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Messages posted by: wildcard
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wikipedia wrote:
The Herschel 400 catalogue is a subset of William Herschel's original Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, selected by Brenda F. Guzman (Branchett), Lydel Guzman, Paul Jones, James Morrison, Peggy Taylor and Sara Saey of the Ancient City Astronomy Club in St. Augustine, Florida, United States c. 1980. They decided to generate the list after reading a letter published in Sky & Telescope by James Mullaney of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.

In this letter Mr. Mullaney suggested that William Herschel's original catalogue of 2,500 objects would be an excellent basis for deep sky object selection for amateur astronomers looking for a challenge after completing the Messier Catalogue.

The Herschel 400 is a subset of John Herschel's General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters published in 1864 of 5,000 objects, and hence also of the New General Catalogue.

The catalogue forms the basis of the Astronomical League's Herschel 400 club. In 1997, another subset of 400 Herschel objects was selected by the Rose City Astronomers of Portland, Oregon as the Herschel II list, which forms the basis of the Astronomical League's Herschel II Program.

Wikipedia description page :-

Special thanks to Australian observer and dedicated supernova searcher, Peter Marples, for compiling the Herschel 400 into Argo Navis User Catalog format.
Andrew Hincks created the ArgoUserListCreator to enable the creation of Argo Navis User Catalogs in an Excel spreadsheet
and for them to be exported in the requisite Argo Navis User Catalog format which uses 'vertical bar' - also known as pipe - delimiters (|)

The use of the utility is described in a four page User Manual.

Special thanks to Andrew for creating this utility.
What is the BAM600?
The BAM600 is a list of 600 observing targets for the Southern Hemisphere, covering all different types of targets and catering to various telescope apertures and observer experience.

How did it come about?
John Bambury is one of the core volunteers for the Three Rivers Foundation in Australia who do a lot of outreach astronomy. In addition to this 3RF regularly host small and large groups of observers from the US to Australia with a bi-annual astronomy tour called OzSky.

John's role with 3RF is “Observations Officer”. As most of the US visitors have a very short observing time down here (8 days per trip), he decided it would be beneficial to them if he put a comprehensive observing list together. John said he wanted to do something similar to the Herschel 400 for Southern Hemisphere observers and for the US visitors who came down to Australia.

John put the list together himself by incorporating several of the known common lists ( eg. Messier, Caldwell, etc), and then including a lot of targets he had observed himself over many years and by consulting with some of his observing colleagues on some of their favourite targets in each target category, which were “not” part of the common lists.

In 2009 the Astronomical League added the BAM600 target list as a “supplementary list” to their Southern Skies Telescope Club Observing Badge List.

The Files
The list is attached as an excel spreadsheet with targets sorted in Right Ascension (RA) order. You can re sort the list to suit your own observing goals.
BAM600_-_John_Bambury_Southern_Skies_Observing_List.zip 75.22 KB
The BAM600 list. Unzip the file and open in Excel.

BAM600_Southern_Skies_List_in_AN_format.txt 61.16 KB
The BAM600 list as a text delimited file for uploading as a User Defined Catalogue to the Argo Navis DTC.

BAM600-skytools.zip 9.85 KB
The BAM600 list as a SkyTools file for uploading into SkyTools.

How to Use The List
John says you can observe the list in whatever way suits you to fit in with your available observing time. Most people will take a couple of years to work through the list.

A good way to start off might be to sort the list and allocate targets to each “planned” observing night based on “best month to observe”, setting your observing program for each night to observe targets rising towards the zenith from the East.

By doing it this way you will always have the targets on your program for the night well placed and you should be able to work through them all systematically.

Definitions and Abbreviations
BN = Bright Nebula
CS = Carbon Star
DN = Dark Nebula
EG GC = Extra Galactic Globular Cluster
EN = Emission NebulaGal = Galaxy
Gal CL = Galaxy Cluster
GC = Globular Cluster
MS = Multiple Star
OC = Open Cluster
PN = Planetary Nebula
SR = Supernova Remnant
Star = Star
VS = Variable Star
Matt Bielski wrote:Thank you Gary for all the hard work and the quick response in getting this site up

Hi Matt,

Thank you and welcome to the Group!

We look forward to seeing you down here at OzSky 2020! smilie
Last month, John Izzo reported on his recently finished equatorial platform project.

He wrote :-

John Izzo wrote:
Hi All,

I just like to report that I recently finished an equatorial platform for my home-made 16" truss dobsonian, with the help of Mark Justice and Rod Brackenridge fellow members of the Astronomical Society of Victoria (Instrument Making Section). Last week, I used the first time the Argo Navis in conjunction with the platform. Following the AN manual instruction it worked like a charm. I was ready for all sort of trouble but it worked perfectly from the start. I'm very happy. Now for the weather...



John Izzo
Stella Observatory
Macedon, Victoria
144:34:13 E - 37:25:09 S

It was so good to see that it is worth posting again including with attached photos.
Attached is Scott Tannehill's PowerPoint presentation on the method he used for locating the alt axis on a Dobsonian.
ausastronomer wrote:Well done on setting this up so quickly Gary!!

