Monday, September 28, 2015


Location:  Irving Nature Park, Saint John, NB, Canada

Date Time:  September 27, 2015 1915-0130hrs  Setup at the park was from 2115-0030hrs.  Left park at 0045hrs.

Weather:  Very windy, strong gusts reportedly 30km/hr all night, 12C all evening, very cool, some clouds, hazy, lots of dew, no bugs.

Attendance:  Mike P, Ed O, Steven T, Adrian B, Curt N, June M, Matthew W, Allan H, David M and approximately 225 from the general public for a talk put on by Curt and observing with at least a dozen telescopes set up in the upper parking lot.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80 ED/APO on a Vixen Alt Az Mount, 12mm eyepiece, Rigel Red circle finder.  8" Meade LX 200, 32mm eyepiece, Telerad and piggy back attachment for telescope.  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses, tripod and an attachment to connect to both telescopes.

Objective:  To view and image my first known Lunar Eclipse and to share my astronomy knowledge and telescopes with the general public.


  • Aligned big scope on Polaris.
  • Viewed Saturn myself.  Was really low on the horizon around 2130hrs, didn't show up well.  None of its moons were visible.  Reddish, hazy and warbled around in eyepiece, but rings were visible.  Public were attending Curts talk at this time.
  • Set big scope on Polaris to show public that this is a double star in a backyard telescope.  Pointed out to the approx. ten people who viewed it that Hubble has found a third star in this system.
  • Kept small scope on the Moon all night, available to the public.  At least 30 people viewed different phases of the eclipse through my scope.
  • By 2315hrs many stars began to pop out as the sky darkened, due to the eclipse.  M31 was visible with averted vision and at least once with direct sight.  Milky Way was not visible before the eclipse, appeared during the eclipse.
  • Through the eyepiece of small scope and in a few images, during darkest period of eclipse, stars were visible next to the Full Eclipsed Moon.
  • Through small scope during total eclipse phase, Moon appeared grayish.
  • During total eclipse,  Moon had a red 'tinge' to it when viewed naked eye.
  • Eclipse started on left side of Moon and finished on Right.  Eclipse stared at approx 2200hrs and lasted till 0130hrs.
  • 0545 hrs wake up to fog!
  • No shooting stars or satelites seen.  Many airplanes.


Canon Rebel with 18-55mm lens on tripod.

Canon Rebel with 75-300mm lens on tripod.

Canon Rebel with 75-300mm lens on tripod.

Canon Rebel with 18-55mm lens on tripod.

Canon Rebel attached to big telescope with adapter at prime focus.
Canon Rebel attached to big telescope with adapter at prime focus.

Canon Rebel attached to big telescope with adapter at prime focus.

Canon Rebel attached to big telescope with adapter at prime focus.

Canon Rebel attached to big telescope with adapter at prime focus.

Canon Rebel attached to big telescope with adapter at prime focus.

Canon Rebel with 18-55mm lens attached piggyback to big scope.
Star visible just to the lower left of the Moon.  Canon Rebel attached to small telescope at prime focus.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


Location:  End of driveway by garbage can.  Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  Sept 24, 2015   0615-0645hrs

Weather:  No wind, partly cloudy, cool 7C.

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

Attendance:  David M

Objective:  To view and image the Mars Regulus conjunction.


  • Nice close Mars Regulus conjunction.  
  • Venus in Crescent Phase.
  • Jupiter and 2 of its moons visible in image.


Monday, September 21, 2015


Location:  Front Yard Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  Sept 20, 2015 2100-2300 hrs
Sept 21, 2015 0530-0630 hrs

Weather:  Sept 20/15 Cool, no wind, no clouds to some clouds, hazy, 10C to 5C, some dew, and no bugs.
Sept 21/15 Following morning.  Cold, 0C first frost of the year, ice on everything, no wind.

Attendance:  David M

Equipment:  Big Scope with Canon Rebel and Nexus 4 cellphone camera.

Objective:  In the evening;  to view and image M22 in Sagittarius and to scan same constellation for deep sky objects.  In the morning;  to view and image Venus/Mars/Jupiter conjunction that is suppose to happen just before sun-up.


