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Monthly Archives: September 2019

Speakers for October 11: Linda and Tom Spilker

Linda and Tom with RocketJPGAt 7:00 PM, 2019 October 11, at the Sechelt Public Library, 5797 Cowrie St., Sechelt, the Sunshine Coast Centre of the RASC presents Linda and Tom Spilker.

Dr. Linda Spilker’s topic will be Cassini’s Intriguing New Discoveries.

Dr. Linda Spilker is a NASA research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. She is currently the Cassini Project Scientist and a Co-Investigator on the Cassini Composite Infrared Spectrometer team and has worked on Cassini since 1988. Since joining JPL over 40 years ago she has worked on the Voyager Project, the Cassini Project and conducted independent research on the origin and evolution of planetary ring systems. She received her B.A. from Cal State Fullerton, her M.S. from Cal State Los Angeles, and her Ph.D. from UCLA.

Dr. Tom Spilker’s topic will be his work on the Gateway Foundation’s plan for a rotating space station.

Tom spent 20 years at JPL as a “Mission Architect” after a PhD at Stanford doing research associated with spacecraft-based planetary radio occultation experiments, with a couple of courses in orbital dynamics. He has worked on the Voyager, Cassini, Genesis, and Rosetta missions. He works with both science and engineering aspects of mission planning. He retired from JPL in 2012 and is now an independent consultant working with space agencies all over the world.

Admission is free: donations gratefully accepted at the door.


The RASC Robotic Telesacope

The RASC National Robotic Telescope is up and running and an archive of image data is now being made available to RASC members.

If you’d like to try your hand at processing some high resolution astro images the data can be obtained from the link that was included in your September RASC bulletin (mine arrived today). Image files are available for download  in either  .jpg or Raw format.

I took a look at the raw images that had been taken of the North American Nebula with a 20″ scope and a DSLR, 25 two minute images. My preliminary image was processed with DeepSkyStacker and PixInsight, using curves and levels with no noise reduction, the result is shown below. Not at all bad for 10 minutes of stacking and processing. It would be better if calibration files had been made available. Nevertheless, this is going to be FUN, give it a try, download some data and experiment!