Posted on Thursday, May 07, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

Astrophotography on the Go by Joseph Ashley

Astrophotography is a nice albeit sometimes lonely and quite expensive hobby that requires quite a lot of equipment. This book narrows it's topic a little and looks at equipment that is light and small enough to be transportable to a possibly better location be it because of light pollution or because of tall trees hiding the horizon.

The book gives a good idea of what kind of instruments you might look into acquiring and what you need to know about their usefulness - do you really want to get an ALT-AS mount or a Newtonian telescope if you're planning on taking pictures of the night sky with it? Or should you invest in a CCD camera when you're planning on taking your telescope out in the field where you might need to do a lot of preparations to get the necessary electricity for your mount and computer.

Astrophotography on the Go is a well compiled handbook, as you get all the necessary information from beginning to end - equipment, how to set it up, what to look out for, what to take pictures of and how to work with the images you get later on in a photo editing program. The preferred method in this book is using rather short exposures and later stacking them, and it tackles it thoroughly, not just giving you the basics, but also some useful mathematics if you want to figure some things out before you go out into the dark to start with your photography.

It's helpful and clear in case you want to take pictures of planets and nebulae and star clusters.
Posted on Monday, April 27, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

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Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |
Yesterday my colleague had a chance to use our Coronado SolarMax II telescope for the first time on her own. It had been thought that maybe I should introduce the telescope to her beforehand so she'd have a better idea of how and why it works. However I was in a hurry to leave work early and hoped that as an astronomy student she'll be fine.

However yesterday, on my day off I get several calls, where she's inquiring about the telescope and to top it off a very excited colleague calls me saying "this is so cool - there are two rings, I've never seen an image like this before with this telescope. I wish I could take a picture. Can you come here? Please, please, PLEASE hurry here!"

So I, having checked the latest image of the photosphere and whether there are any sunspots, I think - okay, maybe there's something interesting going on, and she's just not explaining it right. If it's rings, it's likely to have something to do with the telescope - right?

So I leave home, racing to work not having had time to even have breakfast yet. The telescope is all set up outside, as I'd asked her to leave it the way it was, and another colleague is keeping an eye on it. And then he shows me a picture of what they were so excited about - they had been observing without the eyepiece and were able to see a little bit of the inside structure of the telescope together with a tiny sun. Nothing extraordinary. But I wouldn't have thought they'd forget to use an eyepiece :)
Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |


Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

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Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |
The Lyrid meteor shower will be active this year from April 16th to April 25 th with the best time for observations is on around April 23rd.

The beginning of the active time for this meteor shower happens to be when the Moon is just a thin crescent and sets early, and during the culmination of the meteor shower it sets a more than an hour after midnight - so it's a great time for seeing some meteors weather permitting.

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Posted on Tuesday, April 07, 2015
By Kadri Tinn |

Electricity and Magnetism: New Formulation by Introduction of Superconductivity by Teruo Matsushita

Electricity and Magnetism is a crucial part of any undergraduate physics course at colleges and universities and one that often times separates the students into who will graduate and who will not.

Electricity and magnetism is fascinating if you spend enough time actually learning it - just a lecture course normally wouldn't be enough, and you have to work hard with a textbook. Although there are probably few lecture courses that teach electricity and magnetism with this formulation, students would benefit from looking at the subject from a different angle, where you get a better understanding of the interplay between electric and magnetic fields.

The textbook is quite interesting right from the beginning, various exercises and worked examples help set in the topics covered and if needed you can consult the appendix for some of the mathematics you might need if you get stuck with something you've forgotten.

If you've previously gone through an electricity and magnetism textbook that uses the more classical formulation, then this one will either seem like too much or like a fresh new breeze and very exciting.
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