Astronomy Report – December 9th

Crew Astronomer: Andrew Foster

MDRS ROBOTIC OBSERVATORY

Robotic Telescope Requested: None.

Requested objects – None.

Objects Viewed: None

Images attached:

1. Dark sky from MDRS: Sirius, Orion, Taurus and winter Milky Way. Canon D60, 40x15s images + 4 darks @ ISO5000, images processed w/ DeepSkyStacker and PS.

2. Solar feature, likely faint sunspot AR2729, captured with Lunt 100mm solar scope 08Dec2018, w/ Imaging Source DBK colour camera @15fps, best 1200 of 1400 frames, processed w/ Registax 6 & PS.

Problems Encountered:

N/A

MUSK OBSERVATORY

Solar Features Observed (08DEC2018): Solar filament, faint Sunspot AR2729. Note – found observation of solar features challenging, likely due to inexperience with coarse / fine tuning of solar etalon.

Notes

Crew Astronomer departed station 12-08-2018, (now post-processing images acquired during mission).

End report.

Astronomy report – December 7th

Crew Astronomer: Andrew Foster

MDRS ROBOTIC OBSERVATORY

Robotic Telescope Requested: MDRS-WF (05 DEC), hope to add further WF observations if conditions clear later this evening.

Requested objects – None.

Objects Viewed: None

Image attached: None.

Problems Encountered:

Poor weather conditions (Cloudy conditions continue today).

MUSK OBSERVATORY

Solar Features Observed: None.

Notes

Both observatories are clear of snow this evening.

Attached 3 x photos: Astronomy Laptop and Astronomy box (end of mission), plus photo of packaging for backup UPS battery left in Science Dome (empty packaging only, UPS battery is inside Dome).

Crew Astronomer departing station 12-08-2018

End report.

Mission Support Crew 200 Astronomy Report December 6th

Astronomer: Andrew Foster

MDRS ROBOTIC OBSERVATORY

Robotic Telescope Requested: MDRS-WF (05 DEC)

Requested objects – Requested yesterday (05 DEC) 46/P Wirtanen (wide field),

MDRS-14 imaging update:

46/P Wirtanen (cometary coma imaging) – Active

3C 273 (Quasar) – Active

AG Peg / RW Aur (photometry measurements) – Images available (will download post-mission for processing).

Objects Viewed: None

Image attached: None.

Problems Encountered:

Poor weather conditions (Cloudy conditions continue today).

MUSK OBSERVATORY

Solar Features Observed: Short observation of Sun through eyepiece w/ high cloud conditions, no detail visible. Carried out short test of Imaging Source DBK camera (no image captured).

Notes

Carried out minor repair on Solar observatory dome – loose seal secured (see attached photos).

Both observatories are clear of snow this evening.

End report.

Astronomy Report – December 4th

Crew Astronomer: Andrew Foster

MDRS ROBOTIC OBSERVATORY

Robotic Telescope Requested: MDRS-14 / MDRS-WF / None

Objects Viewed: None

Image attached: Messier 45 (Pleiades Cluster) – finished processing from MDRS WF practice image. 50min exposure LRGB.

Problems Encountered:

Poor weather conditions (Cloudy conditions today).

MUSK OBSERVATORY

Solar Features Observed: None (no observations made today due to weather).

Notes

Both observatories are clear of snow this evening.

End report.

Astronomy Report – December 3rd

Crew Astronomer: Andrew Foster

MDRS ROBOTIC OBSERVATORY

Robotic Telescope Requested: MDRS-14 [Sent imaging request
46P/Wirtanen & 3C 273]

Objects Viewed: Milky Way & constellation Cygnus (visual only).

Image attached, Cygnus / Milky Way taken with Canon D60 @ ISO 3200 / 20s exp.

Second image w/ light painting by MDRS 200 crew member.

Carried out observational Limiting Magnitude exercise, est. NELM 5.9, clouds moving in from South during exercise.

Problems Encountered:

Poor weather conditions (snow / cold).

Robotic Observatory maintenance carried out, see Operations Report for details.

