Podcaster:  Shane and Chris

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Title: A Gegenschein Observation

Organization:  Actual Astronomy

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Description:   The Actual Astronomy Podcast presents The Light Pollution Edition. This episode features our guest Dave Chapman who shares his unplanned observation of the Gegenschein from the Winter Star Party in Florida, US. 

Bio: Shane and Chris are amateur astronomers who enjoy teaching astronomy classes and performing outreach where they help the eyes of the public to telescope eyepieces.

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00:00:02.850 –> 00:00:16.350
Chris Beckett: Welcome to episode 136 of the actual astronomy podcast the gag and shine addition i’m Chris and joining me is shane and joining us again is Dave Chapman.

00:00:16.650 –> 00:00:24.450
Chris Beckett: And we are all amateur astronomers who love, looking at the nighttime sky and this podcast is for anyone else who likes doing it under the stars welcome back Dave.

00:00:25.140 –> 00:00:28.080
Dave Chapman: i’m really happy to be here thanks excellent.

00:00:28.770 –> 00:00:31.620
Chris Beckett: So let’s let’s see.

00:00:32.940 –> 00:00:37.830
Chris Beckett: we’re going to talk about the gig and the gang and shame we’re talking about how do you how do you say it, how do you say this word.

00:00:37.860 –> 00:00:40.680
Dave Chapman: Well, I say gig and shine and i’m not going to change, right now, so.

00:00:40.770 –> 00:00:44.250
Chris Beckett: Okay, and I keep thinking when I see this word.

00:00:44.610 –> 00:00:51.150
Chris Beckett: I think about that Stanley kubrick movie with where the guys chopping through the wall that’s not the gig and chino.

00:00:51.900 –> 00:00:54.000
Dave Chapman: that’s that’s the shining isn’t it.

00:00:54.450 –> 00:00:58.830
Chris Beckett: sick in my mind, I thought it was like a supernatural power, but apparently.

00:00:58.920 –> 00:01:00.210
Chris Beckett: Okay, apparently it’s not.

00:01:00.660 –> 00:01:08.040
Dave Chapman: Well, it is an astronomy podcast and the gig and shine is a is a phenomenon in the sky, which is.

00:01:08.940 –> 00:01:21.480
Dave Chapman: extraterrestrial, and by that I don’t mean it’s this the Aliens are the source of it, it means that it’s not on the earth, or in the atmosphere it’s actually out there in space and that’s what we’re going to talk about today.

00:01:21.900 –> 00:01:27.720
Chris Beckett: All right, well let’s yeah let’s see let’s hear about it, you you, you had a bit of an observation.

00:01:28.140 –> 00:01:28.650
Chris Beckett: yeah.

00:01:28.710 –> 00:01:31.290
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah let’s let’s just get you to jump right in and start.

00:01:31.290 –> 00:01:33.000
Dave Chapman: let’s just let’s just say what.

00:01:33.060 –> 00:01:37.110
Dave Chapman: The word gig and shine means it means literally means counter blow.

00:01:38.220 –> 00:01:51.120
Dave Chapman: And what it is, is it’s a it’s related to zodiacal light that you guys have seen so dial light yeah both of you have either of you seen what I call the gig and shine.

00:01:52.890 –> 00:01:59.970
Shane Ludtke: I don’t know if I have to be honest, so I was quite looking forward to this episode to learn a little bit more.

00:02:00.210 –> 00:02:01.500
Dave Chapman: about you, Chris if you.

00:02:02.580 –> 00:02:05.460
Chris Beckett: Well boy I think I saw it once.

00:02:05.970 –> 00:02:13.890
Chris Beckett: it’s very subtle yeah it’s it’s kind of like almost directly overhead and and sort of the late late winter early spring is to kind of see.

00:02:13.890 –> 00:02:15.990
Chris Beckett: Exactly, so it wasn’t really sure, but.

00:02:16.020 –> 00:02:16.290
Dave Chapman: So.

00:02:16.320 –> 00:02:17.070
Chris Beckett: I think i’ve seen it.

00:02:17.220 –> 00:02:21.210
Dave Chapman: So what it is, is it’s a glow in the sky related as a dial light.

00:02:22.080 –> 00:02:37.920
Dave Chapman: Which is at the anti solar points so if you imagine, where the sun is at any particular time, think of the anti solar point like where where the your shadow would be if you can see it and that’s where you’ll see this counter glow this guy can shine and what it is, is that.

00:02:40.320 –> 00:02:50.520
Dave Chapman: it’s it’s a kind of a local brightening of the zodiac a light in principle, this is a dial light is a band of light which goes, all the way along the ecliptic.

00:02:52.020 –> 00:03:03.030
Dave Chapman: And it’s meant to be reflections off of particles in orbit in the in the plane of the ecliptic micro micro meteorites are dust particles.

00:03:03.120 –> 00:03:10.320
Chris Beckett: So the ecliptic is is basically the area in our solar system where the planets live and hang out.

00:03:10.350 –> 00:03:15.660
Dave Chapman: yeah In fact I would say yeah the plane, more or less than a plane like to think of it as a family.

00:03:16.470 –> 00:03:28.440
Dave Chapman: So you don’t normally see this a dial eight spin all the way around usually a see it after you know after dark in the spring you’d see it in the evening sky after it’s officially dark.

00:03:29.220 –> 00:03:41.670
Dave Chapman: You would see this cone of light coming up from the sunset position and then in the in the fall you’d see it in the morning, a cone of light coming up before sunrise, and the reason for those.

00:03:43.110 –> 00:04:00.060
Dave Chapman: seasons and times is just the angle of the ecliptic is very high, very steep relative to the horizon so that’s the best chance, he would see it yeah and it’s reasonably bright if you’re in a dark sky, so you know you need to have.

00:04:01.770 –> 00:04:08.610
Dave Chapman: You know, you need to have a clear sky, you need to have a transparent sky you can’t have any kind of light pollution or any kind of moonlight.

