Presentation on theme: "What is the AOP? An IFAS approved program for all amateur astronomers Program open to all –Location –Equipment –Knowledge and experience Does not necessarily."— Presentation transcript:
What is the AOP? An IFAS approved program for all amateur astronomers Program open to all –Location –Equipment –Knowledge and experience Does not necessarily entail advanced astronomy Currently encompasses eight main modules – covering deep sky and solar system Credits SN2005EP: Dave McDonald; Lunar fly-by: Anthony Ayiomamitis; Solar: Michael O’Connell; Planets: Dave Lillis
What skills are required? The AOP will need skills from all areas Info technology QCDocumentation Visual observing Aided observing PhotometryAstrometry
Why is it needed? IFAS is the co-ordinating body for Irish clubs and societies There is only one Irish programs catering for amateur astronomers (beyond beginner’s level) – the IAS VSOP Amateur astronomers can and do contribute data to professional programs and educational establishments
When will it begin? The AOP will commence with one or two modules by the end of 2006 These modules will be fully resourced and documented Each module will need volunteers with widely varying skills and spare time Further modules will be rolled out at later dates
How will the AOP work? Key elements of the program are: DATA
More why’s… Provide a co-ordinated program for intermediate/advanced amateurs Provide quality science data to professional astronomers and bodies (including educational establishments) Foster mutually beneficial links Disseminate techniques and procedures
Co-ordination The AOP will be co-ordinated by a team Modules will be co-ordinated by a lead Each module lead will co-ordinate their resources (including people) to maximise volunteer participation The AOP team will report progress to all volunteers and to IFAS at regular intervals
Cost There is currently no individual cost associated with taking part Where possible, funding will be sought As the program progresses, funding will be reviewed Science Data All science data will be credited to all contributing members
Initial Modules Supernova Search Meteor shower data
Basic steps Image a galaxy Compare to a previous image If there’s anything ‘new’, take a confirmation image with another setup If confirmed, report to the IAU
Imaging Dozens of CCD images will need to be taken and inspected for SN candidates Images will need to be checked for QC and then blinked Software can be used Comparison images may be retrieved via the Internet (e.g., the Digital Sky Survey) Always first compare CCD images with own reference images before moving on to professional exposures
Image taken by Dave McDonald of a cluster of galaxies. This strategy of taking a number of galaxies at the faintest possible magnitude saves lots of time in imaging individual galaxies At Kingsland Observatory J62 there is a repository already of over 1000 images of relevant galaxies, these can be used as a reference. This resource will have saved the new AOP a lot of time in creating master images, especially in Irish weather conditions. In addition, Celbridge Observatory, J65 has already added 50 master images. This is a total of 1050 master images of galaxies.
Science We don’t know everything about SN’s A SN search aims to find SN’s shortly after they appear Professionals can then track the SN over its cycle and gain a better understanding SN discoveries and follow-up have helped conclude the universe is expanding
Resources We need telescopes and imagers We need QC folks and blinkers We need checkers and reporters We need software gurus and web savvy folks
Meteor ZHR’s Meteor showers will be observed Log sheets to be completed by all observers Data will be submitted to BAA and/or IAU All you need is a pair of eyes, warm clothes and good dark site!