Luke was a hard worker, and won both the Beta Lyrae (an eclipsing ellipsoidal binary) and also Chi Cygni, a long period variable.

Hannah's points best matched the green light curve I sketched in after downloading data from a wide array of amateur astronomers

Madeline's magnitude estimates best matched the real data on R Scuti.

And Luke again, did best on Chi Cygni

An additional science opportunity happened on our final exam night, as the asteroid (667) Denise occulted a faint star from a path which was predicted to just miss Cabrillo College, but we were within the uncertainty limits. I demonstrated how to video-record time-stamped GPS frames so they could be read by software for reductions later.


Above is our award winners for the variable star competition. Our gang did well! The visual estimates of variable star brightness followed the true light curves very well, for all stars, even difficult Eta Aquilae, a low amplitude Cepheid pulsating star. Congratulations!


Below is the astrophotography project results, all images taken with the 12" LX200 under the dome at Cabrillo College Observatory.

On that night I took the photo the Meed 12" telescope's chip temperature was -20 C*, there was a bright, 40%, crescent moon, and luckily there was no fog or clouds indicated by the fact all 5 variable stars were visible. Also the night was medium darkness because it was 9:41pm on the fall night of September 26, 2017 and the moon appeared to be in the constellation scorpio which is far away on the opposite side of the sky from my photographic object M31, the Andromeda Galaxy.

Through the digitalized editing process I took my 3 images on CCDOPS5, changed the ratio from 1:1 to 1:2, clicked apply, and then dark subtracted the chip temperature(-20 C*) from each one to cancel temperature damage, then flat fielded a medium gray background, filled out the color process with red/blue/green + gamma to undo the black+white frame and repeated 3 time with each of the 3 images individually. I now moved on to the next program: Registax3. I stacked and combined my three filter image here to drown out and nullify any unaddressed impurities in the stacked image then saved again as tiff. file. Then I moved on to the final step, the photoshop process in which I lucky in that my image, the Andromeda Galaxy, was so bright, so close, and the night was so clear and dark that very little photoshopping was need however I did discover optical migraines in the image. I had to use zoom in and clone stamp to blot out several rouge pixels that came out red, green, and blue instead of the color of that piece of the image by coping nearby sections of the picture and pasting over them. This my final image and I am satisfied with my work.


The Crab Nebulae (M1)

Melanie Jones

3x5-min exposures taken on November 21, 2017, 8:45pm PST

Cabrillo College Observatory, Aptos CA

Using a 12" Meade LX200, ST 2000 TEM Single Shot Camera

Sky Conditions: Crystal clear night besides one dust cloud, with a declining moon. Chip temp is -25 degrees. 

CCDOPS5: I used this program to dark subtract and put a flat field that darkened the corners. I also got rid of the dust cloud. Then, I single-shot color processed using SRGB + Gamma transfer function. Finally, I saved it as a .tiff in the fall17 folder and stacked this photo 3 times with Registax (saved as stack.tiff). 

Photoshop: Next, I opened up Photoshop and my stack.tif file. At 80% exposure, I opened up the curve edit with preset at custom. The channel was RGB, showing the channel overlays, histogram, baseline, and intersection line. After that, I went to windows, to history, to actions, and I "made the stars smaller" x2. Under the same action tab, I did local contrast enhancement. Third, I selected noise and despeckle. Last, I cropped the image and saved a gallery, thumbnail, and print image as .jpg. 



The date of the photo was 10/24/2017 at 20:23 hours 5 min exposer 12" telescope with a moon in the sky that was a waxing crescent at 20% illumination. the chip was at -18 degrees celesis. I was only able to get 2 images that we stack but it work out very well since it was very bright and distance. The object was M-13 globular cluster in the constellation Hercules.The distance object was in the southwest with a clear sky at 36.5 latitude.With Becky helping with ccdops and DK5- getting through  the raw,dark,flat was easy when we got to color process i decide to use DDP the images look in more detail and the colors of the red giants pop out brighter.

Then in photo shop all i did was use the black stamp to clean up the image from the static nose. This image is symbolic to many athletes as it is the strongest muscel the HEART OF HERCULES.


Comet ASASSN 01 C/2017. Hannah Downing. 12" Meade LX200, ST2000XCM. 5 images 5 min exposure each. Nov. 7, 2017 around 8:15p.m. Cabrillo College Observatory Dome CCDOPS: Dark Subtract (eliminates dust donut & dark corners), Flat Field, Color Process, SRGB+gamma, Registax: 5 images stacked, moving object so manual alignment is necessary for each photo. Photoshop: Less Crunchy More Fuzzy, Make Stars Smaller X2, Space Noise Reduction, Increase Star Color X2. Sized for print & gallery. 


In CCDOPS, we loaded up my three pictures and one by one used dark subtract. Then used flats to get rid of the dark corners and dust specks. the color processor brought life to my image which I then stacked all three pictures on top of each other. 

In Photoshop I used curves to get my dark sky. I also amplified the color of M27 with the saturation setting. I used an action that made my stars smaller and sharper. Spot healing brush was used to get the satellite out of my picture.  It turned out Great!

Clear Sky, partial moon. taken on 10/24 from 10:07 to 10:21