00:04:09.090 –> 00:04:17.850
Dave Chapman: has to be absolutely dark to see it that’s why most people haven’t seen it, because very few people you know, find themselves in those circumstances.

00:04:18.630 –> 00:04:31.440
Dave Chapman: Now the gag and shine is like a like I said a local brightening because there’s a physical phenomenon, which happens at the empty solar point where the intensity of that back scattered light is enhanced.

00:04:32.640 –> 00:04:37.920
Dave Chapman: By a physical effect i’m going to explain that later, but i’ll tell you the story of how I found it.

00:04:38.790 –> 00:04:50.220
Dave Chapman: So I was at the winter star party which is down in the Florida keys, which is about as far South you can go and still be in the United States.

00:04:50.700 –> 00:04:59.490
Dave Chapman: And the folks down there have a star party usually in February around the new moon date and a lot of people go there i’ve been there three times it’s a great time.

00:05:00.360 –> 00:05:16.950
Dave Chapman: It doesn’t have perfect skies because along the Florida keys there’s this highway and it’s all built up, you know along the highway so to the east and the west it’s actually there’s a fair bit of scope of light pollution, but a very wide band.

00:05:18.690 –> 00:05:34.860
Dave Chapman: On the southern and northern meridian is pretty dark Okay, and the other neat thing about that location is that from there, you can actually see the southern cross and alpha centauri and betas and Tory and omega centauri and some of those.

00:05:36.450 –> 00:05:54.090
Dave Chapman: features that are considered to the southern sky objects they’re pretty low to the horizon, but if you have a good sky, you can see those things and and not leave North America, so so that’s one of the reasons you go there, so the last time I was there was in 2017 in late February.

00:05:55.470 –> 00:06:02.100
Dave Chapman: And I was observing out on the berm I just like like the beach, and of course the cool thing about.

00:06:02.670 –> 00:06:09.480
Dave Chapman: Being down in Florida in February, is that you can observe in your T shirt and shorts and just relax and have a good time.

00:06:10.080 –> 00:06:21.270
Dave Chapman: And my friend and I Tony Tony shelling because I really quite a good observer here in Halifax he was working on his explore the universe, and he was.

00:06:21.960 –> 00:06:28.290
Dave Chapman: He was like going through the various double stars and coma Baron he says and draco and.

00:06:28.980 –> 00:06:38.820
Dave Chapman: And I was kind of I was kind of with him kind of validating his observations, because he was getting lost a little bit you know, and he and I were both looking at, at the same thing binoculars.

00:06:39.780 –> 00:06:45.990
Dave Chapman: I couldn’t take a telescope you know because I fly down there, so I took in all my seven my 1215 by 70 binoculars.

00:06:47.010 –> 00:07:03.360
Dave Chapman: And anyway, I was relaxing in my chair having a cold beverage and it was just after midnight and i’m kind of like i’m just kind of laying back looking up in the sky looking up at least because leo’s really high up in the sky like almost overhead.

00:07:04.710 –> 00:07:13.050
Dave Chapman: And i’m looking at Leo there’s not much you know there’s not much going on and Leo you can see the the concentration is quite large but there aren’t any really super bright stars, except regulus.

00:07:14.070 –> 00:07:19.620
Dave Chapman: or anything else to look at and I see this patch of light and i’m like what the hell is that.

00:07:20.730 –> 00:07:32.550
Dave Chapman: So I decided not to say anything about it because I thought, well, maybe it’s just a cloud, you know i’ll watch it for a while, so I watched it for 10 or 15 minutes and it wasn’t moving it was relative to the stars, it was it was stationary.

00:07:33.630 –> 00:07:39.540
Dave Chapman: And I asked Tony I said, you see that and that’s the cool thing about like observing with somebody is because.

00:07:40.140 –> 00:07:44.790
Dave Chapman: You know, you can trick yourself that you can see something, but you know there’s somebody there next to you, you know.

00:07:45.360 –> 00:07:51.840
Dave Chapman: You say hey Tony Can you see that, and you know he looked up, it took him a while, but he said he confirmed that there was a patch of light there.

00:07:52.770 –> 00:07:57.870
Dave Chapman: And we talked a little bit of what it could be, and so on, so forth, and then I came to me, I said.

00:07:58.650 –> 00:08:10.320
Dave Chapman: geez wonder if that’s the gang in China, like what’s The anti solar point so what I did was I went into my little you know my iPhone and I have sky safari and I figured out where the sun was you know, on the ecliptic and.

00:08:11.400 –> 00:08:21.900
Dave Chapman: If you know what’s hundred and 80 degrees, you know around from that and ecliptic longitude and you know this and that and I figured out that that’s exactly where it would be if it was getting shine it would be in Lille.

00:08:22.950 –> 00:08:27.210
Dave Chapman: And, and so I was quite excited because i’d never seen it before.

00:08:28.320 –> 00:08:37.530
Dave Chapman: i’d only help her TV, I remember one time at a star party Roy Bishop was gazing up at the sky, he told me he was looking for again I can shine and I looked I couldn’t see anything.

00:08:38.130 –> 00:08:48.360
Dave Chapman: I can’t remember if he can see anything either, so I kind of knew it was out there, but I never really looked for it even on this occasion I wasn’t looking for it, it just came to me.

00:08:49.290 –> 00:08:55.140
Dave Chapman: And so I was pretty excited so I took a picture, with my camera it wasn’t anything exciting was just like a.

00:08:56.340 –> 00:08:59.940
Dave Chapman: Well, I don’t know it was like a maybe a 50 degree lands or something.

00:09:01.020 –> 00:09:07.110
Dave Chapman: And it was on a tracker amount, but it probably didn’t need to be it was only about a couple of minutes long you know it’s like a very.

