Astro 9A/B/C - Fall 2016

Class Schedule and Photo Opportunities This Semester

 

Passages of the International Space Station - here and lunar phases

 

I'll update this page as necessary. Good idea to check it regularly for last second info, e.g. weather, darksky trip. The schedule below tells you what the moon is doing on each class night - it is the single biggest factor in determining what we can/cannot do. I've also got tentative lecture topics for cloudy night, but since cloudy nights are not predictable, consider this a listing of things to focus on and not so much on the exact date I'll be doing it in the classroom.

 

Aug 29: Opening class. Get oriented, materials. Lecture on using C2A for selecting projects.
In class: Basic photography principles PowerPoint.
Directions to the observatory, which is where you'll show up if clear next week.

 

Sept 12: 80% waxing near full moon. No deep sky photography possible. Moon and foreground is the best ideas for tonight.

Clear: maybe can shoot a globular or open star cluster, that's about all - it's too bright. Get creative with such a bright sky?
Cloudy: Help with using C2A to find photo targets.
What we Did:

Sept 19: 85% waning Moon will rise later in during class. Deep sky projects are "go" for early in class .

Clear: deep sky astrophotography with the 12" and 8" scopes. The moon won't interfere too much. Tripod shots.

Cloudy:Digital cameras lecture; how they work, and quiz

What we Did: 

 

Sept 26: Moon will not rise during class

Clear: Excellent night for deep sky targets with all scopes, including wide field shots on your tripods.

Cloudy: Lecture: Lowering noise in digital images. Thermal, flat fielding, help with processing your first images.

What we Did:

 

Oct 3: 8%+ cresent moon in Libra/Scorpio. Nice photo subject:

Clear: Good night for deep sky targets with all scopes, including wide field shots on your tripods. Venus, Mars, Saturn in the evening sky

Cloudy: Lecture: Using CCDOPS and Registax to do initial image reduction.

What we Did:  

 

Oct 10: 60%+ moon. A bit bright for optimum deep sky photography.

Clear: lunar telescope imaging through 10" scope, crater shots

Cloudy: Lecture: Astronomy Tools software for use in Photoshop

What we Did:  

Oct 17: 97%- moon all during class,

Clear: DSLR's on Venus, maybe moon rise through the trees. Otherwise, pretty tough.

Cloudy: processing your photos.
What we Did:

 

Videos for the Aldebaren Graze of Oct 18, 2016, including mine

 

 

Oct 24: Dark moonless night; class time is under dark skies

Clear: Good night for deep sky photography

Cloudy: processing your photos in Photoshop

What we Did: Cloudy! here's a good 28min video on Photography of the Milky Way

 

Oct 31: 2% evening cresent moon. not visible from the Observatory
Clear: All deep sky and DSLR projects possible. Venus and Saturn close in Scorpius

Cloudy: Polishing your photos

What we Did:


Nov 7: 55+ moon Capricorn.

Clear: telescopic moon photography a good choice. deep sky projects OK if not too faint in moonlight sky.

Cloudy: help with processing.

What we Did: here's a good 28min video on Photography of the Milky Way

 

Nov 14: full moon - deep sky shots impossible

Clear:maybe moon through the trees and clouds? No other projects will work
Cloudy: more Photoshop techniques, ideas for getting prints done
What we Did:

Nov 21:Last quarter moon doesn't rise till after class

Clear:Get your astrophotos done; this is our last set of moonless nights
Cloudy: more Photoshop techniques, ideas for getting prints done
What we Did:

 

Nov 28: No moon - get your final deep sky projects shot tonight!

Clear: all faint objects possible - shoot 'em up now!

Cloudy: polishing your photos. I'll help you with processing in Photoshop.
What we Did:

 

Dec 5: First quarter moon, but I always leave this night for our final computer work indoors. Only if that's not necessary will be go to the observatory to shoot.
Clear:
46%+ moon, lunar photography possible, or we may just stay indoors if people need time to finish computer processing

Cloudy: Polishing your photos, with my help, from indoors.

 

Dec 12: Our final night.

End-of-Semester final exam and party in the 705. We’ll put up our photos around the room and critique them, and you can describe your techniques. Bring pot-luck goodies to share! Check out meteors from the Geminids meteor shower on your way home.