  • Aligned scope on Altair both setups.
  • After a brief search NE of Kaus Borealis (very top of the 'tea pot') a very bright Globular Cluster M22 came into view.  A personal first observation for this M object.  Its so bright, surprised its not visible naked eye.  Very round and similar to M13 in brightness and size.  According to Admiral William Henry Smyth, in his year 1844 'A Cycle of Celestial Objects', "A fine globular cluster, outlying that astral stream the Via Lactea, the space between the Archer's Head and bow, not far from the point of the winter solstice, and midway between u and o Sagittarii.  It consists of very minute and thickly condensed particles of light, with a group of small stars preceding by 3m , somewhat in a crucial form."  Via Lactea being Latin for The Milky Way.
  • Did an extensive search for M11 in Scutum.  Couldn't find any deep sky object except for one, which was approximately 5 degrees south of where I thought M11 should be.  After imaging it, then searching my Pocket Sky Atlas for possible candidates, it was decided to upload the image to the facebook page 'Amateur Astronomy - Telescope, Binocular and imaging forum', for id help. Through the help of other amateur astronomers it was determined that this very faint Globular Cluster is NGC 6712.  Actually, wasnt sure if it was a globular cluster or some kind of nebula.  A personal first time observation.
  • Observed and imaged the Moon which was one day before first quarter.
  • Covered everything up, then went to bed.  Set the alarm for 0515 hrs then was out observing for 0530 hrs.  Temperature dropped to 0C.  First frost of the year, thin layer of ice covered the deck.  Heater was needed to de-fog front lens of telescope.
  • Nice, bright Jupiter Regulus Mars Venus conjunction rising in the East at 0530 hrs.  Still completely dark out.  The 'question mark' of Leo could be seen, but not the triangle part.  Imaged Conjunction.
  • Jupiter was viewed and imaged through telescope.  Cloud bands could not be resolved, possibly due to its low position on the horizon.  Three of its Moons were easily seen, with one 'hugging the giant planet, just barely visible.
  • Mars was viewed and imaged.  No detail could be seen across the very small disk.
  • Venus was viewed and imaged in its crescent moon phase.  Very bright and high during observing period.
  • One faint shooting star, in the west was observed in the morning.  Left a long smoke trail.  No satellites observed.

Note:  Inspiration for referencing Admiral William Henry Smyths' A Cycle of Celestial Objects comes from observing pod casts by Astronomy Magazines' Michael E. Bakich.


Saturday, September 19, 2015


Location:  Front Yard Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  September 18, 2015 1930-2200hrs

Weather:  Breezy, clear but hazy, lots of dew and mosquitoes 15-12C.  Cool enough to be Jacket weather.

Attendance:  Madison C, Jessica K, David M

Equipment:  8" Meade LX 200, telerad finder, piggyback camera attachment, Ioptron cellphone camera adapter, 2" 32mm eyepiece, 1.25" 25mm eyepiece with green light Moon filter, Canon Rebel Xsi and Samsung Nexus 4 cellphone camera.

Objective:  To view and image Saturn Moon Conjunction.


  • All three of us viewed the Moon with telescope and 25mm eyepiece with Moon filter.
  • I viewed Saturn with 32mm eyepiece.  Two Moons were seen and nice detail in Saturn itself. Imaged with cellphone camera attached to telescope.
  • Viewed M28 through 32mm eyepiece, kind of faint due to dew on mirror and hazy conditions.  According to Burnham's Celestial Handbook, "Globular star cluster, easily found in the low-power field of Lambda Sagittarii, about 0.8 degrees to the NW.  It was first noted by Messier in July 1764, and described briefly as a 'nebula containing no star....round, seen with difficulty in 3.5 ft. telescope; Diam 2 arc minuites'"
  • M45 starting to rise after 2200hrs in the East.
  • No Shooting stars or satellites were seen, many airplanes.
  • At 0500hrs pea soup fog washed out an early morning observing attempt.
Note:  Inspiration for referencing Burnhams Celestial Hanbook comes from observing pod casts by Astronomy Magazines' Michael E. Bakich.


Saturn with Cellphone camera.

Moon through cellphone camera.

Zoomed in Moon through cellphone camera.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015


Location:  Stephen Ts house in Lepreau, NB

Date Time:  September 15, 2015 2200-0000hrs AST

Weather:  Clear, warm, humid 15C throughout evening.  No wind to some gusty breezes.  No mosquitoes, some dew on everything but the mirrors and lenses.

Attendance:  Ed O, Steven T, and David M.

Equipment:  Stevens' 20" Dobsonion Telescope with eyepiece, a green light laser pointer in a large 1 meter long holder and a stepladder to reach it.  My tripod mounted 20x80 binoculars, Canon Rebel Xsi camera with 18-55mm lens and a Sky & Telescope's Pocket Atlas.

Objective:  To view as many Messier Objects as possible while we were having a rare clear evening.


