29 December 2009

Partial Lunar Eclipse

We begin this new year with Partial Lunar Eclipse, good 'omen' for us amateur astronomers. On January 1st, 2010 the Moon will be partly covered by Earth's shadow, but, the coverage will be very less. The Eclipse will start at 00:26am and ends at 1:18am. The maximum shadow coverage will be about 1'47”. Hope the skies will be clear by then. The Lunar Eclipse will be visible from Bangalore and also from all parts of India.

Moon Partial Eclipse Bangalore
Moon will enter the Penumbral shadow at 10:46 pm, 31st December 2009.

Moon will enter the Umbral shadow at 00:26 , 1st January 2010.

Moon will leave the Umbral shadow at 1:18am, 1st January 2010.

Moon will leave the Penumbral shadow at 2:56am 1st January 2010.

Lunar Eclipse Bangalore ABAA

18 December 2009

Sunspot by Vishwanath Hawargi

Here is an image of the Sun with Sunspot sent by Vishwanath Hawargi from Bangalore. After a long time there is some activity on the Sun, nearly a year without any Sun spots, finally there is Sunspot visible through small backyard telescopes. Amateurs around the world are taking photos of this Sunspot and hope many of our fellow Amateurs will take photos and share them.

Date: 18/12/2009
Time: 9:20am
Place: Bangalore.
Camera: Canon 50D
Lens: 135mm at f/32
Shutter speed: 1/2000
ISO 100

16 December 2009

Preparing for Annual Eclipse 2010: Photographing the Sun by Chandrashekar

The longest annular eclipse of this millenium is round the corner. At 11 minutes 8 seconds, the eclipse of 15th January 2010 will be the longest till 3043 AD. Understandably amateur astronomers are excited about it. South East coast of India provides a good opportunity to witness this spectacle. Coming as it does in the peak winter, clear skies are almost guaranteed too. Almost, because you never know if the next depression decides to come around at that time!

Granted, an annular eclipse is probably not as exciting as a total eclipse. Nevertheless it is a celestial event that one would not get to see too often. We, at ABAA are preparing for the event. Several of our members are planning a trip to witness the event. Some are getting their telescopes ready for the event while others are content to carry their camera/tripod to capture the excitement.

The following pictures were taken by Chandrashekar with solar filters. The exposure times are also given to provide an indication of exposure times required. Of course, the actual exposure time depends on several factors like how clear the sky is, type of filter used etc. Those who are preparing to photograph the event are advised to try out their equipment and do a full dress rehersal to ensure that everything works as planned. Right now the Sun is going through a solar minimum that is puzzling astronomers. As the photographs here show, there is not a single sun spot. Let's hope a few will appear to add some more excitement during the eclipse!

Annular Eclipse
Camera: Cannon ESO 400D
Lens: 500mm at f/8
Exposure: 1/640
ISO 800

Sun Filter
Camera: Cannon ESO 400D
Lens: 500mm at f/6.3
Exposure: 1/500
ISO 800

Camera: Cannon ESO 400D
Lens: 500mm at f/6.3
Exposure: 1/200
ISO 800
Eclipse Preparation
Camera: Cannon ESO 400D
Lens: 500mm at f/6.3
Exposure: 1/80
ISO 800


15 December 2009

Astrophoto by Dilip Kumar

Here is an astrophoto sent by Dilip Kumar. The Cassiopeia region has been captured well with the milky way. Andromeda galaxy is also seen. (click on the image for larger version)
Cassiopeia Andromeda Astrophoto

Date: 7/12/2009
Lens: 24mm at f/2
ISO 400
Exposure time: 5 mins (Hand driven)
Filter: Diffuse Filter

14 December 2009

ABAA outreach at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya

What more can one ask for? A field filled with kids lined up to take a glimpse at the biggest planet in the solar system, bursting with energy, waiting in long lines and in the cold evening, to see the sparkle in their eyes after seeing the Giant planet, the questions on the bands on Jupiter, the moons, the solar system. Volunteers of ABAA and teachers answering all the questions and explaining the concepts, with equal enthusiasm and energy, kid after kid, questions after questions.
ABAA outreach
ABAA Bangalore

This was the atmosphere at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Dodballapur, where ABAA conducted the outreach program on December 11th, Friday.

Telescopes were setup and were aimed at Jupiter, 400 students lined up and patiently waited for their turn, one by one they saw the Giant planet and were amazed at the sight. Students enjoyed the bands on the planet and the four moons of Jupiter. After observing the planet the students had million questions, these were answered by the volunteers and teachers present there.

Later, when all the students finished observing Jupiter, teachers observed through the telescopes and a very good interactive session took place on telescopes and astronomy.

If there is anything more one could ask for, is....more of these kinds of programs....

