Archive for April, 2013

Decimal fraction in Julian Date

Posted April 18, 2013 By grigoris

Julian Day is a convenient way to count continuously days since the beginning of a specific time (noon of January 1, 4713 BC). This was proposed by Joseph Scaliger in 1583, as the beginning of the Julian Period, which epoch started when the three calendar cycles were together in their first year (4713 BC, preceding all historical dates).
[ Julian Period = 15 (indiction cycle) × 19 (Metonic cycle) × 28 (Solar cycle) = 7980 years ]

There are many online and offline tools to calculate the Julian Days. It is frequent though to use the fractional part of the day also, leading to a decimal fraction added at the Julian Day (becoming then the Julian Date – JD). It is not difficult to calculate the fractional part, as it is just a part of the whole day. But there is a small caveat, as the JD is calculated from the noon and not the midnight that we have get used with. So, when calculating an example I was using a time like 23h and 44m and I was getting as a result 0.9889, while other tools were giving the value 0.4889 ! It is logical to think that 23h and 44m is close to a whole day, IF you count from the midnight of the previous night. But just in the middle of the day IF you count from noon. So, by subtracting 0.5 (half day) you can go to the normal Julian Date and get the right decimal part.

Finally, in order to calculate the fractional part of the JD you can use the following formula:

JDfrac = [ hh/24 + mm/(24*60) + ss.s/(24*3600) ] – 0.5

Comets from Skinakas

Posted April 2, 2013 By grigoris

A couple of experiments (with Manos Kardasis) on comets from Skinakas Observatory.


Comet 2010/S1


Comet 2011/F1


Comet 2011/F1


Jupiter IR images from Skinakas

Posted April 2, 2013 By grigoris

I was able to take a series of IR images from Skinakas telescope and Manos Kardasis did all the job with the processing. Here are the results:


Synchronized optical and IR observations of Jupiter.
Manos’ comments: “It is interesting though that even in oneshot – low resolution images – some bright SSTB ovals are visible. Also NNTZ LRS (L2 308, B 40.7) is bright. Another big bright spot a little northern (at NNTBn?) is visible at L2 218, B 39.”


Manos’ comments: “There are some white spots visible on NEBs with the H21 filter. GRS and oval BA are bright in all sets (except CO).”