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Messages posted by: wildcard
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Hi John,

Thanks for the question.

On the Argo Navis side, ensure for the serial port number you are interfaced to that in the MODE SETUP, SETUP SERIAL menu that the STARTUP command protocol is set to 'meade' and the BAUD rate is set to 9600.

Whenever changing the STARTUP setting, be sure to press EXIT or ENTER to escape the menu and save the setting to non-volatile memory.
Then power OFF the unit and power it back ON so the new STARTUP command starts.

On the SkySafari side, use a setting of Meade LX200 GOTO, not the PUSHTO setting. This is true even if you are using a non-GOTO mount.
In a 30 October 2019 press release from the Giant Magellan Telescope Observatory (GMTO), it has been announced :-

GMTO wrote:
Largest contract ever signed by GMTO for final design and construction of massive telescope structure

October 30, 2019 – PASADENA, Calif. – GMTO Corporation, the organization managing the development of the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) on behalf of its U.S. and international founders, has signed a contract with MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools to design, build and install the telescope’s precision steel structure. The GMT is a 24.5-meter (80-ft) diameter next-generation giant optical-infrared observatory that will explore the frontiers of astronomy, including seeking to answer one of humanity’s most pressing questions: “Are we alone?” The GMT will study the atmospheres of planets orbiting stars far from our solar system to search for signs of biochemistry.

MT Mechatronics of Mainz, Germany, and Rockford, Illinois-based Ingersoll Machine Tools, part of the Italian Camozzi Group, will design and manufacture the 1,800-ton precision mechanism, known as the “telescope structure” that will hold the GMT’s optics and smoothly track celestial targets as they move across the sky. The telescope structure will be designed by MT Mechatronics and manufactured, assembled and tested by Ingersoll before being shipped to, and installed at, the GMT observatory site high in the remote Chilean Andes.

The total value of the telescope structure contract is $135 million and will require nine years of effort by a large workforce of engineers, designers, metal workers and machinists. The contract was signed by MT Mechatronics Senior Vice President, Thomas Zimmerer, Ingersoll Machine Tools CEO, Chip Storie, and by GMTO president, Dr. Robert N. Shelton, and project manager, Dr. James Fanson.

“Manufacturing the telescope structure is one of the biggest steps we will take on our journey to building the Giant Magellan Telescope,” said Dr. Shelton, GMTO President.

“We selected MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools for their commitment to quality, extensive experience with astronomical telescopes and abilities to manufacture complex precision structures, following a two-year global competition,” added Dr. James Fanson, GMTO Project Manager.

The telescope structure will hold the GMT’s seven giant mirrors in place as they bring light from distant stars and galaxies to a focus so it can be analyzed by scientific instruments mounted deep inside the telescope. The mirrors, the largest in the world, are made at the University of Arizona’s Richard F. Caris Mirror Lab. When in operation, the telescope structure, complete with mirrors and instruments, will weigh 2,100 tons but will float on a film of oil just 50 microns (2 one-thousandths of an inch) thick – allowing it to move essentially without friction as it compensates for Earth’s rotation, tracking celestial bodies in their arc across the sky. With its unique design, the GMT will produce images that are 10 times sharper than those from the Hubble Space Telescope in the infrared region of the spectrum.

“Being a part of an endeavor with objectives as distinguished as the Giant Magellan Telescope’s is compelling for MT Mechatronics and we’re eager to support the GMT on its quest to answer the deepest questions in astronomy,” said Thomas Zimmerer, Senior Vice President, Business Development Sales & Marketing, Product Development, MT Mechatronics. “We look forward to collaborating with GMTO over the next decade to bring the telescope’s massive structure to fruition.”

“We are happy to work with GMTO and MTM to create this unique tool for the study of new worlds. The project honors and motivates all of us at Ingersoll,” said Lodovico Camozzi, CEO of Camozzi Group. “It will be a special day when the GMT’s telescope structure is completed and placed in service in Chile,” said Chip Storie, CEO of Ingersoll Machine Tools.

MT Mechatronics has over 50 years’ experience with telescopes, beginning with the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. It was part of a European consortium constructing the European Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) telescope antennas and was the mount designer for the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope (DKIST) in Hawaii.

Since its inception in 1891, Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc. has been an iconic name in the milling machines sector, successfully serving the defense sector and then the newborn aeronautics and aerospace industry. Ingersoll has many decades of experience with manufacturing precision steel structures, including recently partnering with MT Mechatronics on the construction of the DKIST telescope mount.

The contract between GMTO, MT Mechatronics and Ingersoll Machine Tools will involve nine years of work and 1,300 tons of structural steel, and the structure is expected to be delivered to Chile at the end of 2025 and be ready to accept mirrors in 2028.