03 December 2009

Occultation of Europa by Io

This Sunday the 6th of December, there is a very good reason for taking your telescopes out. Train your telescopes to the planet Jupiter at 8:30pm IST and you will notice that Io and Europa are very close to each other. Observe for couple of minutes more and you can notice that they are getting closer and closer. Yes, your guess is right, there will be an occultation of the Galilean moons Io and Europa. Io will occult Europa this evening, starting at 8:49pm IST. The event can be seen from all parts of India, the timings are for Bangalore co ordinates. Its better to start observing the moons from 8:45pm IST and time the event. The event will be for 5 minutes but better and accurate timing is a good exercise.

Io will be getting closer to Jupiter in its orbit and Europa is moving away from Jupiter.

Here are images that will help you in locating the planet Jupiter and one to help identifying the moons. Click in image for larger version.

Images generated from Cartes du ciel

02 December 2009

Moon by Prakash

Here are photos sent by Prakash Subbanna leading up to Full Moon. All photos taken with Canon 50D. Click on the image for larger version.

Date: 21/11/2009
Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/8
Shutter: 1/100
ISO: 200

Date: 23/11/2009
Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/8
Shutter: 1/100
ISO: 200

Date: 27/11/2009
Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter: 1/200
ISO: 200

Date: 30/11/2009
Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/8
Shutter: 1/200
ISO: 200

Date: 01/12/2009
Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/8
Shutter: 1/320
ISO: 200

Date: 2/11/2009
Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/8
Shutter: 1/200
ISO: 200

30 November 2009

Know Your Stars by Chandrashekar

Yesterday evening Chandrashekar, Gen. Secretary, ABAA, conducted the Know Your Stars program to students and general public. Chandrashekar introduced the constellations that were visible in the evening sky and also constellations that were visible in the morning sky in this time of the year. This was done inside the sky theater of JNP. After the introduction, the gathering had the opportunity of seeing the planet Jupiter and our Moon through the telescopes that were setup outside. Members of ABAA were there to help them identify the moons of Jupiter, people saw Callisto, Europa and IO on the eastern side and Ganymede on the western side Jupiter. People also enjoyed the bands on Jupiter. After seeing Jupiter's moons, people were thrilled and memorized watching our Moon through the telescope. They enjoyed the landscape of Moon filled with craters and “seas”. Members of ABAA also gave details on telescopes, how they are made and also cleared many doubts on various astronomical topics. It was a good interactive session.

28 November 2009

Moon by Prakash Subbanna

Here is a photo sent to us by Prakash Subbanna, Vice President of ABAA. This Moon photo was taken on 27/11/2009 at 21:30:59 IST using Canon 50D.

Lens: 400mm
Aperture: f/6.3
Shutter: 1/200
ISO: 200

Some of the prominent features are easily seen...

26 November 2009

Outreach at Wipro

ABAA conducted Outreach program at Wipro campus in Amphitheater yesterday evening, Thursday 25/11/2009 evening. The program started with Jayanth, President, ABAA, giving a introduction about ABAA to a gathering of 150 wipro astronomy enthusiasts. Jayanth spoke about the formation of ABAA, making of PSN telescope and he also spoke about the Telescope making workshop, outreach programs conducted by ABAA.

Prakash Subbanna, Vice President, tossed some interesting questions at the gathering, many gave correct answers, this made the gathering more curious about Astronomy. Prakash spoke about ABAA activities like observations, telescope making, lectures. This gave the audience who were present there a source where they can pursue their interest. Later Prakash introduced ABAA members present there to the audience.

Following this Nagraj gave an very good illustrative talk about Solar system. With well organized slides, the talk started with the comparison of mass and size of different planets. Nagraj moved on to individual planets, briefly explaining about the planet's surface, atmosphere and also some interesting facts about planets that kept audience spell bound.

By the time Nagraj finished the talk, telescopes were ready, two telescopes, one aimed at Moon and the other aimed at Jupiter. People enjoyed the view of Moon and Jupiter through the telescopes. Clouds played a little spoil sport, Moon and Jupiter used get covered very often, but hats off to Wipro people as they waited patiently for clouds to clear.

As the people continued to view through the telescopes, there was a lively discussion going on, topics ranging from planets, telescopes, astrophotography,comets, galaxies and cosmology. Gathering had lots of questions which were answered by ABAA members.

On a whole the Outreach program was a success. Thanks to Kavitha for co ordinating the event and all the members who volunteered for the event and made the event a success.

23 November 2009

ABAA Outreach program

ABAA has conducted lots of Outreach programs this year in an effort to create awareness about Astronomy among students and public. Here are very few photos of the outreach programs that were conducted from past few months. To name a few schools, colleges and institution where the programs were conducted
KMA Outreach - Ananda Dhama, Sangama, Kanakpura
Pooran Pragna School, Sadashiva nagar, Bangalore
Bhoomi Public school Bangalore
Vivekananda School, Sahakara nagara, Bangalore
Tumkur Science Center
Bangalore International school
PES college, Madya