Sunday, May 20, 2012

1513e 2012/05/20–21

1513e 2012/05/20–21 18:30–21:30 EDT Foxmead POD 8 28cmsc & SW field 8 4cmrr

Observing the partial eclipse of the Sun at sunset with members of the Midland and Orillia astronomy clubs: Rick Crane, Jayne Evans, Geoff Gaherty, Louise Gervais, Gary Hains, Donald McDonald, Gord Michener, Marilyn Morris, and Peter Ridout.

We gathered out in the field to the southwest of our house so that we could see the setting sun with a relatively uncluttered horizon. We had two Coronado PSTs (Personal Solar Telescopes) equipped with hydrogen alpha filters, and everyone had eclipse shades. First contact with the Moon was observed just after 20:18 in the two telescopes, and almost immediately in the eclipse shades. We followed the eclipsed Sun down into the trees on the horizon, and some of our number walked out further into the field to get the last glimpse. Our observations were accompanied by bird songs and deer in the adjacent field to the south. We also all observed Venus and Mars with the 28cm Schmidt-Cassegrain at 127x. Afterwards we retired to the house for coffee and cookies.

Temperature: 29°C

Sunday, May 13, 2012

1512e 2012/05/13–14

1512e 2012/05/13–14 20:40–23:30 EDT Foxmead POD 28cmsc

Venus: Just disappearing behind the house. Nice little crescent at 70x.

Back out at 22:30:

Mars: Seeing very poor.

Saturn: Titan, Rhea, and Iapetus are forming a perfect equilateral triangle. Best at 127x.

Supernova 2012aw in Messier 95 in AAVSO chart:
 Has faded from its first appearance, now down around magnitude 13.5. 127x.

Spent most of the evening galaxy hunting, mostly old favourites in Leo and Virgo:
M65, 66, 95, 96, 105, 104, 87, 91, 88, 90, 89, 98, 99, 100, 64, 49, NGC4567, 4568, 4564, 4038, 4039. Then I rotated the POD to the east to catch M13, 57, and M56, and ended up with some double stars: Albireo, 17 Cygni, Zeta Lyrae, and Epsilon Lyrae.

Temperature = 7.5°C

1511d 2012/05/13

1511d 2012/05/13 15:25–15:30 EDT Foxmead S deck 8cmrr

Sun: In white light 18x. 3 groups with at least 8 spots in telescope, sunspot number = 38. With naked eye could see no spots either with Baader filter or "eclipse shades."