May 22, 2015
One of my mostly fond interests is undoubtly music and yes I'm a selfmade guitar player, one of many in my kind. One of my preferred acoustic guitar players is Bert Jansch.
He wrote a lot of songs and been one of the true fathers of the folk/acoustic scene of the 1960s in UK, had a lot of artists collaborations during his vast career indicating his very welcoming nature of a quite, gentle scotsman. He played the acoustic guitar in a extensive and personal way keeping modest and humble. His modesty was only paired by his exceptional musical expression and kindness.
One of his later songs 'La Luna' appeared on his album Edge of a Dream(2002), to me it depicts and shapes with guitar and words a place we can find inside ourselves sometimes and almost surely in the northern shores of Scotland, on this wonderful small delicate planet. Though I never been in scotland before.
I thought it could be appropriate in a moonwatcher's blog ;-)
La Luna by Bert Jansch
Dirty blood, dripping from a black sky Onto a barren land And everywhere there's sorrow, despair and desolation There is no air nowhere Dogs bark and it's dark and scary From the towers to the ocean Under a Hecatean moon La LunaLyrics credits
Sister sister Luna, you know who I am, like a star That flashes and glitters in your eyes in the moonlight Or the fire on a mountain Or the light in the heart of a man and the sun that shines With a glimpse of the light divine Behind the veil of a rainbow Just like Perdurabo said It's gonna be alright
Oooh La Luna, oh she did me good
With a love that loves to love That loves to love the love that loves to love Oooh La Luna And I love to listen to you Lu, and I admire you For your survival Sweet poetry and tragedy and comedy and rock'n'roll Keeping it all in motion Under a Hecatean moon La Luna
Oct 31, 2013
I'm not an astronomer, but since I was 10 I've had enough curiosity to let me look at night skies and practice the base notions of amateur astronomy. 2013 is a lucky year for comet observations, C/2011 L4 (PANSTARRS), C/2012 F6 (Lemmon) for example and currently transiting C/2012 S1 (ISON).
PyEphem "provides scientific-grade astronomical computations for the Python programming language" and it uses Xephem routines.
Not all sky bodies can be natively computed by PyEphem. A comet must be loaded from external catalog definitions of orbital parameters. PyEphem documentation provides links to various catalogs.
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gianluca:~$ mkvirtualenv astropy --no-site-packages New python executable in astropy/bin/python Installing setuptools............done. Installing pip...............done. gianluca:~$ workon astropy (astropy)gianluca:~$ pip install ephem Downloading/unpacking pyephem Downloading pyephem-188.8.131.52.tar.gz (703kB): 703kB downloaded Running setup.py egg_info for package pyephem Installing collected packages: pyephem Running setup.py install for pyephem building 'ephem._libastro' extension gcc -pthread -fno-strict-aliasing -DNDEBUG -g -fwrapv -O2 -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -fPIC -Ilibastro-3.7.5 -I/usr/include/python2.7 -c extensions/_libastro.c -o build/temp.linux-x86_64-2.7/extensions/_libastro.o ... ... ... Successfully installed pyephem Cleaning up... (astropy)gianluca:~$
After installing virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper I created a virtualenv called astropy and installed PyEphem therein, a simple script shows how fun(and powerful) is to use the PyEphem library.
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import ephem # load Comet ISON object from catalog http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Ephemerides/Comets/Soft03Cmt.txt ison = ephem.readdb("C/2012 S1 (ISON),h,11/28.7747/2013,62.3990,295.6529,345.5644,1.000002,0.012444,2000,7.5,3.2") date = '2013/10/31' # compute on date ison.compute(date) # define an observer Rome = ephem.city('Rome') rome_watcher = ephem.Observer() rome_watcher.lat = Rome.lat rome_watcher.lon = Rome.lon rome_watcher.date = date # print some useful data computed on the loaded body print("Tracking object: %s on date: %s from: %s" % (ison.name, date, Rome.name)) print "%s is in constellation: %s with magnitude %s" % (ison.name, ephem.constellation(ison), ison.mag) print("Rome next rising: %s" % rome_watcher.next_rising(ison)) print("Rome next setting: %s" % rome_watcher.next_setting(ison)) print("Earth distance: %s AUs" % ison.earth_distance) print("Sun distance: %s AUs" % ison.sun_distance)
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(astropy)gianluca:~$ python tracking_comet_ison.py Tracking object: C/2012 S1 (ISON) on date: 2013/10/31 from: Rome C/2012 S1 (ISON) is in constellation: Leo with magnitude 8.07 Rome next rising: 2013/10/31 01:12:31 Rome next setting: 2013/10/31 14:07:39 Earth distance: 1.24149298668 AUs Sun distance: 1.00681865215 AUs
Clear skies to all :) and have fun!
Jan 30, 2013
Couldn't miss this, which I think is quite appropriate here ;) Enjoy this short Video published in today's APOD
Moon at -62:38:24.7, 15:29:17.2 observing from Rome, IT
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