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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

SUNSPOT 2638 (UPDATED)

Location:  Front Porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time/Weather/Report:

February 21, 2017 1030-1055hrs-Sunny, clear, slight breeze, -1C with windchill of -5C.

  • Very nice day to observe the Sun.  Sunspot group showed up in view screen as faint dot in upper left portion of Sun, Near the limb.  Other fainter markings could be seen around the well defined, circular sunspot..


February 24, 2017 1400-1600hrs- Mostly cloudy, Sun broke through a few times, rain showers a few mins after telescope was brought inside, 10C

  • Occasional sunny breaks gave way to a steady clear patch for about 10 mins just before 1600hrs.  After that it rained.  Sunspot 2638 was only thing visible across the face.  Well defined, circular, very bright and getting close to the center as Sun Rotates it towards the Earth.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Solar Filter, 8" Meade LX 200, cellphone adapter connected to 32mm eyepiece, 0.6xFocal Reducer, Samsung S5 Neo cellphone camera.

Objective:  To image the Sun.

Images for Feb21:





video

Images for Feb 24:





video

OBSERVING REPORT FOR FEBRUARY 20, 2017

Location:  Front Porch, Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  February 20, 2016 1900-2100hrs

Weather:  Mostly clear with few broken clouds at first then completely clear, slight breeze to no wind, -2C with windchill of -4C.  A very rare clear night for observing.

Equipment:  Meade 8" LX 200 with 32mm, 12.5mm and 9mm eyepieces.  Samsung S5 Neo with Cellphone adapter.

Attendance:  Myself

Objective:  To view and image Venus which is in its Crescent Phase at this time.

Highlights:

  • Venus and Mars were 1/3 of the way up in the sky in the west at 1900 hrs, which put them just above the rooftop from the porch.  Venus was a much thinner crescent in the eyepiece than it showed in images.  Disc of Mars could be seen at high magnification, which was surprising, as it is so far away at this time.  No detail could be seen across its face though.
  • Viewed and imaged M42 and M43.  M42 was huge and bright in the 32mm eyepiece.  Trapesium stars were easily split with this high magnification telescope and good quality eyepiece.  Spectacular, one of the most amazing things to see in this telescope.  Images did not turn out though
  • Viewed and imaged Sirius.  Very bright, bluish.
  • Split Double star Mintaka on Orion's Belt.
  • One Satellite Seen, no shooting stars observed.
Images:


video

Double Star Mintaka on Orion's Belt.

Sirius, brightest and closest star that can be seen from NB.

Venus in crescent phase.  Was much thinner crescent in eyepiece.
Disc of Mars.

Friday, February 10, 2017

PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSE

Location:  Front deck, Little Lepreau, NB

Date:  February 10, 2017 2030-2330hrs

Weather:  Clear, very cold, slight breeze -16C with windchill of -24C.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO with 19mm and 12mm eyepieces, Nexus 4 cellphone camera and Canon Rebel Xsi.

Objective:  To view and image the penumbral full moon which was suppose to start around 2044hrs.

Report:

  • Didnt expect to see much from our location, so was surprised when looked out at 2045hrs and the top left was clearly shaded.  
  • Set up scope and imaged with DSLR and Cellphone camera at 2112hrs.  Then took cellphone images around 2200hrs and shadow moved from top left to top center.
Images:

Taken with cellphone camera

Taken with Canon Rebel.

BIRDING IN FLORIDA

Location:  Kissimmee, Florida

Date:  January 30 to February 4, 2017

Weather:  Mostly sunny with almost no wind all week, warm 25-30C.

Report:

  • Seven White Ibises that arrived every morning, then left together just before dark.  They walked around the shallow areas and up on shore pecking at the ground and into the mud.  Fairly tame.
  • Between 6 and 10 Peacocks and Peahens wandered around the yard.  Once we seen them fly down from high up in a tree. 
  • A Female Anhinga showed up to the pond on at least two different days.  It would dry its feathers up on some kind of piping and would then sit up in a tree overlooking the pond.  Difficult to identify.
  • On the drive into Kissimmee and through the Carolinas and Georgia, many great tailed Grackles were seen around gas stations...at one place there seemed to be hundreds.
  • There were many Muscovy ducks that hung around and were quite tame.  They were all over the pond and surrounding area throughout our stay.  Difficult to identify.
  • There was a Limkin one day that was very difficult to identify.
More to follow...

Images:

White Ibis February 1, 2017.

White Ibis February 1, 2017.

White Ibises February 1, 2017.


Northern Cardinal.  At a gas station in Georgia on January 29, 2017.

Female Anhinga 30 January 2017.

Female Anhinga 30 January 2017.

Female Anhinga 30 January 2017.

Female Anhinga 30 January 2017.

Great Tailed Grackles were all over parking lots throughout the Carolinas,  Georgia and northern Florida.
Peacock and Peahen sharing a peanut February 4, 2017

Peahen February 4, 2017
Limkin January 20, 2017

Muscovy Duck 30 January 2017

Northern Mockingbird 30 January, 2017 in St Augustine, FL

White Ibis January 30, 2017

White Ibis January 30, 2017

White Ibis January 30, 2017

White Ibis January 30, 2017
Muscovy Duck February 4, 2017.

