Author Topic: Planet Hunting  (Read 18370 times)

Quialiss

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Planet Hunting
« on: March 07, 2010, 12:19:59 am »
Chances are if you've watched a video or two here, you've seen some of the planets in our solar system.  It's not necessary to classify planets when you see them, as we understand the motions of our neighbours rather well, but they are nice to look at!  Some planets are bright and obvious, like Venus, Jupiter and sometimes Mercury, but others are a little harder to spot; Mars and Saturn are not much brighter than the stars, so you can't rely on their brightness to know what they are.  The major visible difference is their motion

The planets appear to move relative to the starry background.  Planets between STEREO and the sun will move with the stars.  Venus and Mercury are the only two that fall into this category.  Planets further away than the sun than STEREO will move against the stars, all the planets, including Venus and Mercury, fit here.  Because STEREO is moving too, only planets moving faster than it will actually move across the frame right to left, the rest will still move left to right, but at a slower pace than the stars. 

If you want to identify which planet you've caught in your video, you first have to find the date of your video; Add the video you want to ID to your favorites, then View the Page Source when you are looking at it in your favorites, the filename of the video contains the date stamp.  It will look something like this:  20090501_hi1b.flv.  This video starts May 1, 2009.  You can then take that date and plug it into an orbital simulator here http://secchi.nrl.navy.mil/STEREOorbit/.  STEREOs HI cameras have a field of view of 20 degrees, and they look at the space between the sun and the Earth.  There's currently no way to show what area on the simulator that is (short of holding a protractor to your monitor :D) so it's a matter of eyeballing it.   

Here are some examples to help you get your eyes in gear.  Click on a picture to see the video it came from.

20090501_hi1b
20081125_hi1a
20070122_hi1a
20080901_hi1a
 
Yes, that is a star! Watch it, it doesn't move relative to the background!

20080717_hi1

That's all the planets out to Saturn.. The HI cameras ARE sensitive enough to pick up Neptune and Uranus, but I don't know if our eyes are!   :D  Ceres might be an easier spot.  It's not as bright, but its motion would be more distinct than either of our unspotted outer planets.  There is one more planet that STEREO has seen, though...


20070315_hi1b
Home sweet home!  If the two STEREO craft survive long enough, they will both be able to see Earth again, but that's many years in the future...

timcard

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 04:54:21 am »
Outstanding post!!!
Thank you quialiss!
The Earth, She is lovely!
from.
Tim

goldsworth

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2010, 09:00:59 am »
Great post!!
I have discovered this website where we can access a telescope for free. You set up what object you want to look at and wait for the Bradford Robotic Telescope to complete the task (if the object is obscured by the sun it can take months) and then it tells you via email when it is ready.
Great for moon shots!
Here are some I did earlier!
http://www.windowonwoking.org.uk/sites/goldsworthparkcommunityassociation/websitepages/144observe/moonbradford

ChrisScott

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2010, 09:02:18 am »
I agree, great post Quialiss!

I have a movie of Neptune from STEREO somewhere. I'll try to dig it out.

Chris.

goldsworth

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2010, 09:07:46 am »
Whoops forgot to add my planet examples using the telescope.
http://www.windowonwoking.org.uk/sites/goldsworthparkcommunityassociation/websitepages/144observe/Jupiterplanets
How did you find the one with the Earth?
Did you use the simulator to predict which ones to look at or did you get very lucky?

Quialiss

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2010, 09:58:39 am »
Whoops forgot to add my planet examples using the telescope.
http://www.windowonwoking.org.uk/sites/goldsworthparkcommunityassociation/websitepages/144observe/Jupiterplanets
How did you find the one with the Earth?
Did you use the simulator to predict which ones to look at or did you get very lucky?
I got lucky with finding the video with Earth in it.  Most of the videos were posted on the forum by other people, asking 'what is this?' so along with my own collection of favorites, I didn't have to look too far for candidates, I just had to figure out what they were! :D

goldsworth

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2010, 09:25:56 am »
Found a small comet , but forgot to save it as a favourite. Do you know how to find ones we haven't saved?
Also take a look at this which I have just marked as an opticla effect. What is your opinion on it please?
20070308_hi1b.png
http://solarstormwatch.com/favourites/833

Quialiss

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2010, 11:19:42 am »
There are definitely some prominent optical effects in that one!   :D  Take a look at the date, it's about a week before the one I showed of Earth, so here both the moon and Earth are closer, brighter, and make more of mess scattering light around the HI camera.  The vertical band moving across the FOV appears to be caused by the moon, watch after it disappears off the right side of the screen, there's flaring like we normally see when a bright star or planet is just outside the FOV, and then it comes back in, not quite as bright as before, looking much more moonlike.   

There's no way to go back to a video you forgot to favorite, unfortunately.  You can always look around in the comet collection to see if someone else shared it!

Todaysdowncast

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2010, 01:06:15 pm »
I looked at the pictures you have taken and gosh they are super. I have a telescope at home but it just collects dust lol. 

jules

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2010, 02:25:22 pm »
I looked at the pictures you have taken and gosh they are super. I have a telescope at home but it just collects dust lol.
Hiya Todaysdowncast - welcome to Solar Stormwatch! :) Hope you like it here. The Stereo spacecraft actually find dust very interesting!! Have a look at the particle strike thread. That's what dust and debris look like.

Myska

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 08:01:32 am »
Hello
I'm not sure, it's Venus (the bright in front) and Mercury (small from 00:00 to around 12:00, moving from 6'clock to 4) in the video?
http://solarstormwatch.com/favourites/1873
If I'm correct, the site you recommend for is good (http://secchi.nrl.navy.mil/STEREOorbit/McNaught.html)

lpspieler

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 09:02:35 pm »
You might want to wait for Quia's judgement (she's definitely more talented than me  ;D) but I think you might be right.

Quialiss

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 10:26:27 pm »
Flatterer.  :D

You're right on, Myska, on both counts!  I'm glad you found the orbits tool useful, it can be a bit tricky at times.

Deanimation

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2010, 11:42:56 am »
From another thread, I wondered if this is a planet. After using the link that ElisabethB posted I came up with Mercury. I hope I am correct?

Starts at 14.10 just below the sun.

http://solarstormwatch.com/favourites/2087   20080925_hi1b

lolinda

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Re: Planet Hunting
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2010, 12:12:51 pm »
Looks like Mercury is the only candidate.