Friday, October 18, 2013

1542e 2013/10/18–19

1542e 2013/10/18–19 19:00–20:15 EDT Foxmead E window 8 ne

Penumbral lunar eclipse

At maximum eclipse, at 19:50, there was a very slight shading visible around 5 o'clock on the Moon's face.

Temperature = 5.7°C

Monday, October 14, 2013

1541m 2013/10/13–14

1541m 2013/10/13–14 03:30–06:15 Foxmead E window 9 7x50b

Looking for Comet ISON (C/2012 S1), which is near Mars and Regulus this morning. I checked several times with 7x50 binoculars, and was able to see the stars in the chart below, but the comet was too faint, less than magnitude 7.3. I will need to try again another morning with more aperture.

Temperature = 3.2° C

Friday, October 11, 2013

1540n 2013/10/11–12

1540n 2013/10/11–12 00:30–01:05 Foxmead POD 9 28cmsc

Jupiter triple shadow transit

I started observing when Jupiter was very low (altitude 7.0°) so the seeing was poor, and there was a lot of atmospheric chromatic dispersion. As time went past, the seeing gradually became better, and Callisto's large shadow on the South Polar Region became evident, looking  like a bite out of the disk. Finally, Io's shadow became clear at 01:03.

I had deliberately not checked the shadow positions before going to the eyepiece. On checking afterwards with Starry Night, it turns out that I had missed Europa's shadow completely! What I thought was Europa's shadow was probably a dark barge in the North Equatorial Belt. Oh well, two out of three isn't bad! Most of the observations were made at 175x. The seeing was not good enough to tolerate 255x.

 [Starry Night reconstruction @ 01:03 EDT]

While Jupiter was rising, I also observed the Orion Nebula @70x, and Castor and 38 Geminorum at @255x. 38 Geminorum B had a definite violet tinge.

Temperature = 4.3°C

1539e 2013/10/11–12

1539e 2013/10/11–12 21:35–22:25 Foxmead POD 9 28cmsc

Aligned on Fomalhaut and Capella.

Deep sky: M45, M31, M32, M110, M34, Double Cluster.

 I knocked over the power bar, unplugging the mount, and had to realign, on Capella and Altair. Goto inaccurate, so I replaced Capella with Fomalhaut.

Uranus and Neptune as tiny disks at 70x. M31 and Aldebaran.

Getting cold, so came inside to warm up before Jupiter transit.

Temperature = 6.2°C, wisps of cloud.

1538d 2013/10/11

1538d 2013/10/11 16:20–16:30 Foxmead POD 9 28cmsc

I woke the telescope up after a long hibernation, nearly two months. It pointed to within 2 degrees of Venus, close to greatest elongation east. I synched the alignment on Venus, then slewed to the Moon, which was perfectly centred. I synched on the Moon. I tried to locate Mercury (also at greatest elongation east) but couldn't see it. Got rid of cobwebs and wasp nests in preparation for the triple shadow transit on Jupiter tonight.

Temperature = 20.2°C, deep blue sky.