NOTE

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THREE HILLS

OBSERVATORY

N54.75 W3.24

 

(Formerly "ROBIN'S ASTRONOMY PAGE")

You are welcome to e-mail me at robin_astro@hotmail.com with any questions or comments on what you see here


Although I have dabbled in many areas of observational astronomy, my main interest is Spectroscopy , the analysis of light from astronomical objects in terms of its wavelength (colour). Although it is a key tool for professional astronomers, there were relatively few amateur spectroscopists in 2002 when I first investigated the subject. In 2005 I developed the Star Analyser as a simple low cost way for others to try it and since then it has introduced several thousand amateurs to the area. In 2019 I was awarded the British Astronomical Association Merlin Medal for my work in this area. You can listen to me talk about the origins of the Star Analyser on the BAA website

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PUBLISHED PAPERS

ODDS & ENDS


A SELECTION OF INTERESTING OBSERVATIONS
(click on the images for more information)
More recent interesting observaions can be found on my personal page on the BAA website

    Crab Pulsar - A  Stellar Lighthouse       A neutron star the size of  city and a the mass of the sun spinning 30 times a second sending out beams of radiation including visible light

         Planets orbiting other Stars                  Some Exoplanets can be detected by watching for the tiny dip in light as the planet transits in front of its star.

       The Sunís Flash Spectrum.                     The elements in the Sunís outer atmosphere are revealed for a few seconds at the end of a total eclipse

      The Expansion of the Universe              The red shift of distant objects like quasars can be measured using simple spectroscopic techniques

            A Gravitational Lens                      An unseen but massive object passed between us and this star, acting like a lens for a few days   (The streaks are spectra)

            Waltzing Binary Stars                    The changes in velocity as viewed from earth in the two stars as they orbit each other can be measured using high resolution spectroscopy.

The Chemistry of a Cosmic Sand Grain Although this meteor burnt up in our atmosphere in less than a second, it was enough to catch a spectrum and tentatively identify some elements.

            A Very Big  Explosion                  The visible glow from a GRB produced when a star collapses into a black hole can be seen across the universe but only for a few hours

          The Right Time and Place           To catch the ISS passing in front of Jupiter you have to work out when it is going to happen and where within 50 metres you need to be standing

              When Winds  Collide                Every 8 years WR140 and its hot companion come close and their powerful stellar winds interact. The effects are seen from  from infra-red to gamma    

            A Strange Dark Object              eclipses the giant star epsilon Aurigae for two years every 27 years. Here high resolution spectroscopy is used to probe this mysterious object .             In  Just Six Minutes                  this young  T Tauri star doubled in brightness. 40 mins later it was almost back to normal.  Spectra (the streaks) also show the colour shift from red to blue.