captured on 2020-09-10 at around 19:07Z, both frames a stack of 90 seconds, with only two seconds apart. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, automated filter wheel, Baader IR-pass 650 filter, ASI 462MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher The frames are arranged so that Io does indeed look to be closer to the viewer.

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Io, Callisto 2020-09-21

HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, automated filter wheel, ASI 462MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

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Jupiter and Ganymede 2020-09-19

HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, automated filter wheel, ASI 462MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

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Jupiter 2020-09-06

HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 462MC (cooled), IR-pass 650,  home observatory, mountpusher

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Moon: Philolaus 2020-08-29

HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, ASI 462MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

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Jupiter and Callisto on 2020-09-05

Jupiter, Callisto, and Ganymede’s shadow are featured. HEQ5, N250/1200, TSO ADC, filters, ASI 462MC (cooled), home observatory, mountpusher

IR-pass 650

Callisto, Jupiter, Ganymede’s shadow and Ganymede. UV/IR cut filter

(tovább…)

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Estimating the length of planetary videos

There’s a legend among amateur astronomers that, without derotation, Jupiter supports only 90 seconds of raw video. Anything above it: derotate.

It always felt fishy to me, even before I started doing planetary photography. Due to other reasons, like capturing the moons’ movement, and the interplay of shadows, I always tried to keep the videos short.

However, the subject is evergreen wherever there are newcomers. So, now I made the math, and since we are people, not mathboys, here’s a handy little table one can play with or scroll below, the same calculator loads into this article.

(tovább…)

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Jól kalibrált monitoron mindegyik számnál elkülönülő árnyalat látszik. Ha mégsem látszanak, akkor a megjelenített képek színhiányosan rajzolódnak ki. A monitort valószínűleg kalibrálni kell.

You should see distinct shades for each number. If those shades are not clearly visible, the displayed pictures will lack accuracy. Your display most likely needs to be calibrated (brightness, gamma, contrast etc.).