Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Moon, Jupiter, Venus and Antoniadi Seeing...

Tonight at 18:38GMT

Last night's "Moon & Jupiter" event was cancelled!!... due to heavy snow and sleet. 

Most of Pembrokeshire these past few days has been covered with a blanket of snow. 

Though sadly..or should I say gladly!!!...here in Simpson Cross, last night's snow storm has completely melted.... and we have not one flake of snow in our garden as I write this post....

Pembrokeshire's grey skies of late gave way to a wonderful clear evening tonight, so I decided to roll back the observatory roof and try some imaging of old Luna....... 

I wondered what the seeing would be ?

Tonight the view of the Moon, through my telescope here at Simpson Cross was around  II on the Antoniadi Scale.

The Antoniadi Scale.  

I. Perfect seeing, without a quiver.
II. Slight quivering of the image with moments of calm lasting several seconds.
III. Moderate seeing with larger air tremors that blur the image.
IV. Poor seeing, constant troublesome undulations of the image.
V. Very bad seeing, hardly stable enough to allow a rough sketch to be made. 

I like to add a sixth entry to my log book....

VI. Pembrokeshire Clouds, totally unable to see a thing, stay in bed.  :0)


 Tonight's Moon Photos taken with my Tal1 reflector, 25mm eyepiece and digicam.

North is DOWN...
South is UP...

Tomorrow night the Moon and the Pleiades are only 2 degrees away from each other...

If they reached out... they could probably shake hands.....  :0))

Fingers crossed for some fine Pembrokeshire weather....


Thursday, 26 January 2012

The Moon and Venus dancing....


It was cloudy all day today...... with the odd shower thrown in for good measure. 

According to the weather forecast website that I follow there was to be a break in the clouds around teatime.... 

They were thankfully right!!!  :0)

Like magic the clouds parted.... and as the days light faded I was greeted with the the Moon and Venus dancing above the trees at the end of our garden....  PERFECT !!  :0)
 

I was using our Nikon D50 camera with a 300mm lens set up on a tripod. 

For the above shots the camera was set up at 1/13 of a second ISO at f9.

Also I was able to capture a bit of the Da Vinci Glow (Earth Shine)... and you can also see from this photo a bit of glow from some passing clouds.



I noticed Jupiter was almost due South and I was wondering if the 300mm camera lens would be able to pick out any detail of the Jovian Moons...  

I aimed the camera and tried a two second exposure...   


This was the result........Jupiter's satellites are clearly visible... 



Wonderful celestial show tonight...

I would like to say a big Thank You to all the clouds for staying away  :0)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Early start for Saturn.

Third Quarter Moon hiding in the Simpson Cross trees this morning.

I was early up this morning and quickly outside to the waiting clear skies.

Stumbled towards the observatory....opened the door..... removed the dust cover...... hooked up the EQ motor drive.... open the side shutters of the observatory......All done !!!

Now I was ready to try a quick image of Saturn using our Nikon D50 camera (with a X3 Barlow).

I was in luck... Saturn was just below the sliding roof line of the observatory so I didn't need to push the roof back, just open the one side south facing shutter and train the scope onto Saturn.

I was using 1600 ISO  and the exposure was about 1/15 of a second.

Clearly I was pushing my luck as the daylight was fast approaching, and I was balancing yet again on the observatory stool with my head twisted at all angles whilst one foot steadied me, and an elbow held part of me against the observatory wall......How I don't fall off the stool is beyond me......  :0)

After all the acrobatics I was able to capture this one shot ....... out of many taken I might add......!!!!!

Saturn: Please use a magnifying glass for a better look   :0)

Nearby.. a lone dog howls..

The Full Mackerel Moon will be upon us on Monday,  nearby I can hear a dog practicing its lunar howling! Up above, the slow moving clouds...