Invitation to participate in a lunar parallax measurement on 16/17 December 2021

Teaching and learning space science resources. Supported by Brunei National Astronomy Education Coordinator (NAEC), IAU OAE
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Invitation to participate in a lunar parallax measurement on 16/17 December 2021

Post by hazarry »

The Schiller-Gymnasium in Weimar, Germany is inviting all to an international astronomy project for schools - The determination of the distance to the moon by means of the parallax method.

The project needs at least two observers A and B. Both of them take a photograph of the Moon simultaneously. Apart from the Moon you have to see at least two background objects (stars or planets) on both of the images. We need these objects to be able to overlay both images exactly on top of each other later. We have done this before together with dedicated teams from other countries, but we would be very happy to be joined by new participants!

On December 16th and December 17th, the Moon is near the Hyades and the Pleiades and we oud like to measure this. If you are in the mood and have time you are invited to join our project. Maybe you can take part in either or both campaigns?

The technical effort is not very high. You need a camera with a telephoto lens and a tripod. Image the Moon together with the Hyades and Pleiades. You can see their position in the attached images. Choose the focal length of your telephoto lens so that the Moon, the Hyades and Pleiades can be seen clearly, anything else can be cropped. It is important that the Moon, Hyades and Pleiades are very well-defined.

Please take the time to adjust your setup before you start recording. The images need no tracking if we go for a focal length of not more than 300 mm.

Please send us your pictures (via dropbox or similar) in JPG or RAW format with the names 03h-00-00.JPG, 053-00-30.JPG, 03h-01-00.JPG ... after the date with a text file, which contains the following:
  • Height and azimuth of the Moon at the observation site during the recording. (Azimuth: south = 0 degrees, west = 90 degrees, north = 180 degrees, and east = 270 degrees)
  • The GPS coordinates of your observation site
  • The names of the observer
  • It would also be nice if each team would take a picture of themselves and the setup used.
  • If you agree, then we exchange our pictures among each other. This allows your students to determine the distance to the Moon itself
All times are expressed in UTC. Sorry for the special time, but we have partners in Europe, America, Asia and Africa and we have to wait until it is dark at these locations. I know it's hard. The Moon, the Hyades and the Pleiades must be above the horizon.

1st campaign:
16th of December (18:00 UTC) Moon near Hyades and Pleiades

ISO 800
moments: - -exposure times:
18h 00' 00" - 1/125"
18h 00' 30" - 1/60"
18h 01' 00" - 1/30"
18h 01' 30" - 1/15"
18h 02' 00" - 1/8"
18h 02' 30" - 1/4"
18h 03' 00" - 1/2"
18h 03' 30" - 1"
18h 04' 00" - 2"
16thDec2021-1800UTC.jpg (29.31 KiB) Viewed 25368 times
2nd campaign
17th of December (03:00 UTC) Moon near Hyades and Pleiades.

ISO 800
moments: - -exposure times:
03h 00' 00" - 1/125"
03h 00' 30" - 1/60"
03h 01' 00" - 1/30"
03h 01' 30" - 1/15"
03h 02' 00" - 1/8"
03h 02' 30" - 1/4"
03h 03' 00" - 1/2"
03h 03' 30" - 1"
03h 04' 00" - 2"
17thDec2021-0300UTC.jpg (39.25 KiB) Viewed 25368 times
Contact Mario Koch at for more information.
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