So the highest temperature today went to about 35 C. I kept the roof of the observatory closed and opened it around 22:30. Notice the sudden dip in the upper graph. This shows the sudden release of the heat trapped inside the observatory even after 4 hours of sunset and then the heat loss ratio became stable.
Lower graph shows the temperature loss outside the observatory.. of course no sudden dip around 22:30.
The weather is getting hot now.. In the direct sunlight, it is getting hard to stand and keep talking to hundreds of students.. of course, who cares about that!
Today i met super charged students of LGS EME branch.. Some 400 kids from 6th and 7th grade. They saw the Sun through Solar Glasses donated by CBSAP and my Lunt 152 Hydrogen Alpha Solar telescope; i use this scope with B3400 which gives a bigger field of view of the Sun.
They were shooting questions about every thing they could think of in the entire Universe.. Extra-terrestrial life forms, Black holes, Alien planets, Formation of Stars, planets and moons, Space Missions and what not! I was speaking at the maximum possible speed my sound system could manage with continuously taking water to keep it running. At the end of it all, some 3 hours later, the sound system broke and i am very very happy with that!
Students of LGS EME, you are great!
This is the graph from my Weather Station at the observatory.. Upcoming three days are predicted to bring thunderstorms.
The following is the highest wind speed recorded at the observatory last year.
The blue line is indicating rain here.. Red line are clouds and the yellow is daylight.
Lahore Astronomical Society meets every first Friday of every month, except Ramadan. This month it was yesterday where Schehrzade Syed gave a presentation on Life of late Stephan Hawking and his most famous works. It was extremely entertaining and there were many video clips embedded. I felt like i was meeting with the family & friends of Hawking through the entire presentation.
Good job Schehrzade!
Being under the burning sunlight, standing for hours, constantly talking to hundreds of people, continuously repeating every time to a new observer what to see, how to see and what is being seen.. this all does not drain me at all; On the contrary, it gives me such energy which i cannot explain in mere words.
Just give me a crowd.. hundreds? yes.. thousands? even better! I have been doing it for decades and will do it everyday.. all my life!
Today i went to COMSATS, Lahore and took my Hydrogen Alpha Solar Telescope with me, CBSAP Glasses and spectral rings. Alpha who is new to our Astronomical Society's core group also came and helped a lot!
Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655) was a french philosopher, priest and mathematician. He explained parhelia, measured the speed of sound with some accuracy, became the first person to observe the transit of a planet (Mercury) across the Sun. (Wikipedia). He also corresponded with Galileo and was a strong beliver of Copernican system.
The big crater on the right in the image is named after Pierre Gassendi.
Gassendi crater is located on the western limb of the moon (in the right image, an arrow is pointing to this crater). Right below this crater is Mare Humorum (Sea of Moisture), a 389 km diameter impact basin.
A small portion of North-West Rim of the basin of Mare Humorum is visible in the image.
Gassendi A & B Crater:
Gassendi A is a 32 km sized crater which has impacted on the northern rim of Gassendi crater, which resulted in destroying that part of the rim and raising of the northen floor of Gassendi. Gassendi A was once called Clarkson but IAU does not recognise it with this name.
Gassendi B is 25 km wide and seems much older than Gassendi A due to its rounded rim. Also there is a peculiar secondary rim near the eastern rim of Gassendi B, which starts from the base of the bigger rim goes straight down to South for 77 km and then terminates. But it seems a faint one going towards SouthWest side.
Now coming back to the star of the show, the main crater Gassendi. It seems a bit oval in shape but that is due to its placement on the moon where moon's spherical shape changes the viewing angle from circle to an oval.
Compare this picture with the image from LRO lunar orbiter which shows its true circular shape.
Gassendi is an old crater, estimated to be around 4 billion years old. Although the floor of the crater is all fragmented but it seems that it was flooded, probably from the Mare Humorum. There are many central peaks in the center and the highest is 1.2 km tall.
The walls of the crater seems intact everywhere so perhaps the lave came under the walls?