The mount contract completes another significant milestone for GMTO in 2019. In March, the excavations for the foundations of the telescope’s pier and enclosure were finished, and in July the second of GMT’s seven primary mirror segments was completed and shipped to temporary storage. Casting of the sixth primary mirror segment at the University of Arizona is expected to begin in mid-2020.


Press release here :-
Deep sky enthusiast, Barbara Wilson, who sadly passed away recently, described the visually challenging, 16th magnitude globular cluster Terzan 9, in Sagittarius, as follows :-

Originally Posted by Barbara Wilson wrote:
It is really there. The 11 mm Nagler did not quite pull it out of the background sky but the 9 mm did. Extremely weak object just at the plotted position. The cluster is very close (3') to a very elongated right triangle of 3 stars about 9-10th magnitude. Two of the three stars point to a faint star not plotted on MegaStar, of about 16th magnitude. The globular is just to the west of the faint star. The cluster itself appears visually larger that on the POSS print. The glow is maybe 1' in size. The cluster is just on the edge of a dark dust lane in the Milky Way as the CCD image shows.

Now astronomers using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) have been able to make observations of Terzan 9 to better understand its chemical composition.

Tomasz Nowakowski at Phys.org reports today :-

Originally Posted by Tomasz Nowakowski , Phys.org wrote:
Located only 2,280 light-years away from the galactic center, Terzan 9 is a very compact and moderately metal-poor globular cluster. Observations show that the cluster remains confined within about 3,260 light-years of the galactic center with an orbit co-rotating with the Milky Way's bar.

However, although many studies of Terzan 9 have been conducted to determine its fundamental properties, its chemical composition still remains poorly understood. In order to change this, a group of astronomers led by Heitor Ernandes of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, employed the MUSE instrument at ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile to conduct detailed observations of this cluster.

"Given its compactness, Terzan 9 was observed using the Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer at the Very Large Telescope. The extraction of spectra from several hundreds of individual stars allowed us to derive their radial velocities, metallicities, and [Mg/Fe]," the astronomers wrote in the paper.

In general, MUSE observations allowed the team to obtain spectra of over 600 stars. This sample was then reduced to 67 member stars of Terzan 9. As noted in the paper, the study resulted in measuring such properties of member stars as radial velocities, metallicities and magnesium-to-iron abundance ratio, which also gave mean values for the cluster.

When it comes to the chemical composition of Terzan 9, the observations found that it has a metallicity of approximately -1.1 and a magnesium-to-iron abundance ratio at a level of about 0.27. The metallicity is consistent with previous studies pointing out to a value between -2.0 and -0.99.

The mean heliocentric radial velocity of Terzan 9 was calculated to be 58.1 km/s, which is lower than the value from derived by a previous study based on six stars. However, the astronomers noted that both results are in agreement within uncertainties.

The researchers concluded that the results make Terzan 9 a moderately metal-poor blue horizontal branch cluster like HP 1, NGC 6558, and NGC 6522. Moreover, the magnesium-to-iron abundance ratio suggest that the stars in this cluster were formed from gas resulting from an early fast chemical enrichment by core-collapse supernovae.

Full story here :-

Paper published at arXiv 22 Oct 2019, "A MUSE study of the inner bulge globular cluster Terzan 9: a fossil record in the Galaxy" by H. Ernandes et. al. PDF (free) :-
Nick20LUN wrote:Thanks Gary looking forward to taking part

Thanks Nick!

Welcome to the Group and we look forward to your participation. smilie
This Argo Navis User Catalog of all planetary nebulae with Abell designations was originally kindly
compiled and posted by Owen Brazell.

A highly experienced observer with many decades of experience, Owen is the author of the book "Planetary Nebulae: An In-Depth Guide to their Physics and Observation"
This list of 111 objects suitable for observing under light-polluted skies originally appeared in Sky & Telescope
and was originally uploaded to the Argo Navis Yahoo Group by user jpr1608
This list of 130 objects (120 Deep Sky and 10 Double Stars) was created by the members of the Westminster (Mayland) Astronomical Society and original uploaded
by Yahoo Group member czar_seven.
Australian super-nova hunter, Peter Marples, created this Argo Navis User Catalog of 1104 galaxies with ESO designations
Wikipedia wrote:
The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies is a catalog of peculiar galaxies produced by Halton Arp in 1966. A total of 338 galaxies are presented in the atlas, which was originally published in 1966 by the California Institute of Technology. The primary goal of the catalog was to present photographs of examples of the different kinds of peculiar structures found among galaxies.

Arp realized that the reason why galaxies formed into spiral or elliptical shapes was not well understood. He perceived peculiar galaxies as small "experiments" that astronomers could use to understand the physical processes that distort spiral or elliptical galaxies. With this atlas, astronomers had a sample of peculiar galaxies that they could study in more detail. The atlas does not present a complete overview of every peculiar galaxy in the sky but instead provides examples of the different phenomena as observed in nearby galaxies.

