Author Archives: Helen

About Helen

Helen is a mathematician and amateur astronomer from the South Wales valleys who loves sharing her enthusiasm for the wonders of the heavens.

A sunny Bank Holiday Monday

What a glorious Easter weekend!  Lovely Easter celebrations.  On Easter Monday it really felt like Spring has arrived.  The sun was shining so for the first time this year (not including some snaps of the eclipse) I decided to do some solar imaging.  I was using the newly refurbished Lunt 50HaF filters double-stacked – we had them checked and tuned at the Lunt factory while we were in Tucson, Arizona in February.  The results indicate that Lunt have done a very good job on them!  The prominences and filaments really did take on a 3D appearance.

Sun

Sun in Ha Easter Monday (6 April) 2015

Technical details: Lunt 50HaF filters double-stacked, William Optics Megrez 72 telescope, Celestron Skyris 274 mono camera.  Stacked in AS!2 (best 30% of 1000 shots), and sharpened and coloured in Photoshop.

Reflections on an Eclipse…

Well the Eclipse has come and gone….  thankfully the event at the Madley Environmental Centre was blessed with clear skies for the whole of the time.

Over 400 people came and enjoyed the spectacle through a wide array of scopes and other viewing devices (including a fair few colanders!).

happy campers (mine)

And we did some science too

Doing science 1

 

 

 

Here is a link to the activities we had available for the school children – many are not confined to the eclipse.  So if you fancy learning more about the Sun and the Sun/Earth/Moon connection take a look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we are famous too – the Hereford Times (that’s my scope in the picture with the children!)

Caverns and Cowboys

The science was concluded… today (Friday 27th February 2105) was about being a tourist with visits to Kartchner Caverns and Tombstone….

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Oreos and cosmology, mirrors and Mars, and a very chuffed husband!

We packed a lot into Thursday 16th February: Cosmology lecture, Lunar and Planetary imaging, a visit to Lunt, the Mirror Lab, amazing images of Mars, a meal with the UofA astro club and finally some observation….

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A dangerous hole in the ground, a very big mountain, and a HUGE telescope

Today (Wednesday 25th February 2015) we went down into a hole at the Titan Missile Museum and up a very big mountain (Mount Hopkins) to see the huge mirror in the Whipple Observatory….

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Awesome day – BIG telescopes, Snow and Desert Rain

This was my highlight day (Tuesday 24th February) as we visited the Kitt Peak National Observatory site.  I had to keep pinching myself to remind myself it was real.  As the strap line says ‘The Kitt Peak Experience…Like No Other’

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Lots of flying things….. but the humming birds were best!

A day of contrasts (23rd February 2015): planes, planes and more flying machines in the morning at Pima Air and Space Museum, followed by natural flying machines and wonders at the Senora Desert Museum in the afternoon…

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A Set From A Sci-Fi Movie? No it is Biosphere 2

Today (22nd February 2015) entailed a trip up into the mountains to visit Biosphere2 – another part UA Science.  It felt more like a trip to a Sci-Fi movie, but we soon learnt that this was really one big laboratory…

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Familiarisation, wonder and Gentle Ben’s….

The first official day of the Field Trip (21st February) was a familiarisation with the UofA (University of Arizona) Campus and surroundings (and eateries!), and the Museum.  It was quite an eye-opener…

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