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    Capsule Communicator

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  1. very few exoplanets are found through direct imaging. producing a lightcurve doesn't necessarily require a lot of aperture
  2. Got my hands on a Canon 50mm f/1.8 STM lens in July. Lets in lots of light and is pretty sharp when stopped down to f/3. Have been a very busy bee since! Galaxies of Mirach The Serpent's Tail The Southern Crown: Cygnus: From Cepheus to Vulpecula Dark Nebulae in Cygnus & Cepheus: Any my crowning achievement for the Summer, an image worth printing; Farewell Fire: Excited for the Winter Skies now. Clear skies all!
  3. Whew it's been a while! I promise I'm not dead. Just been really busy. Not a lot of time to play KSP let alone get out and shoot That said I have been enjoying the return of the summer skies. Even ordered a new lens for Milky Way season, it hasn't arrived yet though. The Great Rift: The Great Rift is an area of dark bands stretching from the constellation Cygnus to the constellation Centaurus. They are thought to be clouds of interstellar dust in our galaxy's spiral arms. Two satellites can be seen crossing the sky in this mosaic. The first (bottom left) is likely USA 182 aka Lacrosse 5, a radar reconnaissance satellite and the second (center) is likely a spent stage from the Soviet Zenit-2 rocket that launched Cosmos 1697, a Tselina-2 radio surveillance satellite. Info and Fullres: May 14 Daytime Moon: https://flic.kr/p/2fViZAK Daytime view of the waxing gibbous moon from 5-14. Visible towards the lunar terminator is the Moon's "golden handle", caused by mountain peaks on the western end of Sinus Irdium being illuminated by sunlight. Stack of ~14 individual frames. Stacked using AutoStakkert! 2 with 1.5x drizzle and sharpened using RegiStax. Taken with a Canon 350D with a 75-300mm lens at f/11. Proof you don't need a lot of aperture to squeeze some detail out of the Moon! And best for last, a nice zoomed in view of the Milky Way Core from a few nights ago. My first attempt doing RAW conversion for astrophoto work in RawTherapee! I love the control it gives me. Milky Way Core Widefield: Annotated Version: Image Info:
  4. Summer skies are finally coming back! \o/ Stayed up til dawn to get the Milky Way about 2 weeks ago. I forgot how dang bright the MW is. You do NOT need a lot of integration time to get a good image of it! The above is a stack of 2x60" exposures. Image Details
  5. Spoiled myself for my 21st birthday and bought a star tracker. My photos have improved immensely! Only problem is my wide lens has really bad coma. I have to do some heavy cropping to make these look good. I'm hoping purchasing a fast prime lens in the future will fix some of this. Also been playing with the PixInsight trial and holy crap it's powerful! The color calibration and ACDNR tools have allowed me to accomplish a lot more than Photoshop ever allowed. I'll definitely need to buy it when I have the cash! Orion & Friends: Image details: The Jewels of Taurus: Image details: Also got up early to capture Venus and Jupiter in conjunction on 1/16. Lots of ice particles in the air. Caused oval coronae around both and it started snowing! That's it for now. Clear skies everyone.
  6. Looks like the lobes are less spherical than we thought.
  7. This is excellent! For an object that's darker than asphalt in some places, I think you've done a good job representing what MU69 might look like to human eyes. Color looks very close to the dark patches on both Pluto and Charon. It'll be exciting to see if this expectation holds true as new data is down-linked and released to the public. Bi-lobed bodies appear to be very common in the solar system. Not just MU69 and Pluto's moons, but also several comets: 67P/C-G, 1P/Halley, 19P/Borelly, 103P/Hartley... etc. This paper suggests that these kinds of bodies actually form this way, precipitating as a binary pair and then eventually collapsing due to orbital decay to form the bi-lobed shape we see today. Such collisions would have happened at incredibly low velocities. On the order of 70-90 cm/s, a little over half the average human walking speed. (Drawing by James Tuttle Keane) As mentioned by @lajoswinkler these bodies have the consistency of graupel. They're like the outer solar system's version of "rubble piles" a la Ryugu or Bennu. These pairs likely would accrete into a single mass if their interiors hadn't undergone sufficient cohesion yet. For bi-lobes like MU69 or 67P, this suggest there was quite some time between the formation and the collapse of the binary pair. Long enough for radioactive heating to reinforce the interiors of the two lobes, at least.
