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Saturday, August 29, 2015

OBSERVING REPORT FOR AUGUST 27/28, 2015

Location:  Front Porch at Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  August 27/15 2030-2200hrs
August 28/15 0330-0630hrs

Weather:  Aug 27/15-Partly Cloudy at twilight to clear after dark, light wind to no wind, lots of mosquitoes and 18C.

Aug 28/15-Clear, lots of dew, no wind, no bugs and 10C.

Attendance:  Becky L., Jessica K., and Myself.

Equipment:  Big Scope with 19mm and 4mm eyepieces.  Small scope with 2" 32mm and 1.25" 12.5mm eyepieces.  Canon DSLR with 18-55mm and 75-300mm eyepieces and attached to both scopes at prime focus.  Cellphone App SkEye.

Objective:  To Locate and image Uranus which was in Pisces.

Highlights:

  • Moon was very bright and large, two days before Full.
  • Jessica and Becky viewed Moon through small scope and 32mm eyepiece.  Jess noticed the terminator as "an uneven rough edge".  Becky asked what the "circles" were.
  • Viewed and imaged Saturn through big scope and camera which was attached to scope at prime focus.  Saturn was kind of low in the SW in Scorpius and was some what hazy and very reddish.  Images didn't turn out well.
  • As Pisces was too low in the East at this time, Scope was covered, then went to bed with alarm set for 0315hrs.
  • At 0330hrs, lots of dew on telescope covers and mirrors, heater required to undew the mirrors.
  • Aligned big scope on Vega which was high in the NW.
  • Located and viewed M57.  Showed up very nice in 19mm eyepiece despite a very bright Moon which was now in the West.
  • After prolonged search which included both scopes and time elapse images of the area and my cellphone star finder, Uranus could not be confirmed.
  • Tried to spit Rigel with big scope and 19mm and 4mm eyepieces and with camera image.  Could not split Rigel.
  • Imaged Orion which was rising in the East after 0400hrs.
  • Split Mintaka with big scope and imaged.  Nice double star that's easy to split even with small scope.
  • Imaged M42, the Orion Nebula with big scope.
  • Imaged area around Alnitak with big scope hoping to capture the Flame Nebula.  It didn't pop out in the images.
  • Cygnus was half way up in the NW.  Imaged the area around Deneb looking for the North American Nebula and the area around Sadr looking for Nebulosity which is in that area.  No luck getting Nebulosity in images.
  • Sirius was observed rising low in the SE around 0530hrs.
  • As I was taking down the small scope at around 0600hrs, noticed Venus, very bright behind some trees, low in the East.  Its showed up as a very thin, reddish crescent through big scope.  Very hazy conditions and the fact it was so low made it hard to image, as it bounced around alot in the view screen.
  • Scope was aligned on Betelgeuse to image Venus.
  • One faint, fast moving shooting star was seen as well as many satellites.

Images:















Wednesday, August 19, 2015

NAMING EXOPLANETS UPDATE

Location:  On laptop in Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  Aug 16, 2015 1315-1500hrs

Weather:  Slight breeze, hazy and sunny, humid, hot 25C.

Attendance:  Myself.

Objective:  To vote for one exoplanet name for each of twenty star systems.

Report:

  • Website to vote can be found at this link nameexoworlds
  • My picks tried to represent as many languages as possible.  Many languages were represented.
  • At the time of writing this report there were 179,615 votes.
  • Deadline for vote is Oct 31, 2015 at 2359hrs.
Direct image of exoplanet from  physicsworld.com

Monday, August 17, 2015

OBSERVING REPORT FOR AUGUST 16, 2015

Location:  Little Lepreau, NB front deck.

Date Time:  Aug 16, 2015  2100-2300hrs

Weather:  Before dark, some high fog moved through.  After dark around 2130, mostly clear, hazy around the horizons.  Nice breeze before dark, no wind after dark, 10C very humid, lots of moisture, no bugs.

Attendance:  Mary W., Grace W. and Myself.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes, 80 ED/APO on Vixen Alt-AZ mount, Rigel red circle finder, 12mm and 9mm eyepieces.

Objective:  To observe with our guests form Ontario.

Highlights:

  • Observed the International Space Station twice.  First time, 2115hrs, before dark in bright twilight, going from NW to NE, very high and bright enough to cut through the high hazy fog.  Both Mary and Grace observed this one.  Second pass-over, at 2248hrs, came out of the west heading SE, but faded out of sight in the SW.  Managed to get telescope on it.  It passed very quickly through the field of view, without time to observe much detail.  
  • Observing with telescope started after 2200hrs when it was completely dark.
  • Observed Saturn, low in the SW with 12mm and 9mm eyepieces.  Hazy conditions led to poor viewing, but rings and separation between the rings and planet easily seen.  Mary was very impressed!
  • Mary and I viewed M57 with 12mm eyepiece.  It was in the Summer triangle, high overhead.  The ghostly smoke ring popped out with averted vision.
  • Spit Alberio, also in the Summer Triangle, easily with 12mm eyepiece.  Mary noted the color differences between the two stars, "one is red, the other is blue."
  • Observed M13, in Hercules high in the west, with 12mm eyepiece.  It showed up as a bright patch, with individual stars hard to pick out, possibly due to the hazy conditions,
  • M71 in Sagitta high in the SW showed up as a smudgy cloud in 12mm eyepiece.
  • No satelites, other than ISS, or shooting stars were seen



Friday, August 14, 2015

PERSEIDS METEOR SHOWER 2015

Location:  Lepreau, NB, Canada.  From 'the rock' at Stephen T's house.

