Boyce Astro Roboscope

Robotic Observatory Operational at TDS

We have been working hard to bring a robotic telescope to fully operational status for the last 5 months. This project originally started as a collaboration with at NASA Ames which we started 9 years ago, but 4 years ago a lighting strike took out the equipment.

Pat and Grady Boyce (both SDAA members) leased the pad last year, refurbished the dome, and I have been working on the equipment setup and testing which is now complete. We are live. We will be starting out with studies of binary stars with the intention of publishing papers (astrometry) of measurements we take with the system.

I will also be leading a Special Interest Group in Asteroid detection, tracking, and MPC submission.

Last night we remotely ran a full set of test images, each running 5 minutes, targeting a dark area of the sky just to see how faint an object we could detect.

The attached photo is labeled with the star and galaxy id’s and the detected magnitudes of some of the fainter objects. I am quite excited by the quality of the faint objects. Now that the system is live our next step will be to run a study of a few dozen binary stars and some of the asteroids that regularly visit our neighborhood.

A hardy congratulations to the Roboscope Team at Boyce Astro for the funding and assistance in bringing this project to operational status. If any of you are interested in learning more about the system or want to get involved with the program please do contact me.  To learn more about the Boyce Astro Robotic projects please visit Boyce-astro.org
Ad Astra!

First Light Photo from the Roboscope
Roboscope Team

Is all that we see or seem, but a dream within a dream?

Beam' a Greeting to New Horizons!

Team to Transmit Messages to the Spacecraft During New Year’s Flyby in the Kuiper Belt

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft has traveled 13 years to reach the heart of the Kuiper Belt – but you can get there in a matter of hours!

In 2005, more than…

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Beam Your Message to New Horizons

Aqua Caliente Star Party

One of my favorite places to hold a star party is in the desert east of San Diego. On Tuesday March 7th, 2017 I headed out to Aqua Caliente County Park to meetup with a dear friend Sandy H. and her band of home school parents and teachers. We had a l…

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Aqua Caliente Star Party

Astrometric Measurement of WDS 03117

I am pleased to present this paper that I co-authored with two teachers and submitted to JDSO this year as part of the Boyce Astro program.

Hilde van den Bergh1, Chris Olivas2, Jerry Hilburn3

Mentor, BEWiSE, Fleet Science Center, San Diego, C…

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Binary Star Research

Astrometric Measurements of WDS 20210+1028

I am excited to report the submission of a double star research paper to the Journal of Double Star Observations. I co-authored the paper with a team of College professors in the local San Diego area. This research project was part of an Astronomy Re…

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New Telescope at Catfish Observatory

There are few places in America where you can go and not have Internet or Cell phone coverage. Today I will embark on a journey to such a place. Texas. Actually, not all of it, just McDonald Observatory near Fort Davis.

And of course I will …

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Catfish-Observatory

Lagoon and Trifid Wide Field

I shot this on July 4th 2016 with a Canon 6D and a 135mm EF Redline piggy backed to a AVX mount. 3 shots stacked, each 2 minutes long at 800 ISD. First pretty picture I have taken with the new camera.

Click Link for Full Size

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Lagoon-Trifid-2016-header

Asteroid TB145 Movie

Friday night I started calibration and testing of the imaging system at 8PM. By 10pm I was ready to start taking data on the Halloween Asteroid. When I first moved the scope into position and started shooting I tried a series of 60 second shots, then…

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Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman

2015 TB145 - Big Rock Screams Past Earth Friday Night

I love a spectacle, or more precisely the high energy motion of a fast moving rock. Join me Friday night at TDS as we attempt to shoot asteroid TB145  as it screams past earth beginning at 10pm. The asteroid will appear just below the moon near Orion…

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Courtesy of S&T: Gregg Dinderman