OK, It’s just a rainbow. A rainbow appears when the light from the Sun is split into its component colours as it passes through water in the Earth’s atmosphere.
A Backyard AstroScience team is currently exploring Spectroscopy using their telescope and a Grating to split the light into its unique spectrum. The next step analyse each of the images using RSPEC to see how much science we can extract.
I used a basic radio scanner and a Quadrafilar Helix antenna (QFH) made from bits and pieces from my local hardware store, to capture this image from the NOAA 19 Weather Satellite as it passed overhead.
WXTOIMG was used to process the radio signal and produce the final image.
Tasmainia shows up clearly in the centre of the image, with Victoria and South Australia above it.
If you play the recording of the satellite transmission, notice how the signal quality changes as the satellite rises above the horizon and finally drops out of sight.
The next challenge is to capure a night-time pass and image the satellite itself as it passes overhead.
NOAA-19 was launched on February 6, 2009 and is the last of the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s POES series of weather satellites.
On the 1st of January, Will, one of our Junior AstroScientists, reported that the AAVSO have reviewed his data and approved the variable star that he has been analysing. It is a previously undiscovered variable star, with a period of just over 1/3 of a day. It has been given AAVSO Unique Identifier (AUID) of 000-BMD-525.
This is a magnificent achievement showing how amateur astronomers (and astrophysicists) can contribute to the wider community.
The star is located in the constellation APUS and shines at magnitude 14.3 so it’s pretty faint!
The following phase plots show how the star magnitude varies over time with a clear, repeated pattern.