Archive for April 2022

NGC 5474 – Galaxy in Ursa Major: June 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #161

April 28, 2022

Work-File: Used only for organization and editing. When all entries are received (July 8th) a final and a .pdf report will be issued by the 10th of July, and at that time will be posted on this page.

James Dire: Observer from Illinois

Date/LocationMarch 7, 2021 Jubilee College State Park, Illinois
Camera and SettingsSBIG STF-8300C CCD camera -20°C
TelescopeAskar 72mm f.5.6 Qunituplet Apo with a 0.7x focal reducer to yield f/3.9
MountCelesctron CGEM II
Exposure100 min (10 x10 min)
ProcessingCCDOpts, Image Plus 6.5, Photoshop CS6
OtherSpiral galaxy in constellation Coma Berenices; mag. 9.31, size 6.0 x 5.5 arcmin. Galaxies brighter than magnitude 14 labeled in the image.

Mario Motta: Observer from Massachusetts

NGC 5474, a distorted galaxy near M101. The following image this is 90 minutes of imaging Lum filter only.

Taken with my 32-inch f/6.5 telescope, with ZWO ASI6200 camera,  stacked and processed with pixinsight. This is a “dwarf spiral satellite galaxy” of M101, distorted with an off-set center, and spiral arms.

David Rust: Image Information later

The 1900 Total Solar Eclipse From Wadesboro, North Carolina, And Also A Transcribed Report Of The Attendance By The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina: All Information And Data Provided By Tom English.

April 28, 2022

Debbie Ivester and Nova Sophia “Sophie” standing beside the city limits sign of Wadesboro, North Carolina

Supplemental: The path of totality, also included other popular sites for research groups, including Pinehurst, North Carolina, as well as Newberry, South Carolina, among many others.

The following is a photo of the historic marker for the event in Pinehurst. Unfortunately, there is no such marker, or even the general area is not known where the various groups observed from in Wadesboro, at least to my knowledge. Roger

British Scientific Team at Wadesboro: Photo from the “NC Collection’s Photographic Archives”

The following information….again, provided by Tom English:

British Astronomical Association Eclipse Party at Wadesboro, NC, May 1900, courtesy NC Miscellany, UNC Libraries.

L-R:  Rev. John M. Bacon, Gertrude Bacon, Nevil Maskelyne, George Dixon, and three women, not specifically identified, but most certainly Miss E. K. Dixon, Mary Elizabeth Woolston, and Ada Mary Maskelyne, the magician’s wife. 

The BAA set up their station adjacent to the Princeton party led by Charles A. Young, at a site along what is now Brent Street in Wadesboro.  Maskelyne, a famous London magician, brought his kinematograph and used it to make the first successful movie of an eclipse – the device is in front of him in the photo. 

The Bacons had taken an earlier version of this camera to India in 1898 and used it to film that eclipse, but the film was stolen before it could be developed. John Mackenzie Bacon was a noted aerialist who once observed a the Leonid meteors from a balloon.  His daughter Gertrude was also an aeronautical pioneer and a writer. Her biography of her father, Record of an Aeronaut, includes an account of the Wadesboro trip.

George Dixon was an organ designer, and Miss Dixon is likely his sister.  There was one additional member of the BAA party not shown in the photo (perhaps he took the picture?) – David Hadden of Alta, Iowa, who joined them on eclipse day. 

Hadden was a pharmacist and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society who contributed solar observations to thePublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific and Popular Astronomy. The BAA account of the Wadesborough trip and the eclipse can be found in the official BAA report of the 1900 eclipse, compiled by Walter Maunder.

The US Naval Observatory Station at Pinehurst 

A. N. Skinner, Professor of Mathematics at USNO, spent 2 days in April 1900 in Southern Pines, NC, searching for an observing site.  He eventually selected Pinehurst, after James W. Tufts, of Boston, MA, who owned several hotels and cottages in Pinehurst, invited the USNO to set up their station there.  C. D. Benbow, the general manager of the Tufts properties, worked out the details.  The Lenox Hotel was kept open for the party.  (Pinehurst was a resort destination for northerners in 1900, but by May the “season” was over and the accommodations were closing down.)  Their observation site was 800 feet southeast of the Carolina Hotel which is still a popular Pinehurst resort. 

Skinner & USNO Assistant Astronomer Theo I. King arrived in Pinehurst on 3 May.  They sighted a meridian line that evening.  The next day they staked out a plan for the expedition site structures.  Their apparatus/instruments arrived on the 8th and the rest of their observing party shortly after, and the group got to work setting up their station, so that all was in order several days before the eclipse.  A temporary telegraph line was established on the 12th so that they could get noon time signals from the USNO.  Drills were conducted several times per day during the 3-4 days before the eclipse. 

The primary focus of the USNO observing plan was spectral studies of the chromosphere and corona, and large format imaging of the corona using a 40-ft focal length camera.  A similar 40-ft. instrument was set up at the Naval Observatory’s other station in Barnesville, GA.  In addition to a team of USNO staff, the station included observers from Johns Hopkins, Yale, the University of Wisconsin, and Cincinnati Observatory. Details about the observers and equipment for these stations (and others) can be found in the expedition reports

Nearby, in Southern Pines, a less technical eclipse party of observers from Carleton College (Northfield, MN) and Guilford College (Greensboro, NC) were stationed on the peach farm of Mr. John Van Lindley, a Guilford College Trustee.  H. C. Wilson, the assistant editor of Popular Astronomy, which was published out of Carleton, was the primary astronomer at this site, and his report of the expedition in the June issue was the first formal publication of results from the May 1900 eclipse.

Back to Wadesboro: Click on the following link…

Galaxy NGC 3079 – Ursa Major: April 2022 Observer’s Challenge Report #159

April 5, 2022