00:09:08.490 –> 00:09:19.020
Dave Chapman: Very simple picture nothing fancy and and when I ended up looking at the photograph I could see that I had captured this this patch of light and it’s quite subtle I mean.

00:09:19.740 –> 00:09:27.510
Dave Chapman: You have to process it a bit to really bring it out, so that he shows up in a in a magazine, and so I thought was pretty cool.

00:09:28.470 –> 00:09:36.810
Dave Chapman: But the thing that bothered me about it after coming home and thinking about it was that I thought it should be right dead on the the ecliptic.

00:09:37.620 –> 00:09:43.380
Dave Chapman: And you know, like regulus is pretty close to the ecliptic right and and the ecliptic.

00:09:44.070 –> 00:09:54.690
Dave Chapman: goes past regulus on an angle just below Leo and in fact regulus is one of the bright stars that’s regularly colored by the moon, so you know it’s one of those ones.

00:09:55.230 –> 00:10:09.240
Dave Chapman: So you know it’s pretty darn close and it seemed to me that it the patch on like should be lower by four degrees or six to ease and it bugged me was like I don’t understand that, but you know that’s what I see and that’s what the camera picked up.

00:10:10.290 –> 00:10:22.110
Dave Chapman: And so I didn’t think very much about it at the time I just I think I poked around a bit I found some articles about how the zodiacal light may not always be right at the ecliptic but it might.

00:10:23.250 –> 00:10:30.570
Dave Chapman: The the long the ladder to the ecliptic latitude of the brightest part might vary as you go around the.

00:10:31.860 –> 00:10:43.230
Dave Chapman: The the the circle of the ecliptic but you know if they were very academic articles and it’s kind of hard to understand them, but there was some evidence that there may be some irregularity about it.

00:10:44.280 –> 00:10:45.690
Dave Chapman: And only recently.

00:10:47.310 –> 00:10:50.550
Dave Chapman: I came across an article, we only came up a couple of months ago.

00:10:51.600 –> 00:10:53.880
Dave Chapman: And it was about the Juno spacecraft.

00:10:54.990 –> 00:11:02.220
Dave Chapman: And so, some guys had had published some data from the Juno spacecraft, which is a spacecraft that they sent out to Jupiter.

00:11:03.270 –> 00:11:07.350
Dave Chapman: And they were looking at the solar panels and.

00:11:08.370 –> 00:11:13.200
Dave Chapman: Or the cameras and they were picking up all these little bits and they came to the conclusion that.

00:11:14.250 –> 00:11:20.760
Dave Chapman: The stuff that made up zodiacal light wasn’t actually confined to the plane of the ecliptic.

00:11:21.780 –> 00:11:32.040
Dave Chapman: But when they figured it out and fit different orbital parameters and stuff they decided that this this material was in the plane of Mars is orbit.

00:11:33.450 –> 00:11:44.610
Dave Chapman: Okay, so wasn’t in the ecliptic was in the plane of Mars is orbit so that implied that the stuff was coming from Mars, and then being distributed all around the orbit and so on, so forth.

00:11:45.810 –> 00:11:57.960
Dave Chapman: So there’s still a bit of a mystery, because nobody can figure out how this stuff gets away from Mars, but we know that Mars is dusty and it has low gravity in a thin atmosphere so maybe someone figured that out.

00:11:59.190 –> 00:12:08.580
Dave Chapman: But that made me think well when we admit it, maybe that’s why maybe that’s why the gag and shine on that date.

00:12:10.050 –> 00:12:16.440
Dave Chapman: look like it was coming north of the ecliptic so I did a very simple thing, and this is in the article that’s going to come out in.

00:12:17.850 –> 00:12:20.910
Dave Chapman: In the journal The rfc but it’s already on the line.

00:12:22.350 –> 00:12:38.370
Dave Chapman: In the rsc Halifax Nova notes, and you can give people the link to that it’s already there for people to look at I did this very simple thing I said, well, what if I just project, the orbit of Mars onto onto the sky, which you can do easily in.

00:12:40.110 –> 00:12:50.490
Dave Chapman: sky safari i’d never had a reason to do that ever before to project, an orbit into the sky, and when I did that Lo and behold, it turned out that the.

00:12:50.520 –> 00:12:51.630
Shane Ludtke: orbit of Mars.

00:12:51.900 –> 00:13:00.510
Dave Chapman: When you look at it it’s several degrees kind of above the ecliptic plane at in that direction.

00:13:01.710 –> 00:13:13.560
Dave Chapman: And so it doesn’t completely explain everything I saw but it’s in the right direction and about the right amount, but of course this is a very fuzzy patch, but I feel like.

00:13:14.850 –> 00:13:15.870
Dave Chapman: I feel like.

00:13:17.370 –> 00:13:27.420
Dave Chapman: That might be a clue as to why I saw it in the wrong place because everybody always says it’s the dial light in the gig and shine is on the ecliptic.

00:13:28.560 –> 00:13:30.060
Dave Chapman: and hear it clearly isn’t.

00:13:31.260 –> 00:13:33.480
Dave Chapman: So that’s kind of the story, in a nutshell.

00:13:34.950 –> 00:13:35.460
Chris Beckett: cool.

00:13:36.180 –> 00:13:37.470
Shane Ludtke: yeah that’s very interesting.

00:13:39.360 –> 00:13:47.070
Shane Ludtke: So, I guess, for you know if listeners haven’t picked up on this yet, but you were just using your eyes right Dave like.

00:13:47.100 –> 00:13:48.360
Shane Ludtke: Well, absolutely ladies yeah.

00:13:48.510 –> 00:13:48.720
Shane Ludtke: yeah.

00:13:48.750 –> 00:13:53.190
Dave Chapman: No, no, I mean you yeah cuz I mean this thing is what.

00:13:55.590 –> 00:13:58.680
Dave Chapman: it’s pretty wide what did I say it was.

00:13:59.640 –> 00:14:02.310
Dave Chapman: It was quite a few degrees across.

