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Origin of the Elements ~ Roger Wood

Like so many other ideas indicative of the way that we think about the world, the concept of elements as "indivisible substances" from which all other forms of matter could be derived dates back nearly 2500 years to the ancient Greeks. But it was not until the 17th century that elements began to be characterised by their chemical properties; and by 1869, when 66 distinct elements had been isolated, Mendeleev was able to recognise "families" with similar properties and arrange the known elements in his famous Periodic Table according to their atomic numbers. The 20th century brought a deeper understanding of both atomic and nuclear structures together with the discovery/synthesis of many more elements (now numbering 118 in all). But why do we see this diversity and how did it come about? In the last few decades the development of Big Bang cosmology and the detailed investigations of nuclear processes in stars have revealed how all these elements can be built up from fundamental building blocks and distributed to populate the structures we see all around us.

Astro Imaging Using FITS Libereator ~ David Pulley

This is a practical session so bring your laptop loaded with FITS Liberator 3 (see below).  I will bring some images to share.
Astro magazines and the media in general are full of glossy images of some deep sky wonder be it a nebula, galaxy or star cluster.  This month we will look at how to extract the maximum from your raw FITS image and prepare for the photofinishing stage to obtain that final image that will match anything you will see in a magazine..  We will use a piece of free software, FITS Liberator, developed by the professionals from NASA, ESA and ESO, for use by professionals.  Ten years ago they made this software available at no cost to the general public.  So now you can download raw FITS images from the archives of Hubble, Chandra, ESO etc and create your own spectacular view of the heavens to rival that of the professionals.

You can download FITS Liberator 3 from the Hubble website...

The software is available for both the PC and Mac.



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