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Neral Sky Show on 6 Feb 2016
Written by Abhay Deshpande   
Thursday, 14 January 2016 21:04

Khagol Mandal announces 4th overnight programme of 3rd Season at Neral on 6th February 2016.

The program starts at 7.00 pm (IST) in the evening and runs up to 4.30 am (IST) next morning. The general outline of the programme is as follows:

Date: Saturday 6 February 2016.

Language of Instructions: ENGLISH

VENUE: Saguna Baag Farm House, Neral

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/groups/KhagolM 

More details: Send email : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Booking Link:

 http://www.meraevents.com/event/khagol-mandal-6-february-2016-sky-show-at-neral

ENTRY by Pre-Booking ONLY. No SPOT ENTRY !

Tentative Schedule:

1900 to 1930 hours: Registration for the programme

1930 to 1945 hours: Introduction of Telescopes

1945 to 2030 hours: First Sky Session

2030 to 2200 hours: Observations through Telescope

2200 to 2300 hours: Dinner Break

2300 to 0100 hours: Interactive Session

0100 to 0130 hours: Tea Break

0130 to 0230 hours: Second Sky Session

0230 to 0430 hours: Observations through Telescope

These timings are tentative and may vary slightly depending on seasons and sky condition.

Charges:

Rs. 250 /- per person for all participants.

Rs. 200 /- per student for all students from 8 ys to 16 yrs

Entry Free for all kids up to age 8 yrs.

Optional Dinner Charges: Rs. 150/- per person

Tea given during the programme is complimentary.

The charges are non-refundable, even if the programme does not take place, because of incidental heavy rains or for any other reason beyond our control.

The entry to the program is STRICTLY by PRE-BOOKING.

Paraphernalia Required:

You should carry your dinner tiffin, mattress / chatai for seating on open ground, sweaters, hand gloves, head scarf / muffler, Water bottle and your personal Medicine. Carying repellant like Odomas is recommended.

Please note that we are not able to provide any of the above things at the site.

Where to meet ?

Meeting point is Nirman Park Society Gate on platform no. 1 at Neral station. Pick up from Neral station is arranged for the train timing mentioned and is free of cost. All those who join late or wish to live early will have to arrange travel from Neral to site on their own.

Mini Buses from Saguna Baug will pick up participants reaching by 1804 and 1858 train.Drop back will be after the program ends in the morning.

Location and How to reach:

Saguna Baag Farm House, Neral (W)

The 4.30 pm train on Karjat route from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) will take you to Neral at about 6.04 pm. This is a station next to Selu Station. Towards Platform 2 side is Matheran mountain range while on Platform 1 side is the farm house direction.

Train Timings:

CST- Karjat: 1630 (Dep) : 1804 (Arr)

Thane-Karjat: 1750 (Dep) : 1858 (Arr)

All trains going to Karjat and Khopoli stop at Neral.

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 January 2016 21:16
 
Khagol Mandal's Anurag Shevde Tests Pre-release Camera ZWO ASI224MC
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 29 November 2015 23:42

There are some cameras essentially born planet killers equipped with high fps and good sensitivity image sensors. ZWO is familiar name among these. As people have already shown the deep sky shooting potential with these, Khagol Mandal's ANURAG SHEVDE was desperate to know how it is helped by having much awaited cooling. he was fortunate enough to get one such cool camera ZWO ASI224MC. His excitement in his Own Words.

We see lots of results with C14 & large aperture or well-fortified setups and only handful of trials by small aperture regime. Thus I always asked Sam Wen of ZWO regarding how things will turn out with small amateur scopes or the people willing to get results without much complications or obscene investments into AP. Now is the time to test it myself!Package Contents

Test List

  • Deep sky Objects hiding behind glare of bright stars
  • Fine details in nebulae
  • Details in core of bright galaxies
  • Dust lanes in edge-on galaxies
  • Tiny planetaries (of all brightness range)
  • Faint objects demanding lots of integration
  • Narrowband trials (despite having color sensor)
  • EAA from city and good sky. (I do a lot of outreach events)
  • Experimental trial with combo of standard 0.5x focal reducers and Paracorr2 (keen to know experience if anyone has done that for uncooled version or any other sensor)
  • Performance with Canon/Nikon lenses
  • CCTV lens for wide angle patrol during Geminids

Of course how can I miss planets and moon...after all its already superb ability should get enhanced for faint end of things. May be fainter satellites? Let us see.

Test Setup- AT66, 6" f/4 Newt & 10" f/4 newt to begin with. Ha, OIII filters, reducers & correctors, Eq3 & LXD75 mount, also keen to test many more setups of imaging buddies.
Software- APT, Firecapture, Sharpcap, Pixinsight, Photoshop  

Since the camera is sensitive having very low read noise, I intended to go beyond conventional unguided focal length limits for DSO as shown by many others over the CN imaging forums. And of course guided long subs in dark sky conditions can also be tried.