Mare Humorum seems to be the source of this lava. Note the southern part of Gassendi, where Mare is located, is distinctly smoother than the rest of the crater floor.
Also the Southern most rim is also the weakest part of the entire rim. Other parts of the rim have no terrace structure which is easily visible in other big craters such as Copernicus. This is probably because of the moon quakes or the impacts near Gassendi, specially Gassendi A, that the terraces have disappeared form the rims.
Gassendi Floor Structure:
Gassendi has probably the most complex rille (narrow channel) structure of all the craters we can see on the moon. A huge contrast is Plato. I have drawn some rough lines of this rille pattern in yellow so it can be seen a bit easier. These rilles are probably a few hundred meters deep. These rilles are believed to be formed by the collapsed lava tubes or extinct lava channels. A lot was once happening at Gassendi!
Another interesting area is this crater to the west of Gassendi. This crater has a marked bright ejecta in its surroundings. The crater is 2.5 km wide and the ejecta is more than 10 km wide.
North West area of Gassendi is very uneven and has various smaller craters. Gassendi was once a potential target for Apollo 17 mission because it can offer highlands as well as the material from the Mare. But it was too difficult to move around so they went to Taurus-Littrow Valley.
Gassendi is also very famous for a rare phenomenon noticed by avid lunar observers, called Transient Lunar Phenomenon (TLP). They report a sudden brightness of light and color in and around Gassendi.
Here is an overview of how i took this image:
Telescope: Celestron C14 with 2.5X Powermate
Camera: ZWO ASI 174 mono with Red Filter
Mount: Losmandy Titan
Processing: Stacked 2,000 frames from 25,000.
Autostakkert, Registax, PS.
C14, ASI 174, RGB.
Clavius is one of the easiest to recognize craters on the lunar surface because it contains five craters spread in a curve.
Here is how a sunset looks like on Mare Crisium, a beautiful crater on our Moon.
Telescope: Celestron, C14
Mount: Losmandy Titan, tracking in Lunar mode
Camera: ZWO ASI 174 mono version
Image Exposure: 1/1000th of a second
Total Frames: 4000
Software: Fire Capture, AviStack, Registax, Photoshop CC.
Seeing was behaving tonight.. So this image is form my main telescope, C14 and the new camera ZWO ASI 174 mono. Fire capture is so simple and intuitive to use.. probably the most colorful software that i have ever used. This software controls ZWO cameras and filter wheel flawlessly; i got an AVI of about 4000 frames using a luminance filter with this.
Autostakkert, Registax and Photoshop CC were used to process the video file into this image. Not bad! Can you guess the craters? (Hint: It is the eastern limb)
Recently i bought my first ZWO cam, ASI 174 mono version. We are still having our monsoon season so still not being able to test it thoroughly but during a break in the clouds i captured this video and some more, which i will put up in a few days.
This is from C14 telescope; i had attached 2.5X powermate at the backend, which had made the focal length to 10,000mm with an f ratio f/28.
Seeing is never good in the monsoon season.. so i am waiting for this weather to end. This video was shot at 317 frames per second and i captured around 20k frames in about a minute!
This camera seems very promising.. In the future, i will be using ZWO filter wheel (already have one) and various filters that i have. Sadly Jupiter and Saturn are on their way to the sunlight but i have my eyes on Mars now.
SBIG advises Not to cool the water which is going through the camera to cool the CCD inside.. it can cause dew to form inside the camera body, which can fry the electronics!
But here in summer the temp goes way to high.. so a few months back i had built a custom water cooling system where i can set the temperature with a micro controller. Now i keep the temperature of the water above the dew point and everything works fine!
Here is a comparison.. 31 Celsius goes in the camera and 35 Celsius comes out and drops in the water cooling box.
My weather station was fixed closed to the ground, some 2 feet above it. The observatory buildings are very near to that place and the wind speed gets effected by it. i knew i had to change the position of the weather station.
Today i changed the position of the station and fixed it on a 15 feet high poll! I will test the measurements in the coming days.