00:14:05.820 –> 00:14:09.450
Dave Chapman: Well, I was using a 14 millimeter lens and it was pretty big in that.

00:14:13.830 –> 00:14:26.850
Dave Chapman: I drew a circle about 20 degrees across which, to my to my view in the picture captured most of the light so it’s a 20 degree wide object, so if zooming and even even with.

00:14:28.350 –> 00:14:34.230
Dave Chapman: A wide angle binocular you would lose it, you know you wouldn’t see the contrast so it’s definitely with my eyes.

00:14:35.310 –> 00:14:36.090
Dave Chapman: And then the camera.

00:14:38.730 –> 00:14:41.370
Chris Beckett: I just dug up the Nova notes from the hell.

00:14:41.430 –> 00:14:51.660
Chris Beckett: yeah sorry I see Center sent sent them along to shane and yeah like you mentioned you, you took over my column in the REC journal up.

00:14:51.690 –> 00:14:57.570
Dave Chapman: Well, I didn’t think of it that way, I would, I was editing that column, I always had guest writers, but.

00:14:58.440 –> 00:15:00.930
Chris Beckett: I say that just joking because.

00:15:01.020 –> 00:15:03.630
Dave Chapman: yeah yeah Dave Dave was the original.

00:15:03.660 –> 00:15:07.110
Chris Beckett: author of the column and and the bequeath to me.

00:15:09.120 –> 00:15:09.300
Chris Beckett: he’s.

00:15:10.050 –> 00:15:14.790
Dave Chapman: Old stomping so I want to go back to the physics of this, though yeah, why does this happen.

00:15:15.990 –> 00:15:24.960
Dave Chapman: And it’s a really cool physical effect and and it also occurs on the moon and terrestrial type planets like Mars.

00:15:25.680 –> 00:15:39.150
Dave Chapman: So what happens is like when you look at the brightness of the moon and MARS and whatnot as as it as they sort of go through their phases in the sky, you know their brightness.

00:15:39.570 –> 00:15:46.740
Dave Chapman: they’re roughly a uniformly illuminated and then brightness varies according to the phase of the of the.

00:15:47.730 –> 00:16:03.360
Dave Chapman: Of the of the disk you know see if he could calculate what percentage of the disk is illuminated you can calculate how much would be dimmed but a really funny thing happens when it’s in the anti solar point and you get this boosted reflectivity, and this is why.

00:16:04.830 –> 00:16:09.630
Dave Chapman: If the object is rough like the moon, or even like a micro meteor.

00:16:11.370 –> 00:16:18.630
Dave Chapman: I mean when I say rough I mean that the the irregularities are large compared to the wavelength of light very much larger.

00:16:19.710 –> 00:16:31.320
Dave Chapman: The the rough shape of them and the relief of these objects cast shadows, so when you’re seeing things obliquely, not only do you have the phase effect, but you have this shadow effect where.

00:16:31.890 –> 00:16:39.300
Dave Chapman: The lightest casting shadows, so not all of the disk is actually emitting light towards the observer because of the shadow effect.

00:16:39.870 –> 00:16:49.440
Dave Chapman: But when the object comes into the anti solar of direction all of those shadows disappear there’s you don’t see any shadows, so all of the light that goes in.

00:16:50.010 –> 00:17:01.590
Dave Chapman: can come out and get this boost in brightness and it’s known to happen with the full moon and it’s also known to happen with Mars like there’s this little extra boost of intensity.

00:17:02.130 –> 00:17:20.400
Dave Chapman: Around opposition and it’s the same physical effect here, so all of that stuff is all out there and it’s all reflecting and scattering light, but in the anti solar direction you get this boost because of this physical effect the no shadow effect hmm and it’s actually.

00:17:21.480 –> 00:17:28.080
Dave Chapman: If you read the observers handbook Roy talks about this in one of the one of his essays.

00:17:29.370 –> 00:17:34.200
Dave Chapman: This effect and that’s the physics behind it that’s why it looks.

00:17:35.580 –> 00:17:36.300
brighter there.

00:17:38.370 –> 00:17:41.910
Shane Ludtke: I I can’t get over how faith, that is, you know i’m looking at your photo.

00:17:42.390 –> 00:17:52.920
Shane Ludtke: And I see your camera settings so your ISO 800 F 2.8 and yeah nearly four minute exposure and it is still faint like.

00:17:53.310 –> 00:17:54.120
Shane Ludtke: Something else.

00:17:54.210 –> 00:17:55.800
Dave Chapman: This is bad ass faint I mean.

00:17:56.160 –> 00:18:00.210
Dave Chapman: And this is why this is why, like don’t look don’t look for this now.

00:18:00.510 –> 00:18:04.410
Dave Chapman: yeah because the anti solar point, you know that is right in the Milky Way.

00:18:04.590 –> 00:18:05.820
Dave Chapman: there’s no way you’d see this.

00:18:06.030 –> 00:18:16.710
Dave Chapman: And, even in the winter, you have to avoid you know you have to avoid where the ecliptic crosses the the Milky Way you’ve got to be to one side or the other.

00:18:17.520 –> 00:18:24.480
Dave Chapman: And so, like Leo is a perfect place like it’s the most unreal key you know it’s one of the most and Milky Way parts of the sky.

00:18:24.960 –> 00:18:28.350
Dave Chapman: And I don’t know what the opposite is somewhere below Pegasus I think.

00:18:29.130 –> 00:18:37.200
Dave Chapman: You know pisces or somewhere like that Nice it’s where you see all the you know you see all the galaxies and jazz like that and globular clusters, but you don’t see any star.

00:18:37.590 –> 00:18:49.230
Dave Chapman: Open clusters or any kind of Milky Way stuff but yeah wouldn’t work you have to, we have to have all of these things that line up you got to have clear sky no light pollution, no moon.

