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Monday, June 22, 2015

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JUNE 19, 2015

Location:  Front yard at Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  June 19, 2015 2115-2230hrs

Weather:  Clear, slight breeze, 9C, and lots of Mosquitoes.

Attendance:  Jessica K, a Neighbor, and Myself.

Equipment: Meade 8" LX 200 with focal reducer, 19mm and 9mm eyepieces, Samsung Nexus 4 cellphone camera with Ioptron cellphone adapter, Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses

Objective:  To view and image Crescent Moon/Venus/Jupiter Conjunction which is suppose to peak on June 30.

Report:  This short observing session was all about the conjunction.  The flies were bad, but other than that the conditions were ideal for observing.

Had the scope set up by 2130, by then it was still light out.  Guessed where Regulus was(knowing it was above Jupiter, in the West) then aligned the scope in that direction.  Slewed the scope to Jupiter, then corrected the scope to take advantage of its tracking capabilities.

Took daylight images of Jupiter, Venus and the Moon.  It was hard to tease out detail on Jupiter, because it was too bright out, but three of its moons were visible.

Venus was in its 'Quarter Moon' phase, but closes-up images did not turn out well.

The focal reducer may also have negatively affected close-up images of Jupiter and Venus.  However, on the Moon, it allowed the whole disk to fit into the cellphone view screen.  This allowed for some nice video and images that showed Earth shine.

Jessica came out and viewed the Moon on the view screen of the cellphone.  She asked, "How did the craters get there?"  She also commented on how many craters there are.  I explained that the craters come from asteroid impacts.

A neighbor, who happened to be driving by stopped in and looked over my setup.  He commented on his setup and was amazed at all the electronics that I had attached to the telescope.  He also viewed a video of the crescent Moon.

One satellite and no shooting stars were seen.

Jupiter and two of its moons.






Three of Jupiter's Moons can be seen if you zoom in.

Friday, June 19, 2015

NAMING EXOPLANETS

Recently, as part of a committee of local astronomy enthusiasts, I was involved with coming up with a proposed name for an Exoplanet.  This committee is made up of members of the Saint John Astronomy Club, including Stephen T, June M, Phil, Ed O'Reilly and myself.

This committee, in conjunction with a program put on by the International Astronomical Union called naming exoplanets, has come up with a name for one Exoplanet, found orbiting the star Errai.  The name that we came up with is WALCAMYA.  Now this name will be placed with others and the public will have the final vote.

Walcamya is taken from the names of Bruce Cambell, Gordon Walker and Sephenson Yang, honoring their efforts in pioneering the science of finding exoplanets.

Walcamyas' Sun, Errai is an easy to find and see star that is circum-polar, which means that is always in the sky, from here in New Brunswick.

Anyone can vote on the names for of certain exoplanets.  The vote is being held from June to July 2015.  If interested go to this link http://www.nameexoworlds.org/#signup  They will pick the names in August 2015!

Here is your chance to be part of something truly historical...naming an exoplanet!

Image of Errai that I took June 17, 2015 while looking for Comet Lovejoy.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JUNE 17, 2015

Location:  Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  June 17, 2015 2130-0130hrs

Weather:  @ 2200hrs-Mostly clear, kind of hazy, no wind and 12C.
                  @ 0130hrs-Mostly cloudy, clouds moving in slowly from the North, hazy, no wind 5C.

Equipment:  Meade 8" LX 200 Telescope with 19mm and 9mm eyepieces.  Eds' 15x70 binoculars.  Canon Rebel Xsi DSLR camera with 18-55mm lens, and a Samsung Nexus 4 cellphone camera with Ioptron cellphone adapter.

Attendance:  Ed O'Reilly and Myself.

Objectives:  To locate and image Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, M4, Gamma Cepheus and Comet Lovejoy.  To do a Galaxy search in and around the Virgo Cluster.

Report Highlights: This night was one day past new moon, so when it wasn't cloudy it was very nice seeing.  The first time I have ever seen the Little Dipper.

Viewed and imaged Venus and Jupiter well before dark.  Only three moons of Jupiter were visible.  Viewed and imaged Saturn shortly after dark with the cellphone.

Aligned scope on Denebola in Leo.  Searched the Virgo Cluster, the area halfway in between Denebola and Vindemiatrix.  One very bright Galaxy showed up as a bright fuzzy patch, with a lesser fuzzy patch close by. Another pair of galaxies were also observed.  Ed observed this as well.  Did a scan around this area and not much else stood out.

At this point, Antares came out from behind the trees.  The goto was used to slew to M4, but it wasn't in the field of view.  After a long search, the faintish globular cluster popped into view of the 19mm eyepiece.  Ed commented how there seemed to be a line of stars through it.  I noted how it the globular seemed to be looser than most gobs and is much fainter than M13.  Images were taken with DSLR.

Ed and I both did a search for Comet Lovejoy which was near the Little Dipper.  We could not confirm a sighting.

Located and viewed M13, which was straight overhead at 0130hrs.  It was huge and bright with many dozens of stars visible.  No images were taken as the clouds slowly cover it, thus ending the observing session.  By this time, 0130hrs, most of the sky was covered by cloud.

Two Satelites were seen and Ed thought he seen one shooting star.

Images:




Jupiter and two of its Moons.

Jupiter and three of its Moons.

Venus


M4

M4

Saturn

Saturn





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