Mike Harlow

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  • in reply to: 2020 – how was it for you? #583626
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    A modest 56 nights of imaging from home in 2020 with a hand full of remote telescope sessions.  My main targets are variable nebulae with the majority of images being of Gyulbudaghian’s nebula which had a dramatic fade.  A remote image of McNeil’s nebula showed that it was still invisible and Hind’s nebula showed little change in shape.

    Two novae appeared that were initially bright enough for both imaging and low resolution spectroscopy. Nova Cas 2020 has now undergone a deep dust fade but may well brighten again in the next few months.  Nova Persei remains bright enough for spectroscopy and should be interesting to watch as it fades in the next few months.

    And there was that comet…NEOWISE.  I don’t have the technology or skill to get stunning images but a simple set-up did reveal the sodium tail early in the apparition.

    Looking forward to seeing how some of these objects change in 2021.

    Mike.

    in reply to: Nova in Cas #583617
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Imaged the nova last night and it is barely detectable now.  Presumably if it does behave like DQ Her it should brighten again in the next month or so?  Well worth keeping an eye on…!

    Mike

    in reply to: Nova in Cas #583605
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Recent Astronomers telegrams report that dust formation is happening in this nova explaining the recent deep fade.  See ATel14272 and ATel14267 for details.  Also recent images illustrating the fade are on my members page.

    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Hi Mike,

    Nice images, as Grant says, please keep imaging this nebula, changes can happen on short timescales so the more coverage we have the better.

    I image it as often as possible and have observations from 5th and 19th November which show a similar feature to the one you are seeing.  I put all my images on my members page.  See these two for direct comparison: 5th November19th November.

    All the best,

    Mike.

    in reply to: Update to member pages #583512
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Hi Dominic, Nice upgrade to the members pages, I’ve just uploaded an image to test out the new plate solving capability!

    Is it still possible to add hyperlinks in the “About this image” text for each observation?  Also, changing my profile image has been a bit hit-and-miss but haven’t tried again today yet so maybe that was just an issue yesterday.

    Thanks, Mike

    in reply to: Nova in Perseus #583402
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    I guess most of you know this but spectra are now starting to be posted on the ARAS web page for this nova.  Well worth checking regularly as the nova develops.

    Mike.

    in reply to: Nova in Perseus #583397
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Poor conditions last night with thickening fog and a bright Moon but managed to get an image and (very) low resolution spectrum.  Shows the main features of a nova in its early stages…bright continuum with hydrogen emission lines.  Results on my members page.

    Regarding photometry…you could try a small aperture mask on you main telescope to cut the brightness.  I sometimes use a 4 inch or even 2 inch on my 12inch scope for spectroscopy of bright stars for example.

    Mike.

    in reply to: AY Lac #583229
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Hi Gary,

    Interesting stuff.  Any references to the previous outbursts available online?  Curious to known if the 1927 and 1966 outbursts evolved in the same way or were they significantly different from each other?

    Thanks,

    Mike.

    in reply to: PV Cep in deep fade #583113
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Also being observed by myself and Nick James.

    in reply to: Nova in Cas #583044
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Interesting passing comment in the latest ATel 13967 on the nova:

    Quote:    “…dust formation will almost certainly take place sometime in the next several weeks.”

    So I guess a dramatic fade can be expected??? Well worth watching at every opportunity.

    Mike.

    in reply to: C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) #582855
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    A quick look at the spectrum from this morning suggests the sodium emission is much weaker now.  Colour images of the dust tail certainly look less ‘orange’ which maybe why the ion tail looks much more prominent(?).  I initially put all this down to the poor seeing this morning but I think it’s real.

    Will post images/spectra on my members site when I’ve had a closer look.  Was also imaging Gyulbudaghian’s and Borisov’s VNe last night so a lot of images to plough through!!!

    Mike.

    in reply to: Something interesting by M88 #581084
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    A rather poor image attached taken at 07:04UT on 23rd May.  Illustrates that robotic telescopes don’t always return excellent results!  However, it is good enough to show that AL Com has faded significantly, as David’s photometry indicates, and is only just visible in this three minute exposure.

    Mike

    in reply to: Variable nebula update #581049
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Hi Stewart,

    The Gemini telescope is part of the Sierra stars observatory network (SSON). Have a look at their web site at: http://sierrastars.com/ .  If you want to use it you will have to set up an account and then buy some credits.  Then you can schedule jobs to look at whatever you want.

    A word of caution though, as with most things you usually only see the good images.  There are often ‘issues’ with using remote telescopes so don’t expect perfect results every time.  Prepare for some disappointments…the image I downloaded this morning was rubbish!!!

    Have you looked at iTelescope?  They have a wide range of telescope sizes suited to all sorts of observing projects (SSON only have two 0.5M instruments).  Payment there is with a monthly subscription but you can change the amount you pay on your ‘Plan’ quite easily.

    Hope that helps,

    Mike.

    in reply to: Something interesting by M88 #581046
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Latest image attached taken at 05:04UT on 8th May.

    Mike.

    in reply to: Variable nebula update #581043
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Hi Andrew,

    You are right, the May image isn’t as good as the previous two, probably due to poorer seeing conditions.  That’s why my post was more of a question than a statement and I have requested more images to confirm any fading.  I think the trend is real but maybe exaggerated by the image quality.

    More observations welcome!!!

    Mike.

    in reply to: Something interesting by M88 #581023
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    Hi Gary, Thanks for the information…I will have a read!

    Mike.

    in reply to: Something interesting by M88 #581020
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    For the record my image of AL Com from earlier tonight.  Had to image it well before astronomical twilight as cloud was forecast to come in off the North Sea…as it did just after the image was taken.  The disadvantage of imaging from sea level in Suffolk and not from a mountain in Arizona!

    And a couple of questions…

    1) Is there any literature out there on AL Com?  A quick ‘Google’ just came up with an Astrophysical Journal article from 1992 which didn’t really say very much.

    2) And are all these observations being collected together for a VSS report or similar?

    Mike

    in reply to: Something interesting by M88 #581008
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    I can’t really claim any credit…it’s a great telescope!  The UOI 0.5M Gemini telescope is part of the Sierra Stars Observatory Network (SSON) and was upgraded last summer.  The new CCD makes images like this possible.  The M88/AL Com image was a single 180 seconds exposure with a luminance filter.  I’m no image processing expert; I just did a log stretch and a bit of stretching using IRIS to make the galaxy look nice(!).  I took the magnitude estimate from the AAVSO web site where people like Gary report all their hard work.

    Anyone can sign up to SSON and buy telescope time.  They also have a 0.5M at Siding Spring to cover southern objects.

    Mike.

    in reply to: Something interesting by M88 #581006
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    My first chance to image AL Com was on 24th April using the 0.5M University of Iowa telescope in Arizona.  It had already faded to mag. 14 in the 9 days since Martin’s image.

    Is anyone else continuing to monitor/image this object?  I’ll aim to take some more images in the coming week…

    Mike.

    in reply to: Nova in Perseus #579411
    Mike Harlow
    Participant

    I managed to get a ‘quick look’ spectrum last night as the clouds parted and before the nova went behind a tree!

    I used my 4.5 inch F/5 Newtonian with a 12 degree objective prism to image a 2.5 x 1.3 degree field containing the nova.  It stands out clearly from the other stars in the field.  Even with my un-modified Canon 550D DSLR the red H alpha emission is clear and explains the red colour of the nova seen in other images.

    The bright star at top right is mag. 5.6 SAO39688, spectral type A0, showing H beta and H gamma lines.

Viewing 20 posts - 21 through 40 (of 47 total)