Astronomy

Installing the latest KStars, Ekos and INDI Library on Ubuntu 16.04

When I select a Linux version to run, I always use the latest stable long term release version. For example, for XFCE based Xubuntu, I am now on 16.04.

However, being with a long term release version means that for some software packages, you will have older versions. One such case is telescope automation platform, Ekos and the associated INDI Library.

To make sure that you are running the latest Ekos and INDI library, you can do the following:

First, purge all the KStars and INDI packages, if they are installed:

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Frugal Astrophotography Presentation for the Stargazing 101 Meeting

Astrophotography is usually an expensive hobby, and occasionally a very expensive one. But it does not have to be so.

I have been doing astrophotography using used equipment for around 11 months now, with a total of only 7 months experience (if you count the winter hiatus and another two month hiatus in autumn).

While a typical astrophotography setup would cost a minimum of C$2,500 (with the upper limit being as much as 10X that), I have been able to get acceptable results with a total cost of equipment (including a used DSLR camera) is less than C$1,000.

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Querying the Saguaro Astronomy Club Deep Sky Database Using MySQL and SQLite

The members of the Saguaro Astronomy Club (SAC) have a long history of producing useful data from observations, and making it available for download by amateur astronomers worldide at no cost.

One data set that they produce is SAC DeepSky list which is currently at version 8.1, from 2010.

The data is provided in a variety of formats, from Microsoft Excel to comma separated variables.

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Using Canon EOS DSLR cameras bulb mode in gphoto2

Taking pictures of the night sky almost always involves exposure times that are more than 30 seconds. This is often couple with taking many pictures for later stacking into better images.

For this, the camera has to be set to Bulb mode. You can automate taking multiple exposures by using an intervalometer, which is a remote release with a device with some electronic circuits and LCD screen to make all this possible.

You can also automate this using a Linux computer running gphoto2 software. The computer can be as small as a Raspberry Pi, or a laptop.

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Arabic Origins of Modern Western Star Names

When an Arabic speaking person starts to get interested in Astronomy, he will immediately notice that many stars have Arabic sounding names.

For example, the other day, I was in the backyard with a 20 year old relative. I was

The reason for this is historic, and has to do with how the knowledge of sky with its constellations, and stars moved from one civilization to the next. First, Ancient Egypt to Babylon, then to the Greeks, then translated into Arabic during the Islamic golden age, and from there to Europe via Latin by yet more translation.

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