  8. This is a good point about the current color images of MU69. The "enhanced" images are false color images that include wavelengths the human eye can't detect. Assembled from Near-Infrared, Red and Blue filter images. (NIR data assigned to the red channel, Red data assigned to the green channel, Blue data assigned to the blue channel). I produced a graphic illustrating this a little while ago using New Horizon's MVIC data and images from Himawari 9's AHI. (All processing by me so any errors are my own) "Natural" Color* vs New Horizon's "Enhanced Color" *Note that the "natural color" images still aren't a perfect representation of what the human eye would see. The green filter of Himawari 9's AHI has a different green spectral response than the human eye and Near-infrared data had to be blended in to the green channel order to bring some green back to Earth's vegetation. New Horizons' MVIC doesn't have a green filter at all. The green channel was synthesized by combining blue and red filter images. But all in all they should be at least a close-ish representation of what the human eye would see.** **My interpretation of Pluto is still a little on the brown/red end. I haven't had time to update these graphics so defer to these images by Alex Parker for a better "natural color" interpretation of Pluto: https://twitter.com/Alex_Parker/status/102032630097883955
  9. Great shot! Thank you! Another, better shot of 46P/Wirtanen taken on 12-11. Was more prepared to shoot in the cold this time. Definitely getting closer and brighter now. Was able to spot it with averted vision on the night I shot this. Last night when I was watching the Geminids with my GF I was able to spot it clearly even with the Moon. Fingers and toes crossed for clear skies and good seeing on the 16th. Weather has taken quite a wintry turn as of late, this might end up being my best shot of comet Wirtanen. On the plus side, taking advantage of every clear sky I get has given me an excuse to try out the new tripod I got for Christmas early. Naughty me. Image Details:
  10. Modded some space potatoes into the game. Tsyke, a big metal asteroid supposed to be an analogue to the IRL asteroid 16 Psyche. Ridge, a tiny moonlet in a placeholder orbit around Tsyke until I can figure out where to put it. Only 2.4 km across. Shaped like a ravioli. Trojar, a Jool Trojan asteroid. Haven't got the orbit right yet but it should work when I do. Especially with the Principia mod maybe. Jeb discovered that Trojar has a big hole in it like the Mohole. Perfect for throwing sacrifices to the Kraken in. Sacrifice: One (1) Kerbug-I and one (1) Jebediah Kerman. Hopefully the Kraken finds it worthy. Suddenly, it happens. Jeb begins to vibrate violently as he phases out of existence! The Kraken is pleased. "Gene, I don't feel so good" - Jeb Kerman to Mission Control
  11. Hi, I'd like to have my name changed to LaydeeDem please. I'd very much appreciate it.
  12. Which one keeps both Relativity and Causality intact? Pick two: Relativity Causality FTL
  13. Link to the paper on a site that isn't blocked by a paywall: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1811.10621.pdf Interesting stuff.
  14. Lots of clouds and frigid temperatures lately, but I managed to catch a break with clear skies the last two nights. Managed to catch comet 46P/Wirtanen on its way towards perihelion on 12-4. According to CalSky it was at magnitude 6.1, just outside the visual range for most people's eyes. Thought I might have sighted it visually with averted vision, though I was likely seeing the nearby 5th-magnitude stars or fog on my glasses lol. Image details: The next night I was more prepared to shoot in the cold. Some high altitude clouds were blocking Wirtanen so I turned my sights towards Orion. Used my faster, longer focal length lens to try and capture some of the nebulae in the belt and sword regions of Orion. Managed to catch the Flame Nebula (NGC 2024), the Running Man (NGC 1977) and the Great Orion Nebula (M42). Thought I might have gotten hints of the Horsehead however it's so faint it's hard to distinguish it from the splotchy artifacts that appear in other low-signal areas. Image Details: After taking a satisfying amount of images at a wide focal length, I centered my camera on M42 and zoomed to 300mm focal length for some satellite hunting. Geostationary satellites often cross in front of M42 so I took a series of long exposure "star trail" images in an attempt to find some. I managed to find four, along with another sat I couldn't identify. Same as before but in timelapse video format. Includes the unidentified sat: Image Details: Cheers.
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