Below is the detailed log of my observations on 1st/2nd June 2015. The highlightof the observation was a Lunar Occultation of a 4th Magnitude star. Special thanks to Mr. Samir Dhurde from IUCAA, Pune for giving us access to the location and necessary arrangements.
Date: 1st /2nd June , 2015
Co-observer: Chetan Bawdhankar
Location: Science Centre Terrace, IUCAA, Pune.
Location coordinates: 18.52 degree N, 73.84 degree E
Altitude: ~560m above sea level
Instruments: 6 inch Sky watcher telescope, EQ-3 mount and drive, Logitech webcam hacked, Acer Laptop, Chetan’s Laptop, Canon 600D, Tripod.
Software: VIDCAM 32, SKYMAP-Pro, Stellarium
Highlight of observation: Occultation of theta libra star by Moon.
Star Details: Theta Librae
Visual Mag: 4.13
Spectral Type: K0III
Distance: 163 +/- 7 light years
Luminosity: 45.1 +/- 3.9 x Sun’s luminosity
Apparent RA (epoch of date): 15h 54m 43.88s
Apparent Dec (epoch of date): -16° 46′ 20.3″
|22:00||Setting up telescope, mount and tracking system|
|22:15-22:40||Starting webcam capture software, webcam initialisation.||The software used was VIDCAP 32. There were initial problems with detection of USB webcam. Keep as many applications closed as possible|
|22:40 – 23:00||Locating Star Theta Libra|
|23:00 – 23:15||Keeping the star and moon surface in one frame and tracking the same.||Software crashed twice|
|23:15 – 23:24||Single File captured|
|23:25 – 23:34||Final video capturing started. Disappearance was successfully recorded. However, it happened so quick that we didn’t realise for a few seconds that it had gone.||We didn’t know how to stop the video capture and save the file. We had to have a telephonic conversation with Arvind Paranjpye to work out a solution as he uses this software frequently.|
|23:40 – 00:05||Saving the AVI file and duplicating the same|
|00:10 – 00:30||Searching for a new video capture software on Chetan’s laptop|
|00:30 – 00:45||Identifying the crater area from where the star would be expected to re-appear.||We used Stellarium as well as a mobile app on Chetan’s phone to understand the different craters and finally found the ridge we were expecting the star to re-appear from.|
|00:45 – 00:55||Software tested and successfully capturing video|
|00:55 – 1:08||Star re-appeared exactly at the place where it was expected to and we had successfully captured the same.||Video quality was not kept high in the new software due to which a little image detail was lost.|
|1:30 -2:15||Video files of Saturn were captured using this webcam.|
|2:15 – 2:30||Data Transfer and securing process||Multiple data was stored on both laptops|
|2:30 – 2:45||Close down of telescope|
|3:00 – 4:00||Sleep Break|
|4:15 – 5:15||Observed Cassiopeia and Andromeda galaxy in the Northern Skies. Tried photographing the same at 15 – 20 second exposures and caught the galaxy in them.|
|5:40||Return to base|