  • Thirteen Messier Objects and one famous double star viewed between us:  M28, M25, and M8 around Sagittarius.  M31, M32 and M110 around The Andromeda Galaxy.  M13 and M92 in Hercules.  Double star Alberio in Cygnus.  M71 and M27 in Sagitta, M57 in Lyra, M33 in Pisces and M45 in Taurus.  Two first timers for me(M92 and M33) and one for Ed (M71).
  • Ed and I viewed M8 through the binoculars.  It was partially behind a tree in the yard.  Very colorful with mostly reddish nebulosity viewable with some bluish tinges.  According to Burnham's Celestial Handbook, "This is the 'Lagoon Nebula' in Sagittarius, one of the finest of the diffuse nebulae, located about 4.7 degrees west and slightly north from Lambda Sagittarii in the handle of the 'Milk Dipper', and plainly visible to the naked eye as a glowing comet-like patch just off the main stream of the Sagittarius Milky way."
  • Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy M110 was viewed by Ed and I in big scope.  Small faintish Galaxy with bright, star-like core.
  • Ed viewed M32 through big scope, we both viewed M31 through big scope and I viewed it through binoculars also.  M31 was huge in binos.
  • M13 and M92 were observed by all three of us in big scope.  Many stars could be seen across the face of the great Globular Cluster.  We agreed that it looked like a bird shot shotgun blast pattern on a paper target.  This was my first time observing M92!
  • Ed found M71 with some help from my Pocket Atlas and the laser pointer.  All three of us viewed it through the big scope.  A faint, odd looking Globular Cluster that appears to be behind a see-through wall of closer stars.  This was a first timer for Ed!  According to Burnham's Celestial Handbook, "...about midway between Delta and Gamma Sagittae, but somewhat south of a line joining them.  M71 is a rich and compact cluster of faint stars, of uncertain type, lying in the Milky Way about 10 degrees north of Altair."
  • M27 Dumbbell Nebula was found after some searching and help from the Pocket Atlas.  All three of us viewed this and commented on how bright it was.
  • M57 in Lyra was observed by all three of us.  The cloudy smoke circle looked best with averted vision.
  • M45 was seen naked eye by all three of us.  At 2345, it was just then rising above the trees in the East.
  • M33 was located after some searching and help from the Pocket Atlas.  Ed and I thought we could see some spiraling towards the middle of this large but sort of faint Galaxy.  The spirals seemed to appear when the scope was moved around a little while viewing through the eyepiece.
  • Two faint shooting stars were seen, no satellites were seen and many planes were flying over-head during the Observing period.
Note:  Inspiration for referencing Burnhams Celestial Hanbook comes from observing pod casts by Astronomy Magazines' Michael E. Bakich.


Monday, September 14, 2015


Not very often do we get to see solar system bodies up close for the first time.  Before this summer, Pluto and Charon were nothing more than an out of focus white disk.  Now we can see them closer than we can see our own Moon from Earth!

Here are some newly released images from the New Horizons mission web page along with one of my images from an August 2nd, 2015 observing session, for comparison.

NH image of Pluto and Charon.  Appears like Earth and Moon in size difference...

NH image of Charon with its Copernicus-like craters.

My image of The Moon from Aug 2, 2015.  Note the odd looking, spidery rayed Copericus resembles craters on Charon.

NH image showing size comparison between the Earth and Pluto Charon.

High resolution NH image of substances (white colored) that appear to be flowing on Plutos surface

Monday, September 7, 2015


Location:  Front Yard Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  September 5, 2015 2200-2330hrs AST

Weather:  Clear, no wind, some mosquitoes, lots of dew and 10C.

Attendance:  Myself

Equipment: 8" Meade LX 200 with telerad and 32mm eyepiece.  Canon Rebel Xsi with 18-55mm lens and an adapter for telescope.

Objective:  To view Messier Objects in Sagittarius.

  • No Moon until after midnight, skies were dark.
  • Aligned Scope on Antares which was low in the SW.
  • Viewed Saturn and Titan, which was in Scorpius.
  • Searched for M4 but could not find, possibly because it was too low on the horrizon.
  • Found M25 and viewed for first time.  A fairly tight open cluster, very bright in 32mm eyepiece.  No image taken.
  • Found M28 viewed and imaged for first time.  Fairly bright Globular Cluster smaller, not quite perfectly round and about half as bright as M13 which I have viewed many times.
  • M8 viewed and imaged.  A loose open cluster with many bright stars and some nebulosity to the lower right in 32mm eyepiece field of view.  Nebulosity which was dark in the eyepiece showed up red in image.
  • M13 viewed and imaged.  In Hercules, it was high to the West.  Very bright Globular Cluster, many stars could be seen with some standing out better than others.
  • One bright, fast moving shooting star was seen coming straight down, over Sagittarius.  A few satelites were seen.


Facing South West.

M28 Processed


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