Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Deck Chairs, No Perseids, Owls and the ISS.

Perseus dancing on our rooftop
I recently bought two secondhand deckchairs.... the cost nearly broke the bank, 50p each..!!! 

They were bought solely for the purpose of Perseid watching.

So armed with my deck chairs, Nikon D50 camera/tripod, I hid myself away in the darkest corner of our garden away from the glare of two particularly annoying street lights.

After about ten minutes of looking towards Perseus, I realised that this view of the Northern sky reminded me of