Andy Wilson

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Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 334 total)
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  • in reply to: Last night’s planetary observations #612606
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Paul & David,
    After not doing much observing over the summer months, I am also starting to get back to visual astronomy. I had a nice short session last night of about an hour, taking brief looks at Saturn and Jupiter along with some deep sky objects. I am using a Mewlon 250, so not far off a C9.25 in performance.
    I need to spend a bit of time planning some sessions, as I find it rewarding to concentrate on a few pre-selected targets. When I am feeling brave I like to make drawings, though my artistic skills need work!
    Andy

    in reply to: BAA meeting in Elgin #612463
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Thank you Pauline.
    I’ve been in discussions with UHI Moray for a few weeks as to how it might be done, and the day before we didn’t think it would be possible. They were able to record a presentation but there was no sound as that was going through a different system to the room speakers. Lorna Leil found a last minute solution and then Helen Williamson made the recordings on the day, both from UHI Moray. While the solution wasn’t found in time for John Mason’s talk on Friday evening, it allowed all of Saturday to be recorded.

    in reply to: Problems accessing member areas of the website #611872
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    The full changes have now been implemented. Our tests indicate all is working as it should.
    If you experience problems with your login then you can use the Contact the Web Team form even if your login is not working correctly.
    https://britastro.org/contact-the-web-team
    Our apologies to anyone who experienced problems yesterday.
    Andy

    in reply to: Problems accessing member areas of the website #611870
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    We believe the problem experienced yesterday afternoon and evening have been resolved. There are follow up changes we need to make in the next day or two. We will do testing and looking out for any unusual website behaviour.
    Andy

    in reply to: Problems accessing member areas of the website #611869
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Max,
    Yes, that is different website behaviour that has previously been raised. In theory it makes the site more secure, but we probably don’t need that level of security for the BAA website. It is a change that might be implemented in a future release.
    Andy

    in reply to: Discussions #611235
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Overall I don’t think there has been a significant change to the site traffic. There has been an absence of new articles recently, but we often get gaps then a run of articles in quick succession. Comparing June this year with last year we have about a 25% fewer visitors but about about 20% more page views. These kind of fluctuations are pretty much inline with what I’ve seen previously, for example June 2022 had 15% fewer visitors and 20% fewer page views than May 2022.

    With regards to the login not being remembered this is to do with WordPress rather than SheepCRM. I can add a request for remaining logged in to a list of changes for consideration. It is possible some prefer not being left logged in permanently, though I can see it can be a barrier. I was already in the habit of logging out before closing down my computer and then back in when I visited the website, so I’ve not noticed the difference.

    in reply to: Summer Meeting Nottingham University – Parking #611120
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Mike,
    Hazel has heard back from the university. They have informed her that car parking on campus will be free for all from 8am until 18:00.
    Best wishes,
    Andy (BAA Systems Administrator)

    in reply to: Summer Meeting Nottingham University – Parking #611092
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Mike,
    I passed your enquiry to Hazel Collett, the BAA Meetings Secretary. She informs me there is parking on campus and it should be free. She is waiting for an update as the university are altering the parking arrangements due to the rail strike, so there might be a specific car park for the BAA event.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    in reply to: Star Count results #610473
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Daryl,
    I had thoughts along similar lines.
    I have already pointed out to them it appears you can zoom in on individual houses. They responded to say the postcodes cover many houses and they don’t think anyone looking at the map would assume everyone taking part has a telescope. None the less I wonder if it might discourage those with expensive equipment from contributing.
    I have not seen evidence their conclusions are rigorous. I do think it is encouraging those recording severe light pollution has fallen, though my concern is whether this might be due to differences in participation. It would take quite a detailed analysis of their results, looking at individual locations. In particular comparing locations where results are reported from the same or nearby locations over several years.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Max,
    The quick answer is you should submit observations to both organisations, explanation as follows.
    We periodically send the AAVSO updates with copies of new BAAVSS observations, but this is typically every 3-12 months. Where feasible we try to make it every 3 months, but my workload can lead to longer periods between updates and delays can also happen at the AAVSO. I do some manual house cleaning of the BAAVSS data before I compile the data files, and there is manual work at the AAVSO end to check the data and select which observations to add, as they don’t add the observations for every star in the BAA database. At some stage it would be nice to automate the whole process. However, due to the manual work at both ends this will be a few years away at best.
    The BAAVSS records more information about the observations than the AAVSO, to allow future researchers to investigate individual observations should they wish to do so. It also enables the BAAVSS database to recalculate historical observations onto the latest sequence. While this isn’t applicable to many of the fainter stars we observe today, it is very useful where the BAAVSS has long term observations of stars covering many decades. These can appear as bumps in the AAVSO light curves, where a sequence was updated when more accurate comparison star magnitudes became available. Where a BAAVSS chart is recorded with the observations, there is an option to recalculate to remove these bumps from the BAAVSS database.
    When I discussed submitting to both organisations with the AAVSO, they asked for BAAVSS members to submit their observations to both organisation. This avoids any delay in them appearing in the AAVSO database.
    Best wishes,
    Andy, BAAVSS Database Secretary

