Thursday, July 2, 2015

1566e 2015/07/01–02

1566e 2015/07/01–02 21:45–21:50 EDT Foxmead W deck 3 ne Louise Gervais

Close conjunction (34' separation) of Jupiter and Venus.

Friday, June 26, 2015

1565e 2015/06/26–27

1565e 2015/06/26–27 19:00–20:30 EDT Gillett Farm 3 13cmrl Katy and David Gillett

Helping Katy assemble, test, and observe with her new SkyWatcher Heritage 130 Newtonian refleector on tabletop Dobsonian mount.

"Assembly" just involved installing the red-dot finder and balancing the tube in altitude. Collimation was slightly off, but a small adjustment of the main mirror with my Cheshire eyepiece put it right. Then we went outside and set up on a garden wall. I aligned the finder on a distant tree branch, and we were in business. The sky was hazy and still quite bright, but Katy was thrilled to locate and observe the Moon. She discovered the reality of the Earth's rotation as the Moon moved through the eyepiece. With quite a bit of daylight, she was able to practice focusing and changing eyepieces.

The scope lived up to its reviews in SkyNews and Sky & Telescope: excellent optics on a smooth, easy-to-use Dobsonian mount.

Temperature 18°C

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

1564m 2015/04/03–04

1564m 2015/04/03–04 06:00–06:45 EDT Foxmead W windows 9 ne

Total lunar eclipse, beginning stages observed. The Moon set in clouds at 06:43.

Monday, January 19, 2015

1563e 2015/01/19–20

1563e 2015/01/19–20 17:50–17:55 EDT Foxmead W windows 9 ne

Another nice naked eye view of three planets, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Mercury is now quite a bit lower in the sky and harder to see, and Mars is getting lower too.

 Temperature = –11°C 

Monday, January 12, 2015

1562e 2015/01/12–13

1562e 2015/01/12–13 17:50–17:55 EDT Foxmead W windows 9 ne

With the lousy weather I get around here, I rarely get to actually _see_ the things I write about, but tonight I looked out and there they were: Venus and Mercury close together, and Mars up to the left. Neat!

Temperature = –12°C