Friday, December 03, 2010
Around 6.45am, looking almost due South, The moon was a perfect crescent, Venus was shining brilliantly above it, which was also a crescent, and then hovering a short way above that was Saturn.
Regardless of being unable to get my telescope out, due to the snow, I have neither the scope or the camera to capture such an image. The fact that the morning air was so clear just added to the spectacle. The Dawn sky tends to have just one feature for me, Venus, so to have the crescent moon and Saturn as well was fantastic. Spica was also visible but not quite as impressive.
I'm unsure as to when this alignment will happen again (Venus and Saturn will be there but I don't know about the moon) so it was a shame I wasn't able to photograph it but it's something that I'll remember for a while. I called my partner and 2yr old to see it as well and both were suitably impressed.
As mentioned in earlier posts, taking pictures of what we see is a great aid to our layman descriptions but sometimes it's not feasible. The best way to see what it looks like is to see for yourself!
Keep looking up!
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
The Jovian system again here and the Moon with some highlights.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
The last 2 weeks have not been much good for spotting anything other than cloud but last night, 17-10-10 the cloud parted and the stars were back.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Thursday, October 07, 2010
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
Monday, October 04, 2010
The sky was full of wispy clouds but there were many tempting sights for me to find up there. So initially, I went for Jupiter, since it is so bright and easy to find. My first sight amazed me. I’m using a Celestron 102mm spotting scope with a 10mm eyepiece so wasn’t sure of the detail I would be able to see. I literally took a step back once the cloud bands on Jupiter were revealed. I say “bands” the Southern Hemisphere ban was missing which would have made it easier to see the red spot if it had been facing the earth (it wasn’t). I also saw 3 of it’s 4 moons, which they were I can’t be sure but my image looked liked MJ’s post and picture of last month.
The point of this post is to explain the superlatives I may use when I do locate objects of interest. I am still in awe of the things I can find with my relatively cheap equipment. All you need is a little patience and and a half decent star chart.
Next on the cards (and the weather looking good for tonight) is Andromeda. I know roughly where it is but I’ve still to find it in the scope. While I'm in that area as well I may seek out Hartleys comet. But one step at a time and all that.
Friday, October 01, 2010
My interest stems from my brother who had an interest in stars. Back in the early 80's, along with my dad they mounted an old brass telescope onto an improvised "tripod" using an old broom handle and 2 bits of wood. My brother taught me the where the Plaides, Cassiopeia and Orion were and, thus, a spark was lit.
I was a naked eye astronomer until about 8 years ago when I bought my first scope but having little patience my main target was the moon as I could find it without too much trouble!
Most of my astronomy is still done with the naked eye and as a "fair weather camper" I'm always amazed to see the multitude of stars when out in the field hitherto unseen in the City. It is with this in mind and my fellow bloggers enthusiasm that I now take to the garden on a clear night and look heavenward.
Just thought that I would give a little background as to my interest in all things Astronomical.
It was Christmas 1981, I was 10 and was given a 3” reflector as my “main” present. At the time it was the best thing ever (I now know it was really a “toy” scope). Never the less, it opened up a whole new interest for me – I could always get a good view of the main points of interest – The Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Orion and Halley’s Comet. I also used my Dad’s 10x50 binoculars masking-taped to his old Velbon tripod!
I joined the local Astronomy Society but even at that young age realised it was run more like a Gentlemen’s Club (and still is to this day as far as I can see – what a shame). This whetted my appetite even more as we did at least get to use the 18” reflector that they had in a dome, my main memory being that of seeing Saturn just sat there in the heavens.
The rest is history really and I have gone in and out of my interest for years, but recently (with my very close family friend who I share this blog with) I have become more and more “into” it. I think to some extent fuelled by recent events and personalities – The International Space Station, TV programmes like Wonders, Prof. Brain Cox and of course Patrick Moore and Brian May (eh?!) – You know, bushy haired guitarist with Queen – he’s a scientist!
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The above are my shots of the moon. I'm still getting used to the equipment but after a bit of jiggery pokery on the PC, Tycho is clearly visible and I'm pretty confident that they actually look like the moon! The top picture is taken with a Celestron 80mm spotting scope + Lumix compact camera using a 10mm eye piece and the second is the same set up but using a 20mm eyepeice.
Friday, September 24, 2010
After cloudy nights for almost a month tonight gave us a glimpse of what to expect this Autumn/Winter. Not the best of nights for anything but the moon to the south, but was good to get out in the chilly air and try the new scope out properly for the first time. (I have "misplaced" my camera remote so had a little trouble getting the images stable enough). The image of the moon here really shows you the ejecta over some of the larger crater floors, but also from the craters themselves - crater Tycho is very prominent. Jupiter was splendid in the scope with the main cloud bands clearly visible. The image here shows Ganymede, Callisto and Europa - Io had just set behind as I got the camera ready!
Thursday, September 23, 2010
That, however, is about to change. After a correct setting up of my telescope and the iminent setting up of Matts scope in the Peak District we are almost at a stage when we can put regular photographic content onto the page. (My adapter, to attach my compact camera to my scope, should arrive in the next few days.)
Although we will have the technical kit and set up though there is still the problem of the weather. I witnessed Jupiter at it's closest point to Earth on Monday night, a fine sight but no camera to evidence this. Since this date there has not been a clear evening to view anything else so please bear with us.
Monday, September 13, 2010
My first sighting was, what I thought to be Jupiter, It filled the eyepiece and I was patting myself on the back when looking at the direction it was in it actually turned out to be Capella. Don't get me wrong it was a great sight but I did think it was Jupiter. I was suprised to read that Capella is actually a binary star. It certainly looked like just one object in my scope. I'm starting to doubt it was Capella now!
When I turned the scope around for a look at Arcturus I couldn't find it in the telescope anywhere. What the evening proved was it is just not feasible to hurriedly set up a telescope and expect to be able to find things. It needs a lot more preparation than I gave it to get the results I was expecting. The next fine afternoon I shall be pacing my garden and marking out North with a large stick or marker pen and will hopefully have a more rewarding night.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
OK, so we're off and running....
Friday, August 13, 2010
Here's hoping for some more positive sightings - bring on those frosty evenings!
Monday, July 19, 2010
More news as we get it.