    in reply to: Logging in to the new website #610150
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Paul,
    I’ve noted this in the development log. To set expectations I suspect this functionality won’t change in the near future.
    Part of this is down to different behaviour of the new WordPress site versus the old version of Drupal used in the previous website. Being logged out after a period of inactivity can be considered a security feature.
    Even in the old website, when logging in your location prior to login wasn’t remembered. I agree this would be great but as there is a growing wish list of developments please be prepared it might not happen soon.
    Cheers,
    Andy (BAA Web Content Editor)

    in reply to: ASTAP #610133
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Mark,
    That is great! Many thanks to you and Han for arranging this option in ASTAP. I have added ASTAP to the list of photometry packages on the Photometry database website page.
    I will contact you separately with questions on the chart and filter.
    Thanks,
    Andy

    in reply to: Pete & Paul’s Observing Challenges for 2022? #610084
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Sally,
    I’m pleased to report this year’s challenges will be appearing on the website. A little work needs to happen to get them into a publishable form, so they aren’t quite ready but hopefully soon. Thanks for suggesting this.
    Andy

    in reply to: ASTAP #610083
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Mark,
    For software to appear in the list on the BAA Photometry Database page, there needs to be a way for members to upload observation data files. Have you been able to do this with ASTAP or are you manually entering the observation data?
    An explanation on how to convert the AAVSO file format into a format uploadable into the BAA database is given at this link.
    https://britastro.org/photdb/help/BAA_Support_for_AAVSO_Extended_File_Format.pdf
    Feel free to contact me offline or reply here if you would like any pointers on how to do this. I tested the modified AAVSO file format a while ago, but I am not sure if anyone is actually use this yet.
    Best wishes,
    Andy
    BAAVSS Database Secretary

    in reply to: ASTAP #610080
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Mark,
    There is no reason other than to appear on the list of photometry tools someone in the VSS needs to be successfully using it for photometry and submitting observations to the BAA online database. With a few tweaks to the AAVSO file format you can upload those files.
    The reason for not adding more tools to the list and approaching developers is time. Running the photometry and spectroscopy databases are voluntary roles, so the list of tools is based on what members are using. I am happy to offer help and advice to anyone wishing to submit observations to the database.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    in reply to: Pete & Paul’s Observing Challenges for 2022? #610069
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Sally,
    A wonderful idea. I am investigating whether it will be possible to publish these challenges.
    Last year was special as we held a virtual Winchester with livestreams and recordings of the talks. This year we were not able to broadcast or record the talks at the venue. Hence it comes down to whether the lecturers give permission their talks to be published, noting sometimes lecture material is used for more than one event or isn’t in a suitable format to be easily published on a website.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    in reply to: Jpeg #609953
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Nick,
    I remembering seeing similar behaviour in Maxim DL if I didn’t set the options to save the stretched image to the dynamic range of the output file. I think what is happening is you are displaying the image with a certain stretch applied to the image brightness, setting what is dark to light. However, what is being saved is unstretched or a different dark to light stretch. This may be more important for jpeg as I think they have a limited dynamic range of 8-bit.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    in reply to: Lunar Libration Charts Errata link #609585
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi John,
    Thanks for pointing this out. The file of the corrected libration charts had gone missing, so I’ve added it back. Also the link in the file needed updating as it broke with the website migration. Also now fixed. It just goes to the handbook area of the website as this won’t break if individual files are replaced.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    in reply to: BAA Telescope Time? #609299
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Grant,
    Here is my understanding, though someone with more knowledge of how far this got may jump in.
    The important point is the BAA was not engaging the programmers. This was to be an allocation of time from a commercial operation being setup by a BAA member. In other words this would not have been exclusively for the BAA, and the responsibility of how the IT worked was not with the BAA. Though obviously the BAA would have agreed a way to grant member access for this to go ahead. I just don’t think it reached that stage.
    Best wishes,
    Andy

    in reply to: BAA Telescope Time? #609250
    Andy Wilson
    Keymaster

    Hi Grant,
    My understanding is this was to be made possible via a generous allocation of time from a BAA Member who was setting up a commercial observatory. The BAA President gave a brief update recently, I think at the DSS Annual Meeting held as a webinar. The war in Ukraine put a hold on the project as the software developers are based in Ukraine.
    I’m not sure it had got as far as working out how members would request observing time.
    Andy

Viewing 20 posts - 1 through 20 (of 334 total)