Setup with AT66 & de facto astronomer present during every imaging run

Unfortunately I've been victim of bad weather like never before with arrival of this new test cam. Pollution post Diwali festival fireworks, clouds, rain, fog, power outages, security at site, other workload; you name it & it's been there as a wall preventing imaging runs. Moreover Last weekend was also spoiled by rainforest like weather pattern of clear during day, evening rains spoiling observing site into mud laden field and fully cloudy up to midnight and foggy post that up to sunrise! If onset of bad conditions attracted as new equipment curse could be the gauge to how precious equipment is, then this one will top anything I've ever received for astronomy!

 Close-up of setup from cam side

1st Light:
Night was cloudy. Pole star was invisible. Essentially mag 1.5-2 city sky typical in the suburbs of Mumbai. 

Yet managed to shoot beloved M42. I don't know how many times with how many cameras I’ve shot this object. But it’s like going for it like a curious kid all over again!

 Here is single 0.5sec sub. To see trapezium region clearly, 1200 such subs totaling just 10min could be taken before conditions again became murky. I gave a try with sharpcap for camera control.

 

[PLEASE NOTE : ALL IMAGES HAVE BEEN REDUCED WHILE UPLOADING]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

M42

    

M42-20 min exposure. [1200 x 0.5sec at 250 gain + 40 x 15sec at 135 gain].

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next Target: B33 The Horsehead nebula


To combat bad sky, I put in 7nm H alpha filter to see what happens. Well, nothing encouraging at sane gain. Out goes the gain slider straight to 500! 

Yes. Then there was something looking like the horse head. I took in 30sec at 500 gain which was frankly too much to boot and avoided if you can give much longer guided exposures. There are other mono sensors if NB is the aim. But the color camera can also do it was satisfying and lot more data in NB & some broadband can be added later at dark sky site.Horsehead Nebula

This one is result of just 20min total imaging time!

 

 

 

 

In the meantime, the frustration of bad sky was channeled constructively. Or should i say, destructively with a brute force into making EOS adapter for the camera. I had old defunct Canon 400D camera in closet. Salvaged EOS ring and plastic housing that could not be dislodged easily. Focuser to 2" ring of suitable length was found (we do get lot of things for DIY in our own adapter museum don't we?) Also looking for sub 1.4 aperture CCTV lens with suitable adapter.
With 6” f/4 telescope at otherwise mag 5.5 sky site, the nights were washed out by weather. But here is only one I got with partially cloudy sky in 8sec subs totaling 30 minutes and throwing away half of them during processing. Pardon the star shapes. I was too lazy to recheck collimation after bumpy ride to field.

 

 

 

 

Last Updated on Monday, 30 November 2015 01:23
 
Khagol Mandal MARATHI Sky Show 9 Jan 2016
Written by Abhay Deshpande   
Thursday, 05 November 2015 08:52

Khagol Mandal announces special MARATHI programme at UMROLI on  9th January 2016 

ENGLISH SKY SHOW is at NERAL on same night. The program is Over Booked and boking is closed. 

If you have booked for English Show and want to switch over to Marathi please contact:

Swapnil Jawkar: 96193-96204

Pritesh Ranadive:7875-320393

 

ONLINE BOOKINGS OPEN:

http://www.meraevents.com/event/khagol-mandal-marathi-sky-show-9-january-at-umroli

Date: Saturday 9 January 2016

Language of Instructions: MARATHI

VENUE: KHAGOL BHAVAN, Umroli, Near Badlapur

ENTRY by Booking ONLY

 

Tentative Schedule:

1900 to 1930 hours: Registration for the programme
1930 to 1945 hours: Introduction of Telescopes
1945 to 2030 hours: First Sky Session
2030 to 2200 hours: Observations through Telescope
2200 to 2300 hours: Dinner Break
2300 to 0100 hours: Interactive Session
0100 to 0130 hours: Tea Break
0130 to 0230 hours: Second Sky Session
0230 to 0430 hours: Observations through Telescope

Charges:

Rs. 250 /- per person for all participants.

Rs. 200 /- per student for all students from 8 ys to 16 yrs

Entry Free for all kids up to age 8 yrs.

 

ON SPOT Booking for Dinner is NOT POSSIBLE at Umroli Site

IF YOU HAVE BOOKED FOR ENGLISH PROGRAM at NERAL on 9 JANUARY 2016 and switch over to MARATHI PROGRAM, please contact Swapnil Jawkar: 96193-96204

 

Tea given during the programme is complimentary.
The charges are non-refundable, even if the programme does not take place, because of incidental heavy rains or for any other reason beyond our control.

The entry to the program is STRICTLY by PRE-BOOKING. 

