Monthly Archives: February 2018

FLO Panorama 2018-02-10

I did a quick panorama for FLO to get a better idea of the skyline and obstructions. The view is from the mound just from in front of the telescope room door and facing south.  I have included two panorama images below – one as an annotated JPG and the other as a PNG with a transparent sky for use in chart applications . A few notes first.

I didn’t have my compass with me while taking the pictures, so i assumed the buildings were oriented North-South and used the “south” facing view as the location for 180° in the reference image. However, when i checked Google Maps it appears the buildings are lined up a little west of south.

FLO Google Maps Aerial 2018-02-10

FLO Google Maps Aerial 2018-02-10

The aerial picture for FLO in Google Maps is low resolution so it was a bit of guess to get a precise reading – something between 7° and 18° west of south. I went with 18° (azimuth 198°) and adjusted my reference image accordingly. Also, aligning the camera to the buildings was a bit of guess, so there is some additional error there.

Next time i am at FLO i will recheck the orientation with my compass and then update the panorama images accordingly.

The tree line directly south appears to be about altitude 22°. The trees to the south east are a little lower at 18°. The large tree to the south west is altitude 24° at azimuth 253° (assuming the i have south in the right place).

The full sized images are 7200 x 1132 px with a scale of 20 pixels / degree. South (az = 180°) is in the image centre at x = 3600 px and the horizon (alt = 0°) is at y = 832px (0,0 being at the left-top). It is of course a full 360° panorama. Skyline altitude and azimuth to other points can be calculated from the pixel location and image scale.

You can click on the images below to view and download the full sized images.

The annotated panorama:

FLO Panorama 2018-02-10 Annotated

FLO Panorama 2018-02-10 Annotated

The PNG file should be suitable as a horizon panorama for some chart applications (e.g. Starry Night Pro). Although meta data is usually required by the application to describe the image scale and orientation (see below). (Note that some browsers display PNG transparent areas as white. But a downloaded PNG file has an alpha channel and with the right viewer, the sky will appear transparent.)

FLO panorama 2018-02-10

FLO panorama 2018-02-10

The PC version of Starry Night Pro 7 horizon meta data file describing the above PNG file is FLO-panorama-2018-02-10. SNP also includes a thumbnail version of the panorama. The program may create this the first time the horizon is used. If not, just create a 256x64px version of the panorama PNG file.

Super, Blue, Blood Moon 2018-01-31

The second full moon of the month is now popularly called a “Blue Moon” (never mind that it got the name through an error – that’s what its now called). On January 1st 2018 we had a full moon (below) and another full moon on January 31st.

Super Moon 2018-01-01

Super Moon 2018-01-01

On January 31st, the moon was again full, marking the second full moon of the month. The full moon actually occurred at about 8:28am EST on the morning of January 31st as it was setting in the western sky. So perhaps a few people missed it by going out later that evening to watch the waning full moon rise in the east. The photo below was taken on January 31st at 00:49 EDT when the moon was transiting and about 7hrs before full. Note that the rotation of the January 1st full moon image is different than the January 31st moon. This is because the photographs were taken using an alt-azimuth mount so the camera is always parallel to the horizon.

Blue Moon 2018-01-31 00:49 EST

A Blue Moon 2018-01-31 00:49 EST

The full moon was also considered a “Super Moon” because it was near perihelion at that time. The angular size was 33.7arc-sec  with the largest angular diameter being 34.1″.

Later that morning as the moon was setting in Ottawa, the moon was eclipsed by the Earth. The penumbra started at about 5:52am EST and umbra started at about 6:50am EST. Unfortunately, the moon also set in Ottawa at about 7:26am EST so by the time the umbra appeared, the moon was only 4deg above the horizon. The western sky also had a layer of clouds that obscured the view so only the penumbra was more or less visible. The photo below was taken at 6:42am EST – about 20 min into the penumbra and about 10min before the umbra shadow would be seen.

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:42am EST

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:42am EST

The moon sank into the clouds as the umbra started to cross the moon. So 9 minutes into the full eclipse the moon was hiding behind the hazy clouds on the western horizon.

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:59am EST

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:59am EST

The full eclipse would occur at full moon – 8:28am EST – well after the moon set in Ottawa.