I think this forum software will prove to be more user friendly and versatile, than the older style Yahoo Message Boards.

Hi John!

Welcome to the Group.

Thank you and hopefully by also hosting the group on our own server it will provide extra flexibility and ensure the longevity of the forum
as we go into the future.
Katrina wrote:Hi Gary,
Thanks for setting this up.
Note, I had an error message while setting up my profile (on Firefox) that this website was not secure (using https?, unsure)

Hi Katrina,

Thanks for the post and welcome to the Group.

The link I posted to access the forum was http://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/forum
However, if you access the forum via https://www.wildcard-innovations.com.au/forum a little locked padlock icon should then appear on the browser's URL bar and hopefully any warning disappear.

Most of the browsers now flag a warning if you are entering data into a web site as to whether it is secure or not in case you happen to
be doing something that warrants high security such as entering credit card details.

For example, when entering data on the Wildcard Innovations purchase page, the user must use a URL starting with https.
However, on the forum, it is optional.

Hopefully that is all it is and I really appreciate the heads-up.
WOBentley wrote:Thanks Gary!

Thank you Dave and welcome to the forum.
Mike Van Lysel wrote:
Hi Gary – Thanks for the reply.

I certainly understand the importance of the azimuthal reference points provided by the initial 2-star alignment. And I suspected that, as I believe you say, the IE TPAS-term benefits from different azimuthal-samples. However, it wasn’t clear to me that there is any other azimuthal component to the modeling.

To provide a little background; I am working on a telescope (a DOB with the AZ-encoder mounted to the azimuth pivot bolt) that has ALT-issues. For one thing, the ALT-bearings are eccentric. I, just like everybody else who turns to TPAS, am looking for term(s) that are stable over time. I’ll determine these carefully and save them for future use and then resync the model with a few star samples before each observing session. So far, it looks like ECEC is significant and stable for sure; less certain but promising are NPAE and CA.

But I encountered something unexpected in my TPAS runs (I have performed 6 on this scope). The scope has a fundamental raw rms residual of about 20 arcminutes. I started out doing all-sky runs but these produced modest results. I tried various combinations of terms but the best case improvement only brought it down to about 10 minutes. Then one night I did a restricted sampling in one quadrant of the sky and the TPAS model brought the raw 20 minute residual down to 2.5 minutes. I confirmed this behavior the next observing session; a sample that was pretty much pure ALT brought 20 minutes down to 2.5 minutes. Something about the all-sky samples produces worse results than the more limited samples (I have some ideas about what, but maybe that’s for another time).

So that’s the genesis of my posted question. In the perfect world I would just go out and do a lot more TPAS-runs, but in the real world of Wisconsin weather I am trying to maximize the productivity of the chances I get by asking for help here. For my next attempt I was thinking of sampling 4-stars of equal ALT spaced at 90-degrees in AZ, then adding an ALT-ladder of about 15-stars at similar AZ equally spaced in ALT between 80 to 20 degrees (in the northern hemisphere this time of year there’s a very nice ALT-ladder to the NE in the early evening). Is this strategy smart or dumb?

Thanks much,

Mike Van Lysel

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the post.

As mentioned in my previous response, there are additional terms that are always modelled but are hidden from you.
These terms include azimuthal components. However, because the user does not establish any consistent zero reference point in
azimuth, these hidden terms aren't saved in NVRAM. A short sampling run re-establishes them on a subsequent observing session.

With your eccentric bearing, you may well benefit with either or both of ECEC and ECES.

Typically you might find either one of NPAE or CA to be of benefit as well.

It sounds like from your sampling run that you might have something going on in azimuth as well.
Chances are you performed the Daytime Encoder Test but if not I highly recommend you do so in the azimuth axis.
This might then betray something slipping. For example, if your azimuth pivot bolt is secured to the base of the ground
board like on the Obsessions, try and have a look under there and make sure the plate is still rigidly affixed.
Also make sure that the azimuth tangent arm is ideally floating a little. Look out for if it is becoming foaled on the base
of the rocker.

Nothing will trow out a pointing model faster than a misidentified star. Be sure to periodically review the sampled stars
in the REVIEW DATA sub-menu. You can change it to display between raw and fitted residuals. Have a look a the raws
and check for any obvious outliers. Don't delete a correctly sampled star simply because it has a larger error residual.

I recommend you sample the whole sky including with changes with azimuth. Otherwise you are biasing your sample
to include only stars that give you a small RMS.
We welcome you to the new Argo Navis Users' Group.

This forum has been established to enable you to interact with other Argo Navis owners.

For general technical support we recommend you contact us at sales@wildcard-innovations.com.au

Previously the Argo Navis Users' Group had been hosted on Yahoo. However, Yahoo announced that starting
from 21st October 2019 that their Groups web site will no longer host uploaded user content including messages.

Wildcard Innovations took the initiative to archive all messages. photos and files that appeared on the Yahoo
hosted Argo Navis Users' Group. In time, we hope to make available that archived material here, including some
10,300 message posts.

We look forward to new your posts on this new forum.
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