00:18:50.190 –> 00:18:58.140
Dave Chapman: Transparent sky they say no light pollution, no light pollution and no Milky Way like the six things you got to get right.

00:18:58.170 –> 00:19:01.920
Chris Beckett: To see the cold wait wait cold beverage was in their back.

00:19:04.770 –> 00:19:06.360
Dave Chapman: it’s funny because you know.

00:19:06.960 –> 00:19:09.120
Dave Chapman: I shouldn’t say this on air I suppose that’s.

00:19:09.120 –> 00:19:09.420
Shane Ludtke: Fine.

00:19:10.230 –> 00:19:12.810
Dave Chapman: we’re casual they have they have they have this like.

00:19:13.260 –> 00:19:15.300
Dave Chapman: ironclad rule no alcohol right.

00:19:16.860 –> 00:19:28.470
Dave Chapman: And my friend Quinn, and I would be observing and we’d be and when we turned to me, and they say Dave i’m thirsty i’m going to go back to the cabin and i’m going to get a Pepsi would you like a Pepsi.

00:19:29.730 –> 00:19:39.780
Dave Chapman: yeah so he go off and he come back with too cold beers right, and this would happen, a couple you know, a couple of times a night like when we weren’t seriously observing when we’re just goofing off.

00:19:40.590 –> 00:19:47.130
Dave Chapman: And then, when you get up in the morning you go back to the observing site that’d be this that’d be this trash bin full of beer.

00:19:50.160 –> 00:19:54.990
Dave Chapman: Not just ours, but everybody was doing it is the trick is you don’t you don’t want to get caught.

00:19:56.550 –> 00:19:57.810
Dave Chapman: in the dark, no one.

00:19:59.280 –> 00:20:01.710
Dave Chapman: In the daytime nobody can connect you with it so.

00:20:02.280 –> 00:20:03.210
Shane Ludtke: The perfect crime.

00:20:04.980 –> 00:20:06.930
Chris Beckett: teenagers teenagers getting in there.

00:20:07.830 –> 00:20:15.120
Dave Chapman: So that’s about it for the gig and shine i’ve seen the dark light it a lot of different places, I know when to look for it, where to look for it.

00:20:17.010 –> 00:20:23.340
Dave Chapman: One of the best times I saw it was when I was down in Chile, actually, that was the same year, I think 2017 or is that.

00:20:25.110 –> 00:20:27.270
Dave Chapman: done in the atacama desert, and I was out.

00:20:28.740 –> 00:20:45.240
Dave Chapman: In the morning before sunrise and down there and you’re at like basically at the Tropic of capricorn but I don’t know how that geometry worked out, but the cycle light was like this almost completely vertical pyramid of light coming up from the mountains.

00:20:46.920 –> 00:20:57.210
Dave Chapman: I was waiting to see mercury, but I was, I thought I forgot about the zodiacal light, but there it was there, it was in that in their fall.

00:20:58.290 –> 00:21:12.510
Dave Chapman: And anyway, well, what if there’s no seasons down there really, but it was an amazing sight to see it, and I saw it, both in the morning and the night because down there the ecliptic is always very steep rise, and I saw it on both occasions.

00:21:13.260 –> 00:21:14.790
Dave Chapman: But that’s how dark it was yeah.

00:21:15.540 –> 00:21:15.930
Chris Beckett: wow.

00:21:16.350 –> 00:21:27.960
Dave Chapman: The first time I saw so dial light was when I was looking for a Comet I could tacky back in 96 and I went out to you know amount unique is Nova Scotia right yeah.

00:21:28.020 –> 00:21:29.340
Chris Beckett: The other model airplane field.

00:21:30.030 –> 00:21:31.830
Dave Chapman: No, that was beaver bank.

00:21:32.100 –> 00:21:41.130
Dave Chapman: Oh yeah cuz a museum house and we used we had permission to observe from there and I decided to go out there for dark skies to see hi ECHO tacky.

00:21:41.790 –> 00:21:49.590
Dave Chapman: And I got a picture of I think I got a picture there, I saw it anyway, but I complained to Dave lane, the next day I said geez you know there’s some like.

00:21:50.040 –> 00:21:57.420
Dave Chapman: Some some like bad light pollution out there mount Union I said, it must be Windsor he said no, no that’s that’s the wrong direction.

00:21:58.140 –> 00:22:08.610
Dave Chapman: Well, this was march okay yeah and then I figured out that I had seen so dial light for the first time in my life that I just again I just discovered it and figured out afterwards, what it was.

00:22:09.180 –> 00:22:16.170
Dave Chapman: I thought it was light pollution, but it was it was light and it was interfering with my appreciation of the Comet.

00:22:20.070 –> 00:22:20.550
Shane Ludtke: yeah both.

00:22:21.600 –> 00:22:29.730
Chris Beckett: matt yeah I just say matt uni actors famous for for being home too rich to Friday you rap star buck 6565.

00:22:31.020 –> 00:22:33.510
Dave Chapman: Okay i’m a bit i’m a bit of a fan of his actually.

00:22:33.810 –> 00:22:35.070
Chris Beckett: I went to university with them.

00:22:35.430 –> 00:22:35.940
Dave Chapman: Oh yeah.

00:22:37.320 –> 00:22:41.130
Chris Beckett: I think one class of them, or something okay he’s pretty interesting guy yeah.

00:22:43.200 –> 00:22:43.680
Chris Beckett: So.

00:22:44.370 –> 00:22:48.810
Shane Ludtke: Well, I was just I was gonna make a comment about both the sabbatical late in the gig and shine.

00:22:50.520 –> 00:22:57.990
Shane Ludtke: You know the like your comment Dave about the transparency there’s been nights where i’ve been out in the transparency isn’t very good and I can know.

00:22:58.290 –> 00:23:05.670
Shane Ludtke: After seeing your photos of the gig and shine and seeing the sabbatical late myself, you know if that error is dirty it’s pretty easy to.

