Glad you stopped by my website. My name is Luis Martinez, M.Ed, FRAS
and I have been interested in astronomy most of my adult life . In early 2008
I was finally able to make the financial commitment, with the purchase of a
Celestron CPC800. I waited for many years until a fully automated telescope
was affordable. In 2009 I upgraded to a CPC1100 and that is the scope I use
today. My main interests are asteroid (minor planets) astrometry and lightcurves
and variable star research.
The name of my backyard observatory came from the first letters
of the first names of the girls in my life; my wife Leticia, daughter Noelia, and
granddaughters Mia and Yasmine. I retired from the police service in 2013
and now consider myself a "full time" backyard astronomer. :-)
The University of Arizona's Daily Wildcat newspaper printed a story about Lenomiya's work in the OSIRIS-Rex mission to asteroid Bennu, scheduled for launch in 2016. Target Asteroids! is a citizen science project where amateur astronomers can collect data for the Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification and Security-Regolith Explorer mission (OSIRIS-REx).
OSIRIS-REx is a NASA spacecraft mission to near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The primary objective of the mission is to return 60 grams of Bennu to Earth in 2023. For the mission, the researchers need to collect enormous amounts of data on asteroids. They have turned to amateur astronomers to help fill this gap with great success. The amateur astronomers collect data by observing and imaging specified asteroids as they travel through the sky.
“They may be amateurs in that they aren’t actually paid, but some of them are just as good as professional astronomers when it comes to collecting and reducing their data,” said Carl Hergenrother, staff scientist and co-lead on the project.
Lenomiya Astronomical Observatory, working with Vladimir Benishek and Branimir Benishek from Serbia, and their Variable Star Search Team, co-discovered three (3) new variable stars. UCAC4 497-136024 is a Delta Scuti type variable. UCAC4 528-133706 is a Rotating ellipsoidal variable (ELL). UCAC4 529-129198 is a RR Lyrae variable. The Variable Star Index officially recognized the discoveries. Our names will forever be connected to these stars, science can be pretty cool! About a thousand variable stars are discovered annually by both professionals and amateurs, mostly by examining previously archived images. Few are discovered by astronomers conducting their own searches with their own equipment.
Lenomiya's main CCD was upgraded to an SBIG STT-1603/ FW8G-STXL Self-Guiding Filter Wheel
Lenomiya's CCD has been repaired and returned (just in time for the full Moon) :-(
Lenomiya is down indefinitely due to SBIG CCD repairs.
Lenomiya's new computer is up and running.
Lenomiya is down indefinitely for a computer upgrade.
Luis Martinez was accepted as a full member of the American Astronomical Society this month.
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) is the major organization of professional astronomers in North America. The mission of the American Astronomical Society is to enhance and share humanity's scientific understanding of the universe.
Full Membership is open to any person deemed capable of preparing an acceptable scientific paper on some subject of astronomy or related branch of science. Supporting evidence for nomination to Full Membership should include at least one of the following:
1.Ph.D. in astronomy or closely related field.
2.Independent or senior authorship of acceptable, refereed, published paper(s).
3.Detailed evidence of significant contribution to astronomy in forms other than research publication.
An international team of amateur astronomers has collaborated in the discovery that a previously identified asteroid is a rare binary. A binary asteroid is an asteroid with one or more moons captured in orbit around the main body. Of the more than 600,000 asteroids currently identified, only approximately 200 are known to be binaries. Asteroid 1052 Belgica, discovered in the main asteroid belt in 1925 by Belgian astronomer Eugène Joseph Delporte, was approximately one astronomical unit (1 a.u. is equal to 93 million miles) from the Earth during the time of this discovery.
Italian amateur astronomers Andrea Ferraro in Asti, Northern Italy, Lorenzo Franco in Rome, and Luis Martinez in Casa Grande, Arizona, made the collaborative discovery during the last months of 2012. Dr. Petr Pravec, an astronomer at the Ondrejov Observatory (Czech Republic) and an expert in the field of asteroid research, confirmed the discovery by these amateur astronomers. Their joint work in reaching this conclusion was based on the processing of multiple telescope images of the asteroid taken over two months by sophisticated astronomical software.
the Central bureau for Astronomical CBATtelegrams announcement:
L. Franco, Rome, Italy; P. Pravec, Ondrejov Observatory; A.
Ferrero, Mombercelli, Asti, Italy; and L. Martinez, Casa Grande, AZ,
USA, report that photometric observations carried out during 2012 Nov.
17-Dec. 18 reveal that the minor planet (1052) is a binary system with
an orbital period of 47.26 +/-
0.02 hr. The rotational light curve of the primary has a period of
0.0001 hr with an amplitude of 0.08 mag that suggests a nearly
spheroidal shape. The depth of the secondary event observed on 2012
Dec. 6.9 (0.13 mag) gives a lower limit on the secondary-to-primary
mean diameter ratio of 0.36
The Casa Grande Dispatch newspaper publishes a story about Lenomiya Observatory.
I will be at the Society for Astronomical Sciences Symposium at Big Bear Lake, Ca, from May 22-24.
Lenomiya's main CCD has been repaired and research has resumed.
Equipment repairs have shutdown Lenomiya until further notice
Luis Martinez was elected a Fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, at their February 10, 2012, meeting in London. Fellowship means participating in the leading UK organization promoting astronomy, geophysics and related sciences, and is open to any person over the age of 18 whose application is acceptable to the Society. Around half the Fellowship consists of PhD-level professional scientists (including more than 90% of UK Professors of Astronomy); a quarter are postgraduate researchers or retired scientists; and the remainder are amateur scientists and undergraduates.
Luis has been conducting asteroid, also known as minor planets, research at his back yard Lenomiya Observatory, in northern Casa Grande, since 2009. His work as been published in several issues of the Minor Planet Bulletin, a peer-reviewed publication for both professional and amateur astronomers.