Mission 26 August - 3 September 2006

On this page we will give you a daily logging of our mission.

Sunday, 20 August 2006
We are in the last days before our departure to the observatory of Saint-Véran. The normal preparation stress comes up. Make sure we have everything with us, being good prepared, ...
Our observing program is nearly the same as last year :

  • photometric observations of variable stars
  • photometric observations of some minor planets to determine theirs rotational period
  • Some deep sky astrophotography, using different instruments

We will go to the observatory on Saturday the 26th of August. From then on, you can daily follow the course of our mission.

Sunday, 27 August 2006
We arrived successfully at the observatory. Our mission started under a bright sun, so that we can start immediately our first observations:

Indeed, the sun. With the new solar-max filter we saw the evolution of some nice protuberances. We could hardly believe it, but the clouds stayed away until the sun set. We detected even see some hints of a green flash:

The night announces to be very good.
It is now 4 o'clock in the morning. We explore the night with a good transparency. The milky-way is visible from horizon to horizon. Some nice treasures are already observed with our dobsonian telescopes. The observatories main telescope, the 62cm Cassegrenian telescope, is equipped with the SBIG ST8e camera, the 2-reducer and a red filter. We are doing our first photometric observations. We will tell more about it later, when some results are available.

Tuesday, 29 August 2006
After the first successful night of observing, which was for someone maybe a little bit too long...

... clouds came in. Monday was a day full of clouds and also for today, observing will not be possible. For the coming days, better weather is foreseen. Let's hope...
We spend our day with some walks in the nice environment

And we got a visit of Jo

We also spend some time in processing our observations of Sunday evening. Although a more precise analysis is necessary (and that's for the coming weeks), a first quick processing gives already a nice result. The main topic on our observation program is a start in CCD photometry. On the first night we got the opportunity to measure the occultation of an exo-planet. Luckily, the occultation of the exo-planet around HD 189433 is currently the easiest of the known visible exo-planet occultations. We start our observations around 22h (local time). The start of the occultation was foreseen 2 hours later. A first processing gives the following result:

This observation confirms a drop of 3% (0.03 magnitude) during an occultation which lasts for about 2 hours.
We hope to do more successful photometry observations during to coming nights.

Wednesday, 30 August 2006
The good weather is back! The morning started with a cloudless sky and this remains unchanged for the whole day ...

and night.

As usual the earth-shadow was clearly visible above the mountains in the east.
Finally we could continue our observations. This night we go for the pretty pictures, like the eagle nebula (M16):

Please keep in mind that this like the other images, is an almost not processed (and even not pre-processed) image. The final result will be available on this web site within a few weeks.
We also make images of the comet 177P Barnard :

Within 2 hours the sun will rise and we will go our bed... See you tomorrow.

Thursday, 31 August 2006
Because of problems with the internet connection this information comes 12 hours later than planned.
It's already in the afternoon when we take our 'breakfast' under a sunny sky. After a small walk in the environment, the preparations of the next night, a lunch and a nice sun set, we are ready to observe our next night.

Target for the T62 is the minor planet Interamnia, from which we will try to capture the light curve. Like the previous nights, we install out-side the observatory our own telescopes to observe various deep sky objects. Because the moon is today in his first quarter, some stellar occultations by the moon can be observed. We will again observe until sunset.

Friday, 1 September 2006
Today is the time for a classical event: to drink our famous Belgian Beer...

The rest of the day we spend with a nice walk in the neighborhood and to start with the preparation of our leaving. We got some special guests:

They also enjoy the nice sunny weather. Last night we could observe until the morning hours and it seems that also for the next, and for us last, night we will able to enjoy the night until the morning. Some people could even not wait until the sunset was past to start the observations:

On the program of the T62 is a measure of the light-curve of the minor Planet Shiroa, which is because of its faint magnitude a real challenge. The last observation of this mission will be a deep sky treasure : NGC7331.

Sunday, 3 September 2006
We're back at home. Yesterday morning, we observed until 3 o'clock local time, again under a good night sky. After some hours in bed, we closed the observatory and went 1050 km back home. Millions of data bytes are now waiting to be processed and analysed in the coming weeks. We will put these results on this web site. We'll keep you informed!
Thanks for coming to this web site to follow our mission and you're already invited to come back next year for our mission 2007. Of course, you can have similar experiences by going to this observatory by yourself. You can find more information on the website of AstroQueyras or by contacting me.

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Last updated on 1st of September, 2006
Homepage made by AstroDuvel. Email:mailto:Dominique.Suys@pandora.be. Comments and suggestions are welcome!
Copyright © Dominique Suys 2006
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