29 April 2010

Ajay Talwar, well known amateur astronomer and astrophotographer gave a talk on Techniques of Astrophotography at ABAA last Saturday 24/04/10. Mr Ajay shared his photos and explained in detail on the methods and equipments needed to take good astrophotos. He explained the various methods involved in astrophotogarphy, from webcam to CCD cameras and, from tripod to afocal. Audience enjoyed the astrophotos taken by Ajay, and after the listening to the talk, they started really appreciating the effort involved. Ajay Talwar encouraged the gathering to take photos and stressed on practicing and familiarizing the methods, he made a good point--Go out and take photos whenever the sky permits--this will really help in familiarizing the methods. After the talk Ajay took questions and cleared doubts of amateurs and general public. This was a good interactive session and amateurs and public were highly benefited.

Ajay Talwar had brought his 20 inch telescope to have a sky show, but weather played a spoil sport, the sky was washed out. Amateurs had a treat to their eyes with, seeing the wonderful setup of the light bucket. An informal discussion was held and amateurs shared the info on telescopes, mounts and drives.

ABAA would like to thank JNP for the support in making the event a success.

ABAA thanks all the members and public for attending the talk, ABAA also thanks BAS friends for their attendance and participation in the event.

Here are some photos of the session.

24 April 2010

Hubble completes 20 years

Hubble Space Telescope which revolutionalised the way we see things (aesthetically as well as scientifically) has completed 20 years of its fruitful existence. Hubble has taken some of the most incredible pictures of our universe and played a major role in creating interest in the wonderful world of astronomy among the general public over the last two decades. See the link below for more on this exciting journey!


21 April 2010

Telescope Workshop Photos

As you are aware of the ongoing Telescope making workshop at ABAA, here is an update. Participants are making Newtonian telescopes in this workshop. There has been good progress and from next Sunday they will start polishing the mirrors. Participants are enjoying this new experience of telescope making and are eager to finish and use the telescope to explore the universe. Here are some photos of the workshop.

ABAA Mirrors ATM
Participants getting ready for grinding

Participants grinding

Lighter moments

Jayanth removing the mat

chamfering the edges

Polishing tool

Jayanth and Ravi checking for Contact

Little more weight

Ravi placing the weight as anxious participants look on.

Ravi applying weight

Finally good contact

19 April 2010

ABAA outreach at Jigani

Members from ABAA have conducted sky watching sessions at Vivekananda Yoga Kendra, Jigani on the 3rd and 17th of April. There was a big turnout of 400+ on both the days. The following members of the association have been associated with the activity. Anil, Chandra, Seema and Jayanthi were present on the 3rd or April with two telescopes showing Saturn to the big gathering. On the 17th the members carried four telescopes with members Anil, Chandra, Dilip, Naveen and Seema joining the program. The enthusiastic and inquisitive kids kept us busy with plenty of questions. Clouds played spoilsport on both the days blocking out the skies for about half an hour on both the days. Fortunately, the rains kept away ensuring that all the kids got a chance to look at the beautiful Saturn's disk.

13 April 2010

Volcanoes on Venus: Young and Hot!

See this interesting link for some latest info on volcanoes on Venus. Of course, with the searing heat and all those acid rains Venus is entitled to lot of volcanic activity. Comments?


09 April 2010

Astro News: Hubble snaps heavyweight of the Leo Triplet

Hubble has snapped a spectacular view of the largest “player” in the Leo Triplet, a galaxy with an unusual anatomy: it displays asymmetric spiral arms and an apparently displaced core. The peculiar anatomy is most likely caused by the gravitational pull of the other two members of the trio. The unusual spiral galaxy, Messier 66, is located at a distance of about 35 million light-years in the constellation of Leo.

Sky charts from Cartes du Ciel

Credit: NASA, ESA and and Digitized Sky Survey 2 . Acknowledgment: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)

Together with Messier 65 and NGC 3628, Messier 66 is one third of the Leo Triplet, a trio of interacting spiral galaxies, part of the larger Messier 66 group. Messier 66 wins out in size over its fellow triplets — it is about 100 000 light-years across. Messier 66 is the proud owner of exclusive asymmetric spiral arms which seem to climb above the galaxy’s main disc and an apparently displaced nucleus. This asymmetry is unusual; most often, dense waves of gas, dust and newly born stars wind about the galaxy’s centre in a symmetric way. Astronomers believe that Messier 66’s once orderly shape has most likely been distorted by the gravitational pull of its two neighbours. Hubble has imaged Messier 66’s striking dust lanes and bright star clusters along the spiral arms in fine detail with the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Star clusters — pictured in the blue and pinkish regions of the image — are key tools for astronomers since they are used as indicators of how the parent galaxies assembled over time. Messier 66 boasts a remarkable record of supernovae explosions. The spiral galaxy has hosted three supernovae since 1989, the latest one occurring in 2009. A supernova is a stellar explosion that may momentarily outshine its entire host galaxy. It then fades away over a period lasting several weeks or months. During its very short life the supernova radiates as much energy as the Sun would radiate over a period of about 10 billion years.

01 April 2010

Day and Night: An interesting link

The link provides a very nice visual representation of duration of day and night. Can come very handy during presentations etc., to general public about the effect that the tilt of Earth's axis has on our "day"!!