Es werden Posts vom April, 2023 angezeigt.

Shooting stars XXL

 tldr; - For almost a year now, an all-sky camera has been on duty on the roof of our school. It quite reliably captures approximately 5000 black-and-white frames per 24 hours of the sky above Bruneck, South Tyrol. Recently, we started checking the huge dataset for bright meteors, also called bolides. During our first two-hour search run, we found four; two more followed. (Yes, astrocusanus does homework assignments, too 😉.) In 2019 we won the 'Reiff-Preis', a recognition for our year-long efforts in the field of astronomy at school. With the money awarded to us we were able to fulfill a long held dream of an automated all-sky camera (see "Can't take my eyes off you" ). With this new 'toy' we not only hoped to be able to check on the weather without the bother of looking out of the window. We also were eager to begin a hunt for bright meteors, aka bolides. The bolides search team rocks the (overcast 🥺) sky! Alex, Amy, Letizia, Mara & Christof Wiedema

TWAN / The world at night - First part

 tl;dr - Recently, I decided to share my experience in the field of night photography with my students. Here I present the results of our first excursion, where we targeted Orion, the hunter. In 2018, I decided to give a new hobby a try. Inspired by the work of other TWAN photographers, I started venturing out into the night and taking my first snapshots of the night sky, always along with a nice foreground. Now, in 2023, I deemed the time to be ripe to share my experience with others. Six students of the Cusanusgymnasium Bruneck embraced the opportunity. In the afternoon of 7 December 2022 we had our first meeting, a workshop about the basics of night photography. For over two hours I filled the capacious brains of these youngsters with relevant concepts like polar alignment, guiding, stacking, noise, colour temperature, saturation level, etc. and introduced them to useful apps like Peakfinder or Stellarium .  Painfully aware of this abstract and quite demanding immersion into the to

A comet named ... C/2022 E3 (ZTF)! 💩

 tl;dr - On 2 March 2022 the observatory "Zwicky Transient Facility" discovered a new comet. The icy wanderer reached its closest approach to earth on 1 February 2023. It did not quite put on a show as comet Neowise in 2020, nevertheless we didn't leave the visitor unattended. Besides taking pictures, we also decided to acquire a spectrum. It is difficult to tell when the best time for amateur astronomy was. I might have been the early 90s, when digital cameras (CCDs) became affordable. It was the time when one could simply walk out into the backyard, take some images through a medium size telescope and discover a previously unknown asteroid or comet. A comet would inherit the name of its discoverer - that's the rule that still applies today! Unfortunately, human discoverers of comets belong to a species in the way of extinction. Automated search programs are the state of the art now and they are shockingly effective. The Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) has a telesco