Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The Big Dipper, photographed with an iPad

Here's a photo of the Big Dipper, taken with an iPad.  The brightness and contrast were increased, to bring out the stars.  That's why the sky looks pixelated.  The lines crossing the bottom right of the picture are just telephone and power lines in the yard.

Note the magnitudes beside the star's names - they give the brightness.  In the magnitude scale, lower numbers mean brighter stars (e.g. Dubhe at 1.8 is brighter than Merak at 2.4).  It seems like the iPad camera is picking up all of the stars in the Dipper, though magnitude 3.3 Megrez is just barely registering.

I have labelled the stars, along with their magnitudes.  A wiki diagram is also given below, for comparison.  At this time of year, the Big Dipper is actually in the eastern sky in the early morning, sort of standing on its handle.

And here's a space related 45 minute science fiction story you might like, about a mysterious magnetic anomaly in the far north, on Amazon:

The Magnetic Anomaly: A Science Fiction Story
U.S: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0176H22B4 
U.K. http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0176H22B4
Germany: http://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B0176H22B4
Canada: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0176H22B4

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