Un Giorno da Astrofilo

Amateur Astronomy school in Tagliacozzo (AQ)
The ad of AstroTGZ
The ad of AstroTGZ

“Un Giorno da Astrofilo” has been a project made by me, Michela Rampa and collaborators to bring the knowledge of amateur astronomy to the people.  It ran from July to December 2013. In the website (in italian) it is possible to find all the history of the project and all the lectures and observations we made.

During the 11 meetings and 8 night observation sessions we explored amateur astronomy from many points of view. Starting from naked-eye astronomy to high energy physics. We observed the sky with our eyes, learning the constellations and the celestial coordinates. Then we moved to binoculars, observing the moon, the double stars and the star clusters with a 25×100 binocular. The observations with a 200mm f/5 Newtonian reflector were made to see galaxies, double stars, nebulae and planets.

Before any observation we had a “lecture” (2:00 hours) in which all the topics regarding the night session were covered, among many more. Children were involved with laboratory sessions and stories. They were challenged during the observations to beat their parents in finding constellations and celestial objects.

Here is the presentation video made by me with the voice of Andrea Palladino, physicist and big friend of mine.

The project was sustained by the cultural society “Progetto Comune” of Tagliacozzo (AQ), in partnership with Comune di Tagliacozzo, the Italian Geographical Society and the Department of Physical and Chemical Sciences of the University of L’Aquila.

Lecture Notes  (in Italian, PDF format):
  1. Introduzione all’Astronomia Amatoriale

  2. Asteroidi, Meteore e Meteoriti

  3. La Luna con il binocolo

  4. Stelle doppie e Ammassi con il binocolo

  5. Il Telescopio

  6. Stelle e Galassie

  7. Evoluzione Stellare e Nebulose (a cura di Andrea Palladino)

  8. I Pianeti del Sistema Solare

  9. Le Comete

  10. Il Sole

  11. Le ‘altre’ astronomie (Radio, IR, UV, X)


13 August 2015 – A Summer Session!

A new set of AstroShots with the new Nikon D7000. A whole night of shots with my Newton 200mm f/5. Using a simple HEQ5 as guiding system and no guide scope: to improve but good pictures after all. Here the description of the shots:

  1. M31, Andromeda Galaxy. Our closest Galaxy. The result is quite good, clearly visible the satellite Galaxy M32 as well.
  2. M13, The great Globular Cluster . Another try to the best globular cluster in northen hemisphere, clearly visible the Galaxy NGC6207 as well.
  3. M57, The ring Nebula . Again another try to the famous ring-shaped nebula.
  4. M33, Triangulum Galaxy . First shot of this difficult deep-sky object, the result is very promising!
  5. NGC869/884, Double Cluster . First shot of this amazing open cluster in Perseus.
  6. M45, the Pleiades . Another shot to the “Seven Sisters”, this time through the telescope, need to improve the contrast to capture the nebulosity.
29 December 2014

A cold winter night in Tagliacozzo (-4.0 °C), observing site covered in snow and ice, but the sky looks great! Newton 200mm f/5 and Nikon D3000, three very nice shots for my (very) rudimental equipment:

  1. C/2014 Q2, Comet Lovejoy. Quite low on the southern horizon, the light pollution affected the photos, total exposure 1’30” (stacked images);
  2. M51, Whirlpool Galaxy.  After midnight (local time) this incredible spiral galaxy rises from the ENE horizon. Difficult object with my equipment, not many details visible, but still a pretty image. Total exposure 3’40” (stacked images);
  3. M42, Orion Nebula. This is the first time I shoot this very popular deep sky object. The result can be improved, in particular by shooting when it is higher in the sky to avoid sky glare and light pollution. Total exposure 3’20” (stacked images).
First AstroShots