Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Changes to W30

We've made two changes, added a guider so that longer exposures are possible and added a longer dew shield.

We've had some trouble with glints of stray light on some images during bright moon times.  Hopefully the longer dew shield will reduce that.

Interestingly, although the company that makes the guider advertises it as a guider, it has to be used with a star diagonal as the light path is too long to mount the guide camera in the focuser.  So it's not designed as a guider at all.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Cool data...

Here is a cool light curve that jumped out at me.

The target is PNV J19150199+0719471  which is a newly discovered cataclysmic variable in Aquila.  This is about a 4 hr. run, each dot is a 60 second observation with a CCD camera and yes, those are error bars!  The precursor object was about 20th mag, here you can see it's varying around 15.8  The target is showing a 87 minute period.  This sawtooth pattern is referred to as 'superhumps'.  The model says this is oscillations in the accretion disk swirling around the white dwarf as the matter pours on to it.  It's pretty dramatic…

Monday, April 22, 2013

Confirmed a new supernova in NGC 7331 with this image.

22 37 2.07  +34 24 2.92

It's the upper of the close pair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

W30 has a new home

W30 is a 12" Meade SCT donated to the AAVSONet by the estate of Paul Wright, a former AAVSO member.  The telescope is equipped with an SBIG STL-1001 camera and photometric filters. It runs a nightly program of variable star imagining gathering hundreds of images.

A new steel pier was added to the observing floor to support the telescope.  Several nights of work were required to get the polar alignment right and the focusing system working properly.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

W30 arrives at Sutter Creek Observatory

Mike Simonsen and Bill Goff with telescope referred to as W30

W30 is a Meade 12" SCT telescope owned by the AAVSO as a part of their AAVSONet of telescopes.  In November, it was moved to Sutter Creek Observatory and I became the new host.  The scope is shown there temporarily on a tripod mounting.