MUSK OBSERVATORY

Solar Features Observed: Carried out test of system / visual observation of Sun. No sunspots visible, no major features observed.

Observatory equipment photographs (start of mission) attached.

Notes

Both observatories are clear of snow this evening.

End report.

Astronomy Report – May 04th

Astronomy Report
Name: Eric Shear
Crew: 193
Date: May 4, 2018

Sky Conditions: Sunny and clear, with few clouds

Wind Conditions: Low

Observation Start Time: 1400

Observation End Time: 1430

Summary:

One solar flare was spotted today on the sun’s southwestern side. The rest of the sun was scanned with the camera to find more features, but found nothing.

Photos were taken with the Skyris camera and the best images processed in Autostakkert, Registax, Photoshop, and PowerPoint to colorize and bring out contrast. The result is attached.

Objects Viewed: Sun

Problems Encountered: None

Astronomy Report – 03 May 2018

Astronomy Report

Name: Eric Shear

Crew: 193
Date: May 3, 2018

Sky Conditions: Clear until about noon, heavy clouds in the afternoon.

Wind Conditions: Low

Observation Start Time: 1100

Observation End Time: 1500

Summary:

No pictures were taken with the camera today, because we hosted a group of schoolkids on a tour of the entire campus, including Musk. The astronomer set up the telescope to track the sun and each kid was allowed to look through it. There were two subgroups of kids, one at around 1130 and the other at around 1430.

After the kids left, the astronomer closed up the observatory because of threatening rain.

Objects Viewed: Sun

Problems Encountered:

Clouds began to obscure the sun during the second viewing.

Astronomy Report – May 2nd

Astronomy Report

Name: Eric Shear

Crew: 193
Date: May 2, 2018

Sky Conditions: Heavy clouds & rain for most of the day. The sun came out between the clouds in the afternoon.

Wind Conditions: Low

Observation Start Time: 1430

Observation End Time: 1500

Summary:

On eye-viewing, the sun appeared to have no obvious features. The photo taken below has a tiny prominence.

Photos were taken with the Skyris camera and the best images processed in Autostakkert, Registax, Photoshop, and PowerPoint to colorize and bring out contrast. The results are attached.

Objects Viewed: Sun

Problems Encountered:

There was a light drizzle despite the sun being out among the clouds, so I waited 10-15 minutes before it stopped before taking the blanket off the telescope.

Astronomy Report – May 1st

Astronomy Report

Name: Eric Shear

Crew: 193
Date: May 1, 2018

Sky Conditions: Mostly clear, occasional clouds

Wind Conditions: Low

Observation Start Time: 1330

Observation End Time: 1400

Summary:

One small, shallow prominence was photographed on the Sun. No other features were apparent.

Photos were taken with the Skyris camera and the best images processed in Autostakkert, Registax, Photoshop, and PowerPoint to colorize and bring out contrast. The results are attached.

Objects Viewed: Sun

Problems Encountered:

One filament was spotted, but was nowhere to be found when viewed through the camera. No amount of tuning could bring it back. The prominence discovered today seems to have developed as quickly.

Astronomy Report – April 29th

Astronomy Report
Name: Eric Shear
Crew: 193
Date: April 29, 2018

Sky Conditions: Cloudy with sun still intense through them

Wind Conditions: Windy around noon/afternoon

Observation Start Time: 1315

Observation End Time: 1415

Summary:

Two dark features and a white feature were spotted on the sun today. The dark features are not defined enough to look like sunspots, so they could be filaments. The white spot is almost definitely another solar flare, smaller than the one spotted two sols ago.

Photos were taken with the Skyris camera and the best images processed in Autostakkert, Registax, Photoshop, and PowerPoint to colorize and bring out contrast. The results are attached.

Objects Viewed: Sun

Problems Encountered:

Winds were such that I could not open the lower shutter without it shaking too much, so I kept it closed. The sun was high enough in the sky by then that I could observe it with just the upper shutter retracted.

Passing clouds blotted out the sun at times, so I waited until the camera image cleared before taking captures.