00:23:05.850 –> 00:23:11.880
Shane Ludtke: yeah probably convince yourself you’re seeing some of this stuff when you’re just seeing the effects of you know, a dirty sky.

00:23:12.720 –> 00:23:13.380
Dave Chapman: yeah and.

00:23:14.430 –> 00:23:19.110
Dave Chapman: True, and that it’s a testimony to how clear the air is there on the right day.

00:23:19.290 –> 00:23:21.300
Dave Chapman: Even though there’s light pollution.

00:23:21.330 –> 00:23:28.050
Dave Chapman: To the right and left like bad light pollution there’s this band of darkness like you’re looking towards Cuba right.

00:23:29.040 –> 00:23:33.810
Dave Chapman: cube is maybe I don’t know 50 nautical miles away but there’s nothing coming that from that direction.

00:23:34.350 –> 00:23:47.220
Dave Chapman: So there’s this kind of band there’s quite a wide band and everybody’s like observing in that band and then through the night that kind of the sky kind of washes over that but it doesn’t it’s hopeless to try to look in any other direction.

00:23:48.810 –> 00:23:50.580
Dave Chapman: Well, not hopeless but.

00:23:52.530 –> 00:24:00.540
Dave Chapman: But it’s not it’s not the perfect skies that you might imagine it would be, but no places, so I found I haven’t found a perfect place yet.

00:24:01.050 –> 00:24:02.160
Chris Beckett: You got to come out and observe with.

00:24:02.160 –> 00:24:02.850
Chris Beckett: US we got a.

00:24:03.390 –> 00:24:03.870
pretty good.

00:24:06.870 –> 00:24:08.160
Dave Chapman: But it’s not civilized.

00:24:09.600 –> 00:24:10.410
Shane Ludtke: that’s true it’s.

00:24:10.830 –> 00:24:12.990
Chris Beckett: What are you talking about the company or the location.

00:24:14.370 –> 00:24:14.880
Shane Ludtke: or both.

00:24:16.800 –> 00:24:18.570
Dave Chapman: I like ketchum kojic it’s.

00:24:18.630 –> 00:24:24.300
Dave Chapman: it’s not perfect, but it’s about the darkest place i’ve seen yeah and I just mentioned, you before Chris that.

00:24:24.990 –> 00:24:34.470
Dave Chapman: Despite being in the atacama desert and being on you know and being a 9000 feet above sea level, and all that goes along with it, I didn’t find it that dark.

00:24:35.070 –> 00:24:43.620
Dave Chapman: I mean, it was a glorious sight to see all the southern objects, but my host that was there, he got quite put out when I suggested it it didn’t seem that dark.

00:24:44.700 –> 00:24:53.340
Dave Chapman: And and and I wasn’t I wasn’t really criticizing and I was just making an observation, it was just like it’s not as dark as I thought it would be yeah.

00:24:53.970 –> 00:24:58.020
Dave Chapman: Now, but on top of that it’s got these brilliant you know stars and.

00:24:58.710 –> 00:25:10.230
Dave Chapman: Deep sky objects which I mean they’re not even deep sky objects because they’re so damn bright enough magellanic clouds and the transient and nebula and they’re just beaming out you don’t really need a dark sky to see those things.

00:25:10.530 –> 00:25:10.950
Chris Beckett: yeah.

00:25:11.850 –> 00:25:19.530
Dave Chapman: I mean it’s still a beautiful view but, but when you move away from the Milky Way and take an Indian taken an objective reading on the.

00:25:20.760 –> 00:25:23.970
Chris Beckett: On the deep you know, on the darks, what do you call it, you know.

00:25:24.690 –> 00:25:27.420
Dave Chapman: yeah yeah the dark sky meter.

00:25:27.630 –> 00:25:28.740
Chris Beckett: One of these.

00:25:29.220 –> 00:25:31.050
Dave Chapman: yeah you know you get a number.

00:25:31.110 –> 00:25:32.070
Chris Beckett: Okay there’s a battery.

00:25:32.940 –> 00:25:44.280
Dave Chapman: You get a number and and you know, I was down there and I was like you know, taking my measurements like I said well you know, to be honest it’s it’s i’ve seen darker skies and kitchen kojic National Park.

00:25:44.640 –> 00:25:50.760
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah but it depends on it depends on the landscape like and what the vegetation is and.

00:25:51.240 –> 00:25:55.200
Dave Chapman: stuff like you know they have a serious air glow problem down there it’s.

00:25:55.740 –> 00:25:57.450
Chris Beckett: Like big lithium minds, or something.

00:25:57.510 –> 00:25:59.310
Dave Chapman: No, no, no it’s not terrestrial it’s.

00:25:59.310 –> 00:25:59.880
Chris Beckett: it’s it’s.

00:25:59.940 –> 00:26:08.430
Dave Chapman: it’s it’s something like the ozone layer, or something and the stuff coming in and the air glow is like it’s when, then the ions get.

00:26:08.730 –> 00:26:09.870
Chris Beckett: yeah we get that.

00:26:10.140 –> 00:26:15.780
Dave Chapman: The gaskets Ionized but it’s really bad down there, to the extent that it interferes with the Alma radio telescope.

00:26:16.050 –> 00:26:19.140
Chris Beckett: yeah we can sometimes see it here, I have, I have a photo.

00:26:19.710 –> 00:26:36.570
Dave Chapman: yeah you can see it in kg to to an extent, but but it’s bad down there yeah a whole like it’s not it’s a known thing if you look it up like there’s this like big pole over South America let’s in this let’s say in all the rays that create the sky go.

00:26:36.570 –> 00:26:38.040
Chris Beckett: Oh yeah yeah I think I.

00:26:38.070 –> 00:26:40.020
Dave Chapman: Ever blow sorry Eric Eric Hello.

