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The Astronomy Club of Akron

SEPTEMBER 28, 2012 - General Membership Meeting
at the Franklin Park Civic Center - The Tudor House   Alternate Meeting Location !!!
For a Map and Directions to The Tudor House, click HERE

We had to change the location of this month's meeting due to the Kiwanis Civic Center, our normal meeting location, being used for Kiwanis' business.  We should be back at the Kiwanis Civic Center for next month's meeting.  Watch for announcements prior to the next meeting.

Easiest directions to The Tudor House:
1)   Enter through the Portage Lakes State Park entrance from Manchester Rd.
2)   Follow the curvy main park road 1.2 miles to the beach area parking lot without making any hard turns.
3)   At the near right corner of the beach area parking lot is an access drive into the Tudor House parking lot.
4)   Park in the Tudor House parking lot.
8:00PM - Call to order and introduction of our speaker for tonight - Glenn Cameron

Abstract: Have you ever run across an old photo in a box and wondered at the details? Who, what, when, where, and why? I faced the equivalent only in video form. I had some old video I had taken through my telescope back in 2003. I knew the date, time, and location and I knew the details of the image train from sky to video camera. I also knew that Pluto was somewhere in the frame. I just didn't know which little white dot was Pluto. I'll speak about how I managed to figure out the mystery using a combination of planetarium and astrometry software as well as Internet cloud based software. I had fun and can't wait to share the details with the club.

Here are some web sites mentioned in Glenn's talk:

http://www.astrometrica.at/ Great astrometry software.
Comes with a fully functional 100 day trial license. 30 Euros to buy.

http://nova.astrometry.net/ Free online astrometry solver. What's an astrometry solver? You upload a picture of stars and after a while the web site will "comment" on your picture telling you where in the sky the picture was pointed and what objects are in the picture. This site is partially funded by the US National Science Foundation, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council.

http://www.flickr.com/ Flickr from Yahoo! This is a popular free photo sharing site. If you join Flickr and within Flickr you also join the Astrometry group, you get another free astrometry solver. In this case you upload your star picture then you also submit the picture to the Astrometry group. In a half hour to an hour, usually, the Astrometry group will "comment" on your picture telling you where in the sky the picture was pointed and what objects are in the picture. Now here's the weird thing. The Astrometry group in Flickr is the same as Astrometry.net. That's not the weird part though. The weird part is that I've submitted pictures directly to Astrometry.net that failed to get solved yet when submitted to the Flickr/Astrometry group that same picture gets solved. When your picture is solved you are offered a link to http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/ and shown the same area of the sky that your picture covers.

http://www.worldwidetelescope.org/ This is another free site. It's a beautiful planetarium program that shows real photographs of the night sky. You can zoom in to beautiful pictures of deep space objects. If you link to this site from your solved Flickr/Astrometry group picture you can adjust a slider that fades your picture in and out while overlaid onto the web site view.

http://www.youtube.com/user/universetoday Universe Today offers several videos on YouTube. I recently discovered that they hold weekly "virtual star parties." You can join them live online or you can view them after the fact. The virtual star parties will be hosted by a few people on webcams who also upload what their telescopes are viewing. One of the frequent hosts is Phil Plait, author of Bad Astronomy. Very cool!

9:00PM - Short break
9:15PM - Business meeting will be called to order.

To contact club officers with questions or comments, please visit our Contacts page
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Last modified: 08/04/13


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