Date Time:  August 13, 2015 2200-0000hrs

Weather:  Partly to mostly foggy, with most of the western half of the sky mostly clear.  The eastern half cleared briefly.  Thick fog took over most of the entire sky by midnight with only the brightest stars of the summer triangle viewable.  No wind, lots of moisture, a few mosquitoes and approximately 13-10C.

Attendance:  Ed O., Stephen T. and Myself.

Equipment:  Stephens' zero gravity lounge chair, Eds' standard lounge chair and my low, leaned back lawn chair.

Objective:  To observe the Perseid's Meteor Shower which peaked Aug 13, 2015 at 2am.

Highlights:

  • Some forty confirmed shooting star sightings between the three of us, with at least seven, very faint, very fast 'maybies' that we couldn't confirm.  We seen twenty bright ones the first hour, then twenty bright ones the second hour.
  • Perseus was low in the NE and not visible due to fog.
  • The International Space Station was observed for about two minutes from 2215 to 2217 very bright, going from the NW to the E.  Confirmed at Heavens-above.com 
  • At least twenty of the confirmed shooting star sighting were 'Jupiter like' bright, were 'medium slow' in speed and left a lingering smoke trail according to Ed and Stephen and I.  Ed seen them as orange where I seen them as more yellowish with a hint of orange.
  • Ed thought he could see M13 with averted vision, it was almost straight overhead to the East.
  • Most of the shooting stars were seen around the Milky Way, either around the Ursa Major(north west), near Arcturus(west), over Scorpius(south) or through the Summer Triangle(overhead).
  • Only one of the bright shooting stars was not coming from the Perseus direction.  It came from the south west and was bright blue.
  • Milkyway, when it wasn't covered by fog, was very distinctive in the SSE.  The dark lanes were very distinctive and all three of us commented on it.
  • Constellations observed:  Ursa Major, Hercules, Corona Borealis, Scorpius, Delphinus, Sagitta, Cygnus, and Cassiopeia was partially visible for a short period of time, then covered by fog most of the time.
  • Many satellites were seen.

Monday, August 3, 2015

OBSERVING REPORT FOR AUG 2, 2015

Location:  Little Lepreau, NB, Canada...on the front porch.

Date Time:  Aug 2, 2015  2200-0100hrs.

Weather:  12-10C, windy at first with some high wispy clouds.  By 2315hrs, all clouds were gone and not a breath of wind, that's when the dew and mosquitoes became a factor.

Attendance:  Myself

Equipment:  Big scope, small scope with 19mm, 12mm and 9 mm eyepieces.  Canon Xsi DSLR camera with 75-300mm lens and attached to both scopes at prime focus.

Objective:  To try out a new imaging technique shown to me by Paul O at the COW Star Party.

Highlights:

  • International Space Station flyover at 2218hrs observed.  Moving across the northern sky from the NW to the NE.  Confirmed at Heavens-above.com
  • Aligned big scope on Altair which was high in the SE at 2230hrs.
  • A very bright waning Gibbous Moon was a major factor by around 2300hrs.  It really washed out most of the fainter Messier objects.
  • M57 The Ring Nebula in Lyra was viewed and imaged.  It was almost straight overhead, just after sundown.  Best view was with 9mm eyepiece and averted vision.  It looked like a ghostly smoke ring.
  • Viewed both double stars but imaged only half of the "double double star" Epsilon Lyra.  Found out later that the magnification of the big scope didn't allow for both double stars to be in the field of view when imaging.  Did see both double stars in the 19mm eyepiece field of view.
  • Saturn viewed and imaged.  At least 3 Moons were visible in 19mm eyepiece.  
  • M71 or NGC 6838 in Sagitta was viewed and imaged for the first time.  It showed up as a dim mist in the 19mm eyepiece.
  • Delphinus was viewed and imaged, although it was kind of hard to see as it was close to the very bright Moon.
  • M13 was viewed, but not imaged, mostly because the bright Moon made it difficult to find through the camera eyepiece.  It didnt even show up well in the eyepiece of the big scope. Looked like a bright, blotchy mist.
  • No shooting stars and no satelites were seen, except for the space station.

Images:

Was hard to see as it was near the very bright Waning Gibbous Moon.

This is half of the double double star system.

Cropped and Processed image.

Unprocessed image.





Cropped, but otherwise unprocessed image.

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