00:26:40.110 –> 00:26:42.600
Chris Beckett: yeah I was there, it has to do with.

00:26:43.740 –> 00:26:46.680
Chris Beckett: Lack of magnetism in the area it’s like a weakening.

00:26:46.950 –> 00:26:50.790
Dave Chapman: The magnetic field oh OK so i’ll take down some magnets next time.

00:26:51.120 –> 00:26:52.380
Shane Ludtke: yeah problem solved.

00:26:53.700 –> 00:26:55.380
Chris Beckett: It will go well with your tinfoil hat.

00:26:55.440 –> 00:27:14.610
Dave Chapman: But it, but that my host it was a there was a funny moment there my host was saying was very dark sky blah blah blah, and he he he he he took out his dark sky beater not unbeknownst to me, and he came over and he said i’m reading 23.0 on my on my meter and i’m going.

00:27:15.000 –> 00:27:16.380
Chris Beckett: Really reading it like this.

00:27:16.500 –> 00:27:24.600
Dave Chapman: And I said, you know i’ve seen those numbers on my meter but only when i’m pointing it in the wrong direction and I walked away.

00:27:28.380 –> 00:27:39.480
Dave Chapman: Seriously, if you have it backwards you’re looking at the ground it’ll come up 23 anyway, he came to me about 10 minutes later and confessed that he had been doing it upside down anyway, we mean made friends, after that, because.

00:27:42.180 –> 00:27:55.050
Dave Chapman: And I wasn’t I wasn’t trying to get at him I was just being me, you know, I was just making this observation hey you know it’s not as dark as like and it turns out that there’s a reason for it, so it was a perfectly valid and scientific observation you know.

00:27:55.080 –> 00:28:11.250
Chris Beckett: yeah yeah there’s a lot of factors that make for a dark sky but yeah I got to see down in the grasslands i’ve certainly seen more of those darker nights i’m gonna have to get out there, I guess yeah you gotta come out yeah you got a good place to stay will will put you up in a.

00:28:11.430 –> 00:28:14.190
Shane Ludtke: In a tent to find his tent in southern Cisco.

00:28:14.220 –> 00:28:15.330
Chris Beckett: minus 10 they’re.

00:28:15.660 –> 00:28:18.180
Chris Beckett: Fine, with it, with a few hail holes in it.

00:28:18.480 –> 00:28:27.510
Dave Chapman: So getting back to the gig and shine one of the reasons I wanted to publish it in the journal, not just the Nova notes it’s not because the Nova notes isn’t good enough.

00:28:28.620 –> 00:28:39.450
Dave Chapman: But the thing about the journal is it’s an archival publication, so when I publish it there it’ll be it’ll be indexed in the Harvard abstracts okay.

00:28:40.050 –> 00:28:48.960
Dave Chapman: So when people are doing research on this it’ll pop up you know my little article will pop up and it’s you know it’s not as highly scientific.

00:28:49.950 –> 00:29:04.980
Dave Chapman: Publication and I didn’t have any controls or any you know it’s just a random observation, but I think it’s unique I don’t think anyone else has reported that and so, if anyone does want to research, this seriously.

00:29:05.730 –> 00:29:22.440
Dave Chapman: I may have contributed to the science of the topic by just saying this is what I saw and the date and where I was and here’s a picture you know, so I figured that’s worth you know that’s worth of recording and an archival journal yeah yeah.

00:29:23.760 –> 00:29:24.210
For sure.

00:29:25.590 –> 00:29:32.070
Chris Beckett: Well, I think, I think that pretty much covers the topic yeah same do you have any any further questions for Dave.

00:29:33.000 –> 00:29:39.750
Shane Ludtke: No, no, no questions, maybe just a comment about the winter star party sort of on topic, but off topic.

00:29:40.980 –> 00:29:47.760
Shane Ludtke: we’ve we’ve had a few listeners reach out to us via email and talk a lot about the winter star party and.

00:29:48.360 –> 00:29:58.860
Shane Ludtke: You know that combined with your observation here Dave and you know, the fact that you’ve gone there a few times you know it’s this is starting to rise as a higher priority on my list to attend this star party so.

00:29:59.160 –> 00:30:11.040
Dave Chapman: So the thing is, is that from time to time it gets hit by hurricanes and and i’m not sure i’m not sure what the physical state of the place is like it was never.

00:30:12.240 –> 00:30:25.050
Dave Chapman: The facilities were never like awesome they were always like pretty primitive and the last time when a can’t remember the name of the hurricane but it went right through there and the little grass huts that.

00:30:26.310 –> 00:30:29.220
Dave Chapman: They call them chickpeas they were demolished like gone.

00:30:30.330 –> 00:30:40.980
Dave Chapman: And, and then most people stay in our TVs and stuff so when we would go down, we would we would get we would get like five or six guys that we would we would rent one of these chickpeas and get in really early so we could get one so.

00:30:41.310 –> 00:30:47.940
Dave Chapman: I just don’t know what the state of the facilities are like what I don’t even know if they had it last year.

00:30:49.770 –> 00:30:56.790
Dave Chapman: But you know they will need to because it’s it’s unlike a girl scout camp, or something like that, but the facilities are like.

00:30:58.680 –> 00:31:12.750
Dave Chapman: I mean it’s it’s a lovely event but it’s it’s pretty it’s pretty rudimentary i’m going to tell you i’m going to confess to you when I go down there with those guys I pay my share for the hut and I stay with my wife in a proper hotel.

00:31:14.550 –> 00:31:15.630
Chris Beckett: there’s no shame in that.

00:31:16.290 –> 00:31:32.280
Dave Chapman: And, and she what she does it’s like we spend the day together, and then we go out and have an early dinner and then she comes and drops me off at about I think seven o’clock because there’s like a nobody, no one can leave or come in with their vehicle after seven.

