Observing Report, 3/31

Monday lab had some intersting times at the observatory on March 31. The sky was clear, moonless, and beautiful. We reviewed some celestial sphere terms from the first session, but the focus of the night was imaging.

First up, we did some afocal photography of Jupiter. That’s taking an amage with a camera through the telescope’s eyepiece. Here is a collage of student cell phone photos of Jupiter.

By John Laurine, Aleksandra Petkova, Kelly Johnson, Jared Leon.

Prime focus (camera replaces the eyepiece) photography proved a little more challenging, as some technical problems limited what we could do. But we did take a couple of successful images with our CCD camera.

M81. Galaxy 12 million light years away.

M42, Great Orion Nebula.

We were able to see Mars in the southeast by the end of the evening.

Finally, we tried again for a timelapse of circumpolar motion in the northern sky. Unfortunately, the camera stopped after a few minutes, but I finished the job at home: