News

HE-0450-2958

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It has been some time since I wrote about anything on my blog, primarily because of a series of events in my life. Unfortunately south parts of Sweden have been covered completely by clouds during a long period of time. The weather became much better during Christmas holidays but unfortunately there was so little time left for observing after spending time with family and friends.

Regardless, there are some discoveries and news that came in focus for the astronomy world. Such as the sunspot activity which get increased for every week. Sunspot 1040, which was barely visible at the beggining, but now it seems to get increased both in size and activity.

A new debate started between a group of French and German astronomers regarding supermassive black holes. It came to the attention after lengty observations that there is a group of black holes responsible in the creation and formation of new stars within galaxies thank to their powerful jet streams of materia ejected by them out in the space.
The question though is, which one came first during the early stages of the universe? Was it a supermassive black hole or a galaxy? As known already to us, a supermassive black holes exist in the center of galaxies but there are some supermassive black holes that are “naked” or “without home”. Those black holes roam the universe alone, such as the quasar HE-0450-2958. There are some that oppose the idea by answering that galaxies were first to exist.
It is interesting to see what conclusion will be drawn by scientists in the future.

– In Swedish (Dagens Nyheter)
– In English (Article at Phyorg)
– HE-0450-2958 in English (Wikipedia)

Finally, I wish to you all a happy new year!

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LCROSS mission and Galileo’s telescope

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Galileo's Telescope
Galileo’s Telescope

It has been a while since my last post but the reasons are mainly because of private life interference rather than the lack of news.

To sum everything up we have seen LCROSS mission at the beginning of October (search for water on the lunar surface at Cabeus crater) to the moon was finally a big success. Many of us believed that the impact would be visually greater than the result, but the most interesting part is the actual data returned to us back on earth. It is now a fact that moon holds large amounts of water, ready to be used for future lunar missions!

Few weeks after I travelled to Stockholm in order to behold Galileo’s telescope, an exhibition that lasts to March next year. The reason of this artifact being part of an exhibition here in Stockholm is to celebrate 400 years since Galileo raised, for the first time in human history, a telescope to observe the night sky for scientific purposes.

I received permissions from the museum to freely take pictures of the telescope as a representative of the Tycho Brahe Astronomy community in order to hold a lecture about Galileo to the members of Tycho Brahe back here in Lund.

I will tell you how that went later on this blog. In the mean while I must also inform that these pictures here are not of the best quality. Darkness from the museum forced my camera to long exposures and my hands were shaking. I should have brought my tripod but in my hurry I forgot it at home. Nevertheless I’ve got the chance to see closely our father Astronomer Galileo’s heritage to us to what might be the very first telescope in the name of the science.

Some interesting links about LCROSS mission can be found here:

Nobel Museum:

Example telescope
Example telescope
Construction parts
Construction parts
King Gustav II Adolf's telescope
King Gustav II Adolf’s telescope
Construction parts
Construction parts

 

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Astronomy event in Hven

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Lecture about variable stars
Lecture about variable stars

Came back after an amazing weekend in Hven, a little isle between Denmark and Sweden where astronomer Tycho Brahe once was the head of Europe’s top astronomy researches, trying to resolve problems around the heliocentric model by observing the parallax between stars. We arrived there at Friday morning by car together with Sara and another member of the Tycho Brahe astronomy society.

Sara and I decided to camp by assembling our tent close to the beach on the north-east side of the isle and by the time we were done, we attended our first workshop which was dedicated to Astrophotography. To my disappointment both course leaders were talking 2½ hours about their own telescopes and their old telescopes but nothing about astrophotography… Apart from a slide in their powerpoint presentation with around 30 terms in Astrophotography. During that time Sara had difficulties to keep herself from sleeping, so we decided to abandon this workshop and go for lunch.

Lecture in spectroscopy
Lecture in spectroscopy

The coming days we explored a bit of the isle, eating in most of the restaurants, attending workshops, looking at books, filters, telescopes and talking to professional and amateur astronomers. This event is the first of its kind in Scandinavia partly because we got many participants, but also because it was filled with lectures from professional and experienced amateur astronomers bringing up things about dark matter, exoplanets, variable stars and the cooperation between amateur and professional astronomers in matters of observational data and common research areas.

Within a few days I will post a few links on videos from these lectures and workshops but apart from one lecture in English, the rest was in Danish and Swedish. Unless you understand Danish or Swedish I really recommend you to watch the lecture in variable stars given by Christopher Allen.

Astronomy vendors
Astronomy vendors

One thing that really brought up my curiosity was a lecture in Spectroscopy by Køge Bugt. It is amazing what amateur astronomers got in their hands when it comes to advanced equipment but also their enthusiasm on this kind of homemade research!

The event days came to an end by a few lectures from professional astronomers and a few words from the head of the board from Tycho Brahe Astronomy Society. This event went beyond my expectations thank to all effort, enthusiasm and energy that came from all the participants and people behind the scenes. I will get back with more photos soon!

Weather is stopping Christer Fuglesang from launching

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Weather is effecting each one of us in different ways and for the space shuttle mission ST-128 received another canceled launching countdown based on bad weather circumstances this early morning, 0720 CET. Fortunately there will be more chances to go and another attempt is already taking place tomorrow 20 minutes prior to the initial launching schedule today. Let us hope the weather will be more forgiving and for more details please visit the links below:

As about myself, there are 3 days left before my astronomy meeting (Astronomidagarna i Hvén) together with other astronomy enthusiasts on the isle of Hvén outside Landskrona scheduled for Friday. So far we have more than 100 attendees registered. During the astronomy meeting between Friday 28th of August to Sunday 30th of August there will be lots of workshops together with experienced astrophotographers from Denmark, Sweden and Norway, but also workshops regarding techniques on telescopes and also for beginners. We will finally enjoy lectures in astronomy from people in Lund’s university and Denmark. For a few days ago I was worried about transferring my telescope but finally I came in contact with a board member from my association Tycho Brahe. It showed up that he is going to transfer all telescopes for the people living in nearby regions including mine one! He also offered a ride which is mostly appreciated.

Other than that, my daughters are excited because their favorite program is shown again in SVT which is called “Tillbaka till Vintergatan” (The return to Milky way). The program can be viewed by younglings in the SVT children area of the website and is on air every Friday and Saturday.

Play chess with Christer Fuglesang

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schackChrister Fuglesang  challenge in chess towards Dagens Nyheter has started. It is now possible to vote for the best chess move against Christer Fuglesang. The moves are analyzed by the Swedish chess master Richard Wessman and by publishing three possible counter moves for the news readers, you can vote on one of them. The winning move (with most votes) is then finally announced to Fuglesang.

The following link takes you to NASA’s live web TV. In a few days we will be able to follow the launch:

Weather Forecast

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One of the most important things before an astrophotography session is planning. You can never go out shooting with your camera without being well prepared in advance. There is something however, that you can never predict – weather!

So here comes my critisism towards SMHI (Metereological Institute of Sweden).

There is no weather website that turns ou to be wrong 9 times out 10 than SMHI (http://www.smhi.se). I am totally disapointed by their forecasts for the weather in Scandinavia. And because of our unpredictable and hard mistaken summers in Sweden it is most crucial you get at least the forecast right. Not to forget about their lousy website and the services that demand a fee in order to subscribe e-mail or link their reprehensible forecast through a flash application which has large limitations and is badly designed.

Contrary to this primitive and lousy website you have the Norwegians who’ve made an effort in forecasting, website layout and usability. It is one of the best I’ve seen so far (conserning weather forecasts in Scandinavia). This is the page I’m sticking with from now on. http://www.yr.no

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