00:31:33.360 –> 00:31:47.700
Dave Chapman: So I get her to drop me off, and I spend I spend the night there, and if I need to sleep I go to the hut but in the morning, she comes to gets me and I go and have my Nice, you know my nice breakfast and have a nice shower and have a nice sleep and a real bed, you know.

00:31:48.810 –> 00:31:52.890
Dave Chapman: So I paid double accommodation, just to be comfortable.

00:31:55.170 –> 00:31:56.490
Shane Ludtke: And my.

00:31:56.610 –> 00:32:02.730
Dave Chapman: My bed or I can maybe the next time it’ll be an attempt, but it’s just like a place to crash when I get too tired to observe.

00:32:04.950 –> 00:32:09.810
Chris Beckett: Observing lifestyles of the of the rich and not so famous.

00:32:11.880 –> 00:32:22.620
Dave Chapman: i’m looking forward to going with Jerry and Judy black we’ve last several summers we’ve been getting a particular campsite at ketchum kojic lake site 15 on an island.

00:32:23.190 –> 00:32:39.360
Dave Chapman: big news island and it’s got a really nice speech you don’t see the whole Skype it has a nice southern exposure a little bit overhead and we get out there and it’s really dark and we have a lot of time observing and Jerry does a lot of time lapse type photography and.

00:32:39.540 –> 00:32:49.260
Dave Chapman: Okay we’ve done that, a few summers now and we’ve had some we call it the big muse island star party and it’s only ever had for people that.

00:32:51.750 –> 00:33:04.200
Dave Chapman: We have to paddle you know we have to paddle to get to it with all our gear like we can’t drive up right yeah so you have to bring all our camping gear and then we have to bring our astronomy gear so it’s quite a it’s quite a production to get there.

00:33:04.290 –> 00:33:05.940
Chris Beckett: But it’s worth it it’s worth it.

00:33:06.270 –> 00:33:06.990
Shane Ludtke: sounds awesome.

00:33:07.470 –> 00:33:07.740
Dave Chapman: yeah.

00:33:07.770 –> 00:33:08.370
Very cool.

00:33:09.720 –> 00:33:25.650
Chris Beckett: Well, I think we should we’re trying to do these little little short and punchy here for for the summer so that so that we can get some astronomy in or really we’re just working where these basic but yeah I think we should end it here unless people have anything more to add.

00:33:27.120 –> 00:33:30.210
Shane Ludtke: Well, thanks, a lot Dave really appreciate your time, and this was a.

00:33:30.240 –> 00:33:35.490
Shane Ludtke: This was an awesome episode, it was was interesting to hear about your observation, thank you well thanks.

00:33:35.850 –> 00:33:37.560
Chris Beckett: yeah thanks so much day I really.

00:33:37.830 –> 00:33:53.910
Dave Chapman: really appreciate you inviting me back and particularly because I know you guys are genuinely interested in that story like yeah like you guys are observers, so you can really appreciate what it was like I hope I conveyed it well enough what the experiments like.

00:33:54.150 –> 00:33:55.140
Shane Ludtke: Oh yeah but.

00:33:55.380 –> 00:34:03.480
Dave Chapman: You know, not everybody, you know if I tried to tell that story at a typical party with my friends like people would be nodding off in the first 30 seconds.

00:34:05.220 –> 00:34:06.240
Dave Chapman: You know you guys are.

00:34:06.300 –> 00:34:16.920
Dave Chapman: You guys are awesome because of you know your your love for astronomy and and and the all the different experiences that people have, and I think your your podcast is really great and.

00:34:16.950 –> 00:34:17.760
Chris Beckett: Well, thank you so much.

00:34:17.910 –> 00:34:21.150
Dave Chapman: Thanks for tuning in more regularly now usually.

00:34:21.780 –> 00:34:23.070
Chris Beckett: The garden or something i’ll.

00:34:23.910 –> 00:34:28.050
Dave Chapman: i’ll put my headphones in and listen to you guys well I weed the garden, you know.

00:34:28.470 –> 00:34:30.270
Chris Beckett: You were saying once that sometimes you like.

00:34:30.270 –> 00:34:33.240
Chris Beckett: Try to correct us yeah oh no wait they’re not there.

00:34:35.520 –> 00:34:37.260
Chris Beckett: To stop mispronouncing things.

00:34:37.590 –> 00:34:46.980
Dave Chapman: Oh no so much correct, but sometimes I just like sometimes I just want to comment and but it’s not really it’s not really handy like you know, like you.

00:34:48.450 –> 00:34:50.160
Dave Chapman: Say and then you forget, you know.

00:34:51.240 –> 00:34:56.250
Dave Chapman: But the point is that i’m listening with purposefully and i’m reacting to it so.

00:34:56.580 –> 00:35:08.160
Chris Beckett: Nice thanks thanks so much really appreciate you having having made a really interesting story for our listeners and yeah we received lots of.

00:35:08.760 –> 00:35:22.980
Chris Beckett: Observing stories from our listeners, and so, if anybody out there has has other stories that they wish to share certainly drop us drop us a note to lingering email addresses actual astronomy at gmail COM that correction.

00:35:23.310 –> 00:35:23.760
Shane Ludtke: perfect.

00:35:23.970 –> 00:35:24.570
Chris Beckett: There we go.

00:35:24.660 –> 00:35:28.230
Dave Chapman: All right, maybe, maybe if the other people that seem gagan shine they can send in there.

00:35:28.320 –> 00:35:28.800
Chris Beckett: yeah.

00:35:28.980 –> 00:35:29.820
Shane Ludtke: yeah that’d be awesome.

00:35:30.060 –> 00:35:30.870
Chris Beckett: yeah that’d be waiting.

00:35:30.930 –> 00:35:31.740
Chris Beckett: Okay, thanks again.

00:35:32.340 –> 00:35:32.850
Chris Beckett: Thank you.

00:35:33.480 –> 00:35:33.870
bye bye.

End of podcast:

365 Days of Astronomy

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