 

Paraphernalia Required:
You should carry your dinner tiffin, mattress / chatai for seating on open ground, sweaters, hand gloves, head scarf / muffler, Water bottle and your personal Medicine. Carying repellant like Odomas is recommended.

Please note that we are not able to provide any of the above things at the site.

 

 Where to meet ?

Meeting point is Near ST Bus Depot Badlapur West. Pick up from Badlapur station is arranged for the train timing mentioned and is free of cost. All those who join late or wish to live early will have to arrange travel from Badlapur to site on their own. 

Pick up facility is for participants reaching by 1740 Karjat Local, 1757 Badlapur Local and 1834 (Thane Karjat) local. Drop back will be after the program ends in the morning. 

 

Location and How to reach:

Khagol Mandal Observatory, Umroli Village, Near Rahatoli Village.

The 4.30 pm train on Karjat route from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST) will take you to Badlapur at about 5.40 pm. This is a station next to Ambernath Station. Towards Platform 2 side is mountain range while on Platform 1 side is the Vaishali Theatre.  


Train Timings:

CST- Karjat: 1630 (Dep) : 1740 (Arr)

CST- Badlapur:1645 (Dep): 1806 (Arr)

Thane-Karjat: 1750 (Dep) : 1834 (Arr)

All trains going to Karjat and Khopoli stop at Badlapur.

 

FAQ:

 

Do I need to register for this program?

Yes. It is mandatory to have a pre-booked invitation for the Special Show.

Who will be the contact person at the site?

Pritesh Ranadive: 7875-320393

Milind Kale: 98696-10777

Is there a dinner facility on site?

Yes, at additional cost. You can book dinner while you book for the program.

 Is there a drinking water facility on site? Is there a toilet facility on site?

 Yes.

Is there a car parking facility on site?

 Yes.

Is there any age restriction for the attendee?

No. Anyone can join.

Is there a medical facility on site?

No. We have basic first aid kit…but if you have medical issues, then you carry your regular medicines.

Are there mosquitoes on site?

No. The site is open farm house, clean and free from pollution. As such there are no mosquitoes. There might be night insects…if we put on lights. But as sky show needs no light…this is not a problem. Recommended to get Odomos or some repellant on your own.

What are the restrictions on site?

Smoking and drinking alcohol is strictly prohibited. Drunk participants are assisted to railway station from where they can go home.

Due to growing nuisance and repeated complaints….all mobile devices, laptops, Tablets and all light emitting devices, cameras with flashes will have to be SWITCHED OFF during sky observation.

Do I need to have a telescope or binocular to come to the programme?

No. During this overnight program you will able to see many different objects through telescopes arranged by Khagol Mandal. Some open cluster, Globular cluster, Galaxy, binary star, visible planet. We arrange our KM scopes, personal scopes and all instruments for everyone. You get in queue and see the object.

If you have your own binocular, telescope….do get those with you.

How is the Sky condition on day of program?

Use the following link to view satellite images. These images are updated intervals of normally 6 hours. General thumb-rule is if more water vapor seen in image there is likelihood of cloud formation.  http://www.imd.gov.in/section/satmet/dynamic/insatsector-wv.htm

Check the sky on your own…and plan your visit.

What if Sky gets cloudy during program?

We wait and watch!

If sky is clouded to begin with…we wait till 2200 hrs. Then maybe pack up and get back to home.

If the last train is gone, and sky gets cloudy.....then we conduct discussion sessions. Show some slides, astro-movies and keep the show running. Uninterested people can sleep peacefully.

Where do I get train timings?

Check local train timings in time table.  For mobiles...use M-Indicator. Online time table is at www.mumbailifeline.com

How to reach the programme site by Car?

For Mumbai residents Route is: Route South Mumbai -Fort- Vashi-(Navi Mumbai)-Mahape (Industrial Area)- Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Badlapur East-Flyover- Badlapur West-Barvi Dam road- Umroli

Route for Western suburb- up to Andheri - Jogeshwari-Powai link road-Eastern express highway- Vikhroli Mankhurd link road-Vashi-(Navi Mumbai)-Mahape (Industrial Area)- Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Badlapur East-Flyover- Badlapur West-Barvi Dam road- Umroli

  

Route for western suburb beyound Andheri- up to Malad- Arey colony road to Bhandup Sonapur junction- Airoli Flyover- Mahape(Industrial Area)-Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Badlapur East-Flyover- Badlapur West-Barvi Dam road- Umroli

Route for western suburb beyond Malad- Borivali-Thane link road-Kalawa-old Agra road-Mumbra- Mahape Junction-Kalyan Shil Phata-Badalapur MIDC Road-Badlapur East-Flyover- Badlapur West-Barvi Dam road- Umroli

  

Any other queries / issues:

Send mail:   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 December 2015 10:26
 
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