Observations on 1st/2nd June, 2015

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″

Constellation: Libra

theta lib a min before disappearance theta lib moments before disapperance theta lib reappearance

chetan dhruv 1 IMG_9507

Time Activity Remarks
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
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