Peacock February 4, 2017

Peahen February 4, 2017.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

FLORIDA OBSERVING (UPDATED)

Location:  Kissimmee, Florida, USA

Date Time Weather:

January 30, 2017 2000-2030hrs.  Cool, no wind, mostly clear, no bugs, 11C.  Dew.
January 31, 2017 0500-0635hrs  Cool, no wind, frost warning, clear, no bugs, 6C.
January 31, 2017 1845-1900hrs  Warm, no wind, clear, a few bugs, 16C.
February 2, 2017 0425-0535hrs  Warm, slight breeze to no wind, partly cloudy, no bugs, 11C.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses and tripod.  Canadian Telescopes 80mm ED/APO with a telescope adapter on a Vixen Alt/Az mount.

Objective:  To view celestial objects not possible to see from southern New Brunswick, most notably Omega Centauri (GC 5139) which is located below Corvus in the sky, in the morning during this observing week.

Report: On the evening of Jan 30  2000-2030hrs

  • A thin crescent Moon lay below Venus and Mars, high in the Western sky.  Due to terrible light pollution from the nearby tennis court, no image could be taken.  Light pollution was a major factor, which was expected while observing from the center of a major city.
  • Venus appeared in its half moon phase.  
  • Orion and Sirius were much higher in the sky than from New Brunswick.
  • M45 was almost directly over-head.
  • No shooting stars or satellites were seen.

Morning of Jan 31.0500-0635hrs

  • Omega Centauri was reported to be low in the southern sky in the early morning hours according to Heavens-above.com sky chart.  It is suppose to be below the star Spica
  • After imaging the sky to the south through light polluted skies for a little while, found a spot where the southern horizon could be seen better through trees.  Omega Centauri popped out immediately in images.
  • Searched with unaided eye and could not see the huge, bright Globular Cluster, even through the eyepiece of camera.  Cluster did however show up easily even at low magnification.  Was surprised to not be able to see it with unaided eye or through eyepiece.
  • Was not able to locate OC through the eyepiece of camera through telescope before daylight.  No images through telescope were taken.  Only images with camera and its two lenses were able to capture the bright globular cluster.
  • Leo was observed high to the west.
  • Ursa Major was seen in the north north west, much lower than where it is from New Brunswick.
  • One satellite was seen, no shooting stars.
Evening of January 31, 2017 1845-1900hrs
  • Just turning dark from twilight.
  • Orion rising high in the West.
  • Nice close conjunction of crescent Moon, Venus and Mars high in the west.  Very bright.
  • One Satellite and no shooting stars observed.
Morning of February 2, 2017 0425-0535hrs
  • Cloudy periods covered low southern part of sky for the first 40 minutes.
  • Viewed and imaged Jupiter which remained visible throughout.  One of its moons was very close on the left side, with the other three on the right side.
  • Viewed and imaged Omega Centauri with telescope.  It showed up in the eyepiece as a huge, faint comet.  A few stars were barely resolved around the outside of its core.  Was very hard to find through eyepiece of camera.  Easy to find in 12mm, 19mm and 32mm through telescope.
  • No shooting stars or Satellites were seen.
Notes:
  • A Falcon 9 Rocket was reported to Launch 'anytime after January 30' from the Kennedy Space Center Launchpad 39A while we were here in Kissimmee.  At one point it was scheduled to launch on Friday Feb 3, 2017.  Difficult to ascertain when exactly the rocket is going to launch due to changing weather conditions.  This delays launch times.
Images:

Focal length Prime Focus, 1/50 second, ISO 400, f/0

Focal length Prime Focus, 1/125 second, ISO 200, f/0



Focal length 25mm, 10 seconds, ISO 1600, f/4

Focal length 28mm, 10 seconds, ISO 1600, f/4



Focal length 28mm, 10 seconds, ISO 1600, f/4

Focal length 75mm, 8 seconds, ISO 1600, f/4

Focal length 150mm, 8 seconds, ISO 1600, f/5




Jupiter and 4 of its Moons February 2, 2017 @ 0442hrs


Unprocessed Image of Omega Centauri (GC5139) February 2, 2017 @ 0502hrs

Processed Image of Omega Centauri (GC5139) February 2, 2017 @ 0502hrs

Monday, January 2, 2017

COMET 45P HONDA

Location:  Lower West side Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  December 31, 2016  1730-1820 hrs

Weather:  Breezy, partly clear with thin clouds passing by, very cold -8 C with windchill of -11 C.

Equipment:  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55 mm and 75-300 mm lenses, 20x80 binoculars and tripod.

Objective:  To view and image Comet 45P Honda which was suppose to be near a Crescent Moon, low in the west after sundown.

Report:

  • Once dark, a thin crescent moon, Venus and Mars made a diagonal line across the south western sky.
  •  Neptune is very close to Mars now, it shows up in the eyepiece as a very small pale blue disk that is difficult to discern from nearby stars.
  • A thin layer of clouds moved in shortly after 1730 hrs, covering the western sky and the Moon.
  • By 1800 hrs the sky had cleared enough to start searching for the comet.  Scanned all around the Moon, especially to the left of the Moon, which is where it was suppose to be.  Could not see the comet or any trace of it through the binoculars.
  • Took images and couldn't see it in the view screen either.  Not until images were processed did the very faint grey fuzzy object become visible right where it was suppose to be.
  • No shooting stars or satellites were seen.
Images:









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