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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JANUARY 16, 2018

Location:  Side yard, on driveway behind house, Little Lepreau, NB

Date Time:  January 16, 2018 1900-2200hrs

Weather:  No wind, bitterly cold, mostly clear, lots of frost on telescope, -11C showing on thermometer with no reported windchill.  Winter storm forecast for tomorrow.  Predicting 15 cm of snow.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO on Vixen mount with 19mm eyepiece.  Canon Rebel Xsi attached at prime focus with adapter.

Objective:  To view and image the south-eastern sky from Canis Major to Taurus.  Also, to continue looking for Comet C/2016 R2 Panstarrs, which is suppose to be NW of the head of Taurus.

Report:

  • Objects imaged:  Rigel, Alnitak, Mintaka, M78, Aldebaran, Several images of sky NW of Taurus head, Sirius, M50, M47, M46 and M48.
  • No shooting stars or satellites were seen.
Images:

Images to follow...

Sunday, January 14, 2018

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JANUARY 14, 2014

Location:  Driveway behind house, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  January 14, 2018 2100-2230hrs

Weather:  Partly cloudy to mostly clear, bitterly cold, some breezyness to no wind, -12C with reported windchill of -20C.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO on Vixen mount, Canon Rebel Xsi attached to telescope at prime focus.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To image Comet C/2016 R2 Panstarrs which was reported to be NW of Taurus on this evening.

Report:

  • Took many images of sky to the NW of Taurus.  After reviewing over-exposed images of this area, may have found the comet...but its very faint.  It does look blue to me though.
  • Imaged Betelgeus.
  • Imaged M45.
  • Imaged M1.
  • One shooting star was seen, possibly an Ursid.  No satellites were seen.
Images:







Wednesday, January 10, 2018

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JANUARY 10, 2018

Location:  Side yard between sheds, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  January 10, 2018 0600-0640hrs

Weather:  Mostly clear to partly cloudy with cloud bank moving in from the SW, very small to no breeze, -10C showing on outside thermometer with reported windchill of -16C.

Attendance:  Myself.

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

Objective:  To view and image a very nice conjunction which was in the SE sky on this morning.

Report:


  • Forecast was for snow overnight, so was surprised to see it clear on this morning.
  • Noticed two oddly short, very fast shooting stars in the NE sky at around 0620hrs.  They were about 10 mins apart.  One was out of the corner of my eye, the other, seen it directly.
  • Could see that Mars and Jupiter are separating further apart, compared to a few days ago.
  • Moon was much closer to the conjunction and in its waning crescent phase.
  • One satellite was seen, in the western sky, moving south, past Regulus, through Leo.
Images:





Monday, January 8, 2018

QUICK COMET SEARCH

Location:  Side yard by large shed, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  January 7, 2018 1834-1840hrs

Weather:  Clear, some breeze, -14C with reported windchil of -23C.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 75-300mm lenses.  Tripod.  Images processed on arcsoftmediaIpressions.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To capture an image of the faint Comet PanSTARRS C/2016 R2 which was reported to be in Taurus during observing time.

Report:

  • Comet was not visible through viewscreen of camera, or obviously appear in images.  It must be very diffuse and faint, or, might not have been in the location where it was reported to be.  
  • Comet is still far away but getting closer, for closest approach to Earth in May, so it will probably brighten significantly.  Will be watching this comet closely right up to the summer.
  • No shooting stars or satellites were seen.
Images:



Comet was reported to be above Lambda Tauri.
Note:  An interesting aspect of this particular comet is that it appears blue, which, according to the spaceweather.com article is because its rich in ionized carbon monoxide(CO).  This is rare, as most comets are rich in cyanogen (CN) and diatomic carbon (C2) which makes the vast majority of comets appear green in images.  Visually, in the eyepiece, or in binoculars, I find most comets appear as gray fuzzballs, with the brighter ones appearing slightly greenish.  I've never seen a blue comet before.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

COOL CONJUNCTION

Location:  Side yard by the shed, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  January 7, 2018 0630-0735 hrs

Weather:  Clear, breezy at first, increasingly windy from the NE, -20C showing on outside thermometer with reported windchill of -32C.  Some hazy clouds around the waning gibbous Moon at 0630 hrs.  No clouds shortly after that.  Its was so cold, the trees were cracking in the wind, loudly as the breeze picked up.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses.  Tripod.  Images processed with ArcsoftmediaImpressions.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To view and image a close pairing of Jupiter and Mars which was suppose to be in the SE dawn sky, in Libra, near the magnitude 2.75 Alpha Libra star named Zubenelgenubi (Arabic for Southern Claw).

Report:

  • The conjunction stood out in the SE sky, and formed up nicely with Zubenelgenubi to make a triangle.  Jupiter was very obliviously brightest of the three, but when zoomed in on, in the view screen, it's disk looked huge compared to Mars. 
  • In one zoomed in image, Zubenelgenubi showed up as a double star.  Binoculars shows the second star, while observing.
  • The waning gibbous Moon was very bright and leaving shadows on the ground, at 0630hrs.  It stood high in the SW sky.
  • Below and to the East of the Moon, low in the SSW sky was the constellation Corvus the Crow.
  • Mercury and Saturn were suppose to be low in the Eastern sky at dawn, but I couldn't see them.  Only looked with unaided eye.
  • No satellites or shooting stars were seen.

Images:



In this image, you can see Zubenelgenubi is a double star.



Saturday, December 23, 2017

SOLAR ECLIPSE 2017

Location:  Truck stop in Peticodiac, NB, Canada

Date Time:  August 21, 2017 1500-1700hrs.

Weather:  Breezy, partly cloudy to mostly cloudy, 25C.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO attached to a Vixen Alt/Az mount, 12mm eyepiece, Cellphone adapter and a Samsung Nexus 5 cellphone camera.

Attendance:  Six people who happened to be in the area at the time and myself.

Objective:  To view and image the partial solar eclipse which was happening on this day from approx 1400-1700hrs.

Report:

  • A truly amazing sight in the eye piece, with many sunspots across the face of the Sun.  Interesting how the Moon and the Sun are almost exactly the same size, from our viewpoint, in the sky.
  • Six passerby's came over to view the eclipse through the telescope. All were very impressed.  One man said, amazed, "The old lady ain't going to believe this!"
Images and Videos:

















Thursday, December 14, 2017

GEMINIDS 2017

Location:  Backyard Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  December 14, 2017 0310-0356hrs

Weather:  Partly to mostly cloudy, gusting winds moving to just north of east, -10C.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel DSLR with 18-55mm lens on tripod.

Objective:  To observe as many Geminid meteors as possible during peak hour for this shower, which was reported to be between 0300-0400hrs on this morning.

Report:  Very dark skies with no Moon showing at this time.  Clouds were a factor, covering one part of the sky then another, but moved on quickly, and they were partially see-through.  No dew issue with camera, took many pictures.  Captured four geminids in four separate images.

Geminids came in bursts of two or three at a time and at one time the sky seemed to full of them, around 0340hrs.  Counted 32 Geminids with only 1 Sporadic.  Geminids were mostly quite bright, blue/white moving medium speed and medium brightness.  A few fainter ones, and two very bright ones.  One very very long and bright and left a smoke trail, to the right of Polaris.  Most observed were in the northern sky, between Ursa Major and Cassiopeia.

Seemed, on average, there was about 1 Geminid/min.  Best meteor shower I've seen in since the early 90s.


Geminid streaking past Polaris.



Facing southwest with Orion behind the big tree.
Note:  Images of shooting stars turned out much fainter than what was observed for some reason.


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