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Thursday, September 29, 2016

MOON/MERCURY SEPTEMBER 29, 2016

Location:  Driveway by boat, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  September 29, 2016 from 0650-0700 hrs

Weather:  Gusting winds, partly cloudy, twilight, 8C with small windchill.

Attendance:   Carla, Sarah, David.

Objective:  To view and image Moon/Mercury conjunction which was reported to happen on this morning, just before sunup.  According to my RASC calendar, the two celestial bodies were going to be 1.6 degrees apart.

Report:

  • Spotted the conjunction right away, easily when first went outside to take the dog out.  The forecast was calling for cloudy skies this morning so was surprised when it was clear in the east.  Mercury was surprisingly bright.
Images:




Sunday, September 25, 2016

OBSERVING REPORT FOR SEPT 25/16

Location:  Front Yard, Little Lepreau, NB

Date Time:  September 25, 2016 2145-2200hrs

Weather:  Cool, 8C, no wind, mostly clear.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses, tripod.

Attendance:  Myself

Objective:  To view and image location of Mars which was reported to be near M8 in the south western sky.

Report:

  • Seeing conditions were very good with the Moon phase being past third quarter.
  • Mars was close to M8 and Saturn was just above the horizon with Antares already below the horizon and out of sight.  Mars is suppose to be close to M8 all week.
  • M31 was in the North Eastern sky and very bright.
  • M45 was just rising in the east at 2200hrs.
Images:







M31 high in the North East

M45 rising just over the horizon in the east at 2200hrs

Thursday, September 22, 2016

OBSERVING REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 21, 2016

Location:  Front Yard, Little Lepreau, NB

Date Time:  Sept 21, 2016 2110-2130 hrs

Weather:  Mostly clear with only a couple small hazy patches around the horizon and to the East, no wind, cooled off considerably from 25 C through the day to 13 C during observing time.  Could see six stars in Pegasus which means a limiting factor of 6...very good seeing conditions.  Very few bugs.

Attendance:  David McCashion

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55 mm and 75-300 mm lenses, tripod.  Arcsoft Mediaimpressions image software.

Objective:  To view and image the location of Mars as it moves to the East relative to Saturn and the Constellation of Scorpius.

Report:

  • Very good seeing conditions allowed for a spectacular view of the Milkyway as it rose from the SW high overhead through Cygnus.  It's bright 'clouds' of gas showing much form, especially above and to the west of Sagittarius.
  • Just after dark the Mars Saturn Antares triangle has spread apart and now is getting lower in the south, as we move from summer into fall.
  • The Summer triangle has also moved farther west in the sky, making it easier to photograph.  When it is straight up, it's hard to get the camera to point in that direction due to tripod design.
  • While imaging the south western sky, watched the eastern sky and seen a short bright shooting star coming straight down in a very bright flash.  Also noticed and Iridium flare(about half as bright as the shooting star) from a satellite going through Pegasus move north east.  Pointed camera in that direction and caught satellite moving just above Alpheratz which is the star in Andromeda that "marks the point where Pegasus and Andromeda meet."
  • After processing images, noticed many faint satellite trails.
  • One shooting star and one satellite seen.
Images:

Facing south west.

Facing south west.



Almost straight up to the west.

Facing East.


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

SOLAR OBSERVING SEPTEMBER 2016 (Updated)

Location:  Little Lepreau, NB

Date Time:  Various days and times throughout September listed on images.

Weather:  September has had many cloudy rainy days with a few nights of frost.

Equipment:  Borrowed the clubs' 40 mm PST dedicated solar telescope from Saint John Astronomy Club for the month of September.  My Nexus 4 cellphone with 15 mm eyepiece attached to Ioptron cellphone adapter.

Attendance:  Myself.

Report:

  • September 13 at around 0945 hrs set up scope in back yard for a few minutes.  Very little to no activity could be seen on the face of the sun or on its outer limbs in regards to prominence's.
  • September 16 weather was sunny all day with a strong wind.  Viewed Sun with clubs 15 mm and 9 mm eyepieces.  In the morning there was a little prominence activity on the 3 o'clock position of the Sun with no activity across the face.  By mid afternoon there was a large kind of faint area of activity on the face at around the 4:30 o'clock position.  Adjusting one of the rings on the body of the scope seemed to bring this spider web like feature to come in and out of focus.  At the same time the small faint prominence at the 3 o'clock position turned into a large hedgerow like  prominence with a smaller prominence at the 4:30 position.  Always amazing to see a celestial object have changing features in such a short time frame.  Early evening seen the smaller prominence at the 4:30 position grown larger with a smaller one appear near the 5 o'clock position.  The big hedgerow one at the 3 o'clock position disappeared.
  • September 21 fog cleared just after 1300 hrs.  Imaged sunspot group 2593 on the lower left face of Sun.  It came in and out of focus with the adjusting ring.  No prominence's could be seen.  According to Spaceweather.com sunspot group 2595 had just went behind the right side limb.
  • September 24 between 0925 hrs and 0945.  Frost was on windshield of vehicle in the morning, and some ice on ground.  Temp during observing time was around 8C.  Observed sunspot group 2597 left of center with a smallish filament to the upper left of that.  Prominence's showing up in about the 2 o'clock position on the view screen as images were taken.  The zoom feature of the cellphone camera makes closer study possible.
  • September 28 between 1000 hrs and 1240 hrs.  Gusting winds and mostly cloudy at 10am, a few holes in the clouds allowed for some observing but for only for a few seconds at a time.  At noon it cleared for about a half hour, then clouded over again for most of the day.  At noon, after much playing around with the focuser and the tuner, a huge filament popped out on the right side of the sun.  Four prominence's could be seen right next to it.  Two more prominence's were seen in about the 7 o'clock position with a disturbance and another filament near them.  Another filament was seen near the 11 o'clock position.  Note:  All these features were there for the last two days, but they were so faint they were hard to see in the eyepiece.