Because little was known at the time of publication about the physical processes that caused the different shapes, the galaxies in the atlas are sorted based on their appearance. Objects 1–101 are individual peculiar spiral galaxies or spiral galaxies that apparently have small companions. Objects 102–145 are elliptical and elliptical-like galaxies. Individual or groups of galaxies with neither elliptical nor spiral shapes are listed as objects 146–268. Objects 269–327 are double galaxies. Finally, objects that simply do not fit into any of the above categories are listed as objects 332–338. Most objects are best known by their other designations, but a few galaxies are best known by their Arp numbers (such as Arp 220).

Today, the physical processes that lead to the peculiarities seen in the Arp atlas are thought to be well understood. A large number of the objects have been interpreted as interacting galaxies, including M51 (Arp 85), Arp 220, and the Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039, or Arp 244). A few of the galaxies are simply dwarf galaxies that do not have enough mass to produce enough gravity to allow the galaxies to form any cohesive structure. NGC 1569 (Arp 210) is an example of one of the dwarf galaxies in the atlas. A few other galaxies are radio galaxies. These objects contain active galactic nuclei that produce powerful jets of gas called radio jets. The atlas includes the nearby radio galaxies M87 (Arp 152) and Centaurus A (Arp 153).

Many of the peculiar associations present in the catalogue have been interpreted as galaxy mergers, though Arp refuted the idea, claiming, rather, that apparent associations were prime examples of ejections.

This Argo Navis format Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies was compiled by Bob Hill.
Wikipedia wrote:
A Hickson Compact Group (abbreviation: HCG) is a collection of galaxies designated as published by Paul Hickson in 1982.

The most famous group on Hickson's list of 100 objects is HCG 92, Stephan's Quintet.

According to Hickson: “Most compact groups contain a high fraction of galaxies having morphological or kinematical peculiarities, nuclear radio and infrared emission, and starburst or active galactic nuclei (AGN) activity. They contain large quantities of diffuse gas and are dynamically dominated by dark matter. They most likely form as subsystems within looser associations and evolve by gravitational processes. Strong galaxy interactions result and merging is expected to lead to the ultimate demise of the group. Compact groups are surprisingly numerous, and may play a significant role in galaxy evolution.

Wikipedia page :-

This Argo Navis format catalog of Hickson Compact Galaxy Groups was compiled by Yahoo forum member spacerama.
This catalog of Dark Nebulae was compiled by forum member alphaargonavis
This catalog of Milky Way Globular Clusters was complied by Bill Ferris.
Attached is a one page PDF document that had been uploaded by user "obsessionowner" on the Argo Navis Yahoo Group entitled
"How to Center the Encoder Bracket on the mirror box" by Charlie Starks and Jean-Paul Richard.
Astronomical Society of South Africa wrote:
For two decades, starting in the late 1960’s, the southern sky was patrolled by a dedicated South African comet-hunter named Jack Bennett. In addition to discovering comets with his 5-inch low-power refractor, Bennett also noticed many deep-sky objects that looked like comets. His list of comet-like southern deep-sky objects – shades of Messier – forms the basis for the Bennett Catalogue.
Wikipedia wrote:
The Caldwell catalogue is an astronomical catalogue of 109 star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies for observation by amateur astronomers. The list was compiled by Patrick Moore as a complement to the Messier catalogue.

While the Messier catalogue is used by amateur astronomers as a list of deep-sky objects for observation, Moore noted that Messier's list was not compiled for that purpose and excluded many of the sky's brightest deep-sky objects, such as the Hyades, the Double Cluster (NGC 869 and NGC 884), and the Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253). The Messier catalogue was actually compiled as a list of known objects that might be confused with comets. Moore also observed that since Messier compiled his list from observations in Paris, it did not include bright deep-sky objects visible in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Omega Centauri, Centaurus A, the Jewel Box, and 47 Tucanae. Moore compiled a list of 109 objects to match the commonly accepted number of Messier objects (he excluded M110), and the list was published in Sky & Telescope in December 1995.

Moore used his other surname – Caldwell – to name the list, since the initial of "Moore" is already used for the Messier catalogue. Entries in the catalogue are designated with a "C" and the catalogue number (1 to 109).

Unlike objects in the Messier catalogue, which are listed roughly in the order of discovery by Messier and his colleagues, the Caldwell catalogue is ordered by declination, with C1 being the most northerly and C109 being the most southerly, although two objects (NGC 4244 and the Hyades) are listed out of sequence. Other errors in the original list have since been corrected: it incorrectly identified the S Norma Cluster (NGC 6087) as NGC 6067 and incorrectly labelled the Lambda Centauri Cluster (IC 2944) as the Gamma Centauri Cluster.
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