Reports have been coming in about last night's observations. The weather varied from very good (La Silla) to blizzard conditions (Wendelstein). Additional reports on observations done during previous have also been received. Data has now been taken for many programs. Some telescopes will still be available for the next nights so there is a chance of more data coming.
To this moment weather in Belogradchik is bad. Tomorrow morning we will send to you a full report about the observations at the Belogradchik Observatory.
Last night in Brorfelde was total cloudy, but I am ready for tonight if! - but again the weather forecast says cloudy with showers!!
Last night we managed to accomplish some astrometric observations of the asteroids in Program 9. We took advantage of clear skies early in the evening but by the designated time of 02:00 atmospheric moisture had once more taken its toll. I already did the Trapezium shots over the weekend. I have put the observations under the page
but the server is malfunctioning. I hope it works later in the day.
The night from 18th to 19th was so cloudy that we weren't able to observe anything. The night from 19th to 20th was OK, and the P1, P2, P14 and P15 were done, although the declination given for the P2 object (" +39051' ") was interpreted as +39 degrees 05.1 minutes, while it was +39 degrees 51 minutes, as I've noticed this afternoon. We will send a more complete report of our experience.
Another night has gone without a chance to perform observations here at Wendelstein. A snowstorm was blowing nearly the whole night with wind velocities up to 28 m/s. At our altitude of 1850m the temperature has dropped below -7 degree Celsius. However, we hope there is a little chance that the sky will clear up the following nights. Let's hope for the best!
The wheather was not favourable to AOL durign the last nights...First night was completely lost (clouds and rain) due to a low pressure system sitting on the south (for once! it is not usual here!). The second night (Nov. 20 to 21) started with clouds,but no rain, then partially cleared up progressively. Needless to say that it was not photometric with such conditions. We could nevertheless secure some exposures! In order of increasing sideral time:
P-19 We obtained 2 short exposures in R,of NGC 7331 itself first,and then of the two fainter galaxies in the NE.
P-23 Two exposures,R and B, of NGC 673, show the Supernova to be still very bright,only slightly fainter than the nucleus of the galaxy.Worth to follow up!
P-9 asteroid Semiramis was observed several times between UT 0 and 1 (the recommended UT of 2 was too far for the elevation of the object here), showing of course clear displacements with respect to nearby stars. In view of the meteorological conditions,we did not attempt the programs which required photometric conditions (extinction,or photometry of stars). This however gave us more time to answer the many questions sent to the professionals. The images will be made available in the coming days.If wheather permits,I might obtain a few images more for AOL in the coming nights.
The conditions at La Silla were good; we had clear skies throughout the night as well as good `seeing'. Some technical difficulties with the Dutch telescope were experienced: the telescope control system (TCS) crashed once, while the computer controlling the CDD crashed twice. However, these hardware malfunctions did not endanger the observations. Below is a brief outline of the observations secured at the Dutch telescope this last night.
P-1: Stellar Ring in Taurus. The ring is too large for the field of view of the Dutch telescope. To overcome this, 4 separate fields were observed which can now be `mosaiced' together to create an image of the entire ring. It would be useful for the observers to obtain an image of the whole ring so as to identify the location of the fields. The Digitized Sky Survey on the ESO web is able to provide this. The ring was observed with the B, V and R filters. Landolt standards were also observed with these filters, and thus it is possible to calibrate these data.
P-9: Distance to Asteroids. The three asteroids of proposal 9 were sequentially observed between UT 1:45 and UT 2:15. Eight images, spaced in time, were obtained of each asteroid. Hopefully the Northern Hemisphere observatories had clear skies and were also able to observe the asteroids (this is a key element of the proposal).
P-12 H-alpha star at Rigel. Observations of RNO 37 were obtained through the B filter (600s), the V filter (300s), the R filter (100s), and the H-alpha filter (1200s). The standard star mentioned in the proposal was additionally observed with the B, V, R and H-alpha filters.
P-13: B and V photometry in NGC 362. Observations of this cluster were continued this night. The cluster was observed at three different times, spaced by approximately 90 minutes, with the B and V filters. When analysed with last night's observations of NGC 362, tonight's observations should help identify any longer period variables.
P-27: Cataclysmic Variable TT Arietis. The variable was observed consecutively through the U, B, and V filters 7 times, the time between observations with the same filter being of the order of 2 minutes. It was similarly observed 12 times through each of the three filters approximately 2 hours after the first set of observations.
P-28: Trapezium Stars in the Orion Nebula; PR32: The Nebula in Orion. A ND2 filter was used to observe the Trapezium stars through the U, B, V and R filters. The images look great! Additionally, the standard star E2-C was observed using the same filter combinations. This will allow for a calibration of the Trapezium stars.
P-30: Determination of the Distance and Age of an Open Cluster. Of the two clusters for which observations were requested, only M67 is visible from the Southern hemisphere. Two different fields were observed in M67 (M67 is larger than the field of view of the Dutch telescope) to increase the number of cluster stars observed; this will reduce the errors when, for example, fitting a main-sequence fiducial. The fields were observed in B and V, and can be calibrated using the previously mentioned Landolt standard stars.
A sample image from each proposal has been placed on the Dutch AOL web page. JPEG images will be published via this Newspaper.