Images:















Images didnt turn out well so drew a picture.  Everything was very faint and only showed up after much adjusting of the PST.


Saturday, September 17, 2016

HARVEST MOON 2016

Location:  Front Porch Little Lepreau, NB

Date Time:  September 16, 2016 2020-2035 hrs

Weather:  Cool, gusting winds from the west, mostly clear, 2C no bugs.  First frost of the year the last couple nights.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300mm lens and tripod.

Attendance:  David McCashion

Objective:  To view and image the Full Harvest Moon which suppose to rise on this evening.

Report:

  • Gusting winds proved troublesome for imaging.  It was cool enough to have to put on a jacket for the first time since last spring.  
  • Moon was large and reddish as it rose in the East.  Some passing light clouds passed in front of it for most of observing time.
  • Mars, Saturn and Antares formed their ever changing triangle in the SW with Mars dimming to almost the same brightness as Saturn.
  • Sagittarius starting to move past the trees to the west so that it can be seen from the porch during mid evening.
  • Summer triangle starting to move out of its zenith position westward, which will make it easier to view and image all the great targets located in and around it in the coming weeks.
  • No satellites or shooting stars were seen.
Images:






Thursday, September 8, 2016

MARS SATURN & ANTARES SUMMER 2016 (Updated)

Location:  Mostly in front yard on Little Lepreau, NB.  Once from Sussex, NB, and one from Boynes Cove, NB.

Date Time:  From July 11 to Sept 21, 2016  Dates and times listed on images.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55 mm and 75-300 mm lenses, tripod.

Objective:  To show the motion of Mars as it passes through Scorpius.

Report:  The nice conjunction of Mars Saturn and Antares graced the southern/south western sky for the whole summer of 2016.  All three, including all stars, drifted westward, as they always do as the seasons move on.  Due to planetary orbits Mars appeared to move to the east against the background stars of Scorpius, with Saturn appearing to remain stationary, unless one looked very closely at the background stars.  One can only observe this if they keep track of star and planet locations on a weekly basis.

The following are some of my images from this summer.  Note how Mars moves compared to Saturn and Antares.

Images:















Sept 16/16 @ 2034 hrs from Little Lepreau, NB.
Sept 21/16 @ 2122 hrs Little Lepreau, NB
Sept 25/16 @ 2145 hrs Little Lepreau, NB

Sunday, September 4, 2016

OBSERVING REPORT FOR SEPTEMBER 4, 2016

Location:  Front yard, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  September 4, 2016 2145-2155hrs

Weather:  No wind, high see-through haze, 12C, humid, no bugs.  Temperature dropped down to 5C overnight.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi, with 75-300mm lens and tripod.

Attendance:  David McCashion

Objective:  To view and image Mars as it moves to the East of Scorpius and Saturn.

Report:

  • Viewing conditions were not good.  Even though the thin crescent moon had gone down long before observing time, a high thin cloud(which was there before dark) or moisture in the atmosphere affected seeing conditions.  Could only count three stars in Pegasus which means a limiting factor of Magnitude 3, which is not good.
  • Observed and imaged Mars Saturn and Antares low in the south western sky.  All notably not as bright as normal.
  • Observed and imaged Delphinus high in the SE, with Altair, Sagitta and The Coat Hanger nearby.
  • Observed and imaged a satellite passing above the Perseus Double Cluster.
  • No shooting stars and two satellites were seen.
Images:

Image taken at 2146 hrs.  Camera settings ISO 1600, focal length 75 mm, f/4, 6 seconds.

Facing NE just under Cassiopeia. Image taken at 2152 hrs. Camera settings ISO 1600, focal length 75mm, f/4, 6 seconds.

Sagitta the arrow.  Image taken at 2149 hrs.  Camera settings ISO 1600, focal length 75mm, f/4, 6 seconds.
Delphinus the dolphin.  Image taken at 2147 hrs.  Camera settings ISO 1600, focal length 75mm, f/4, 6 seconds.

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