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Tuesday, July 12, 2016

LUNAR X

Location:  Front yard in Little Lepreau, NB, Canada

Date Time:  July 11, 2016 2230-0015hrs ADT

Weather:  Mostly clear, but very hazy, no wind and 14C.  Some Mosquitoes and lots of moths.

Attendance:  Myself.

Equipment:  Canadian Telescopes 80ED/APO on Vixen Alt/Az mound.  2x barlow with 4mm and 19mm eyepieces.  Ioptron cellphone adapter with 15mm eyepiece and a Nexus 4 Cellphone camera, Canon Rebel Xsi attached to Telescope at prime focus and tripod mounted with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lenses.

Objective:  To view and image the Lunar X which was reported to be forming on the 'Rascals' email link.

Highlights:

  • Lunar X was visible as soon as telescope was set up and focused, through the camera.  It seemed to get brighter as the night went on.  Needed more magnification to see it well, that is why Barlow was attached.  Couldn't get the image to focus in the big camera with Barlow attached.  Barlow worked fine with cellphone camera.  Moon was swimming in the eyepiece with the hazy atmosphere swirling above.  Thankfully clear though, after almost a week of rain and clouds.
  • Jupiter went down below the trees, in the west by the time I was done imaging and viewing the Lunar X.
  • Mars, located in the SSW, showed up as a reddish disk with different colors playing about its edges.  
  • Saturn, located in the S, above Antares, was observed with its rings at a very steep angle.  Many of its moons were visible around it...but some of them could have been background stars.  No images taken.
  • M4, a globular cluster, two degrees west of Antares was also viewed through 19mm eyepiece attached to Barlow.  It was faint and looked more like a misty cloud.  Can really see how Messier could have mistaken this for a Comet.
  • The Big Dipper was high in the NW.
  • Cassiopeia was low in the NE.
  • Cygnus was high, almost overhead to the East.
  • One satellite and no shooting stars were seen.
Images and Video:


Image taken with DSLR

Image taken with Cellphone camera

The very faint M4 just barely visible, next to Antares.

Mars and Saturn moving towards the SW by midnight

Big Dipper high in the NE, after midnight



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

OBSERVING REPORT FOR JULY 3, 2016

Location:  Saints Rest Beach, West Saint John, NB

Date Time:  July 3, 2016 2330-0100hrs

Weather: Warm, a couple small clouds that passed, excellent seeing conditions, 15C.  

Attendance:  Carla M, Jen W., Wanda K, Mary W, Grace W, Ed O, Mike P, Chris C, and Myself.

Equipment:  Chriss' 11" CPC with o3 filter, Mikes NextStar 6"

Objective:  To view the sky with everyone.

Highlights:
New Moon was the next day.

Seeing conditions were exceptional with the Milky Way standing out very well.

Tide was almost at its highest when we arrived.  Waves were crashing hard on the beach, less than 15 yards away which possibly caused problems with the telescopes tracking as it was shaking the ground.  The mudflats on the north side of the causeway were flooded by the higher tides.  Tides are higher than normal due to the fact that we were close to New Moon.

A special thanks to Chris and Mike for all their efforts in setting up their scopes and sharing their considerable knowledge in astronomy with us!

Targets through Chris's scope:
  • Saturn-No Cassini Division was seen.  Counted nine Moons, some might have been background stars.
  • M13-Very Bright, huge in eyepiece.
  • M80- Faint and small in eyepiece with individual stars difficult to resolve.  A first timer for me.

Image from messier-objects.com
  • M27-Bright nebula with a bright, squarish patch surrounded by fainter, reddish nebulosity.
  • M24- A 'star cloud' just above the teapot lid star of Sagittarius. 
  • The Veil Nebula(East)/NGC6992-In eyepiece, long line of nebulosity, kind of faintish white that was much longer than field of view.  Used hand controller to scan entire nebula.  While scanning down, the nebula 'dog-legged' left into a ball like cloud.  Amazing!
Image from skyhound.com

  • M51-Fainter galaxies with spiral arms that were just barely visible.
  • M8-Huge nebula with a braight lane running down the left side.  Lots of fainter nebulosity surrounding it.
  • M4-Faintish Gobular Cluster two degrees west of Antares.  Uneven distribution of stars across it's face.
Image from messier-objects.com

  • M22
  • M20/Trifid Nebula-Odd shaped Nebula brighter towards the center.
M20 on left, M8 on the right.  From messier-objects.com

  • Swan Nebula/Omega Nebula/M17-Viewed this through both Chris and Mike's scope.  Brighter region surrounded by fainter nebulosity...kind of squarish in the eyepiece.
From messier-objects.com

  • Eagle Nebula
Targets through Mikes' scope:
  • M13
  • Jupiter
  • M17
  • M57
  • M11
Several satellites were seen, as well as a number of shooting stars.

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