Thursday, July 31, 2014

First Look At IRIS Data

I've started a project to measure line positions, intensities, and ratios of the MgII h and k spectral lines coming from IRIS.  I've got a little way to go before I can start publishing these values, but here's a plot showing my progress:

Figure 1: MgII h spectral line spacial and temporal data

Now as you can see, it's a moderately complex plot.  The x-axis is the number of arc seconds from the center of the sun along the vertical axis of the sun.  The y-axis is the wavelength, in angstroms, of the spectral feature.

The data points themselves show at least three distinct features, all sort of in the center of the plot.  The three lines around 2803.5 angstroms are showing the position of the peak(s) and trough(s) in the MgII h line.  So as you move from left to right on the plot, you're moving from south to north on the surface of the sun.  As you move from bottom to top on the plot, you're looking at longer wavelengths.

The top "line" (follow the dots going from left to right) is it's peak position and is represented by the designation "h2r".  The middle "line" is "h3", and the bottom "line" is "h2v".  The line at the bottom of the plot is an artifact from the program I wrote to detect the peaks and troughs of the spectral features.

The red "lines" were data taken at about 16:33 UTC on 27 June 2014 and the green "lines" were taken about 5 minutes later at 16:38 UTC.  You can see that over that fairly short amount of time, the spectral features have changed pretty significantly.

Notice how the typical double peak goes away at -115 to -100.  Why?  It's looking at a sunspot at that location.  Why do these spectral features vanish when looking at a sunspot?

That's all I can say about this for now.  Much more to do to make this data presentable and usable to the astronomical community.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Evryscope Sky Survey System

In this Apogee podcast, Cosmic discusses purpose of sky survey telescopes, and details the work of one such system under development.

365 Days Of Astronomy Podcast

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Spinning Wheel

It's been a long while since I've recorded.  Not that I didn't want to or have any inspiration.  Nope.  A simple explaination: I have no way of recording.  My laptop died a few months ago and since then I've had to go without.  Luckily I was able to trade some of my time (my wealth is my time) for some computers that were being replaced.  Loaded audacity onto it and off I went with this first song.

I recorded most of it a couple weeks ago, but I knew at the time that there was something missing.  Today I listened again and realized that it needed a serious bottom.  Once that was complete, I had a song that could be put out.

Hope you enjoy.

Peace, CL

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fibonacci On Mars

I look at Mars images from HiRise and Curiosity pretty much every day.  I was scanning a HiRise image the other day, and saw this:

I loaded the image into gimp and enhanced it a little bit:

The original image is here.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Distance to the moon, again

No data from last month, so I'm trying again.

Help me measure the distance to the Moon!

On the evening of 5 July 2014, the Moon will appear very close to the planet Mars.  At that time, I would like to get some help measuring the distance to the Moon.  What I need are pictures of the Moon and Mars taken at approximately the same time from as many different locations as possible.
  1. Set your camera up on a tripod for best image quality.
  2. Make sure that the picture you take has both all of the Moon and Mars in it, and that the focus is as good as you can make it.
  3. Email me the picture along with the time you took it (+/- 5 minutes) and your location (latitude and longitude, +/- 20 miles).
It'd be best if all images could be taken at appoximately the same time. Let's make this time 04:00 UTC (which would actually make it early morning 06 July in England), which is 21:00 PDT, 22:00 MDT, 23:00 CDT, and 00:00 EDT for the United States.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Free-Form Art

I started with this:

And after a few spontaeous modifications, I stopped when this appeared before me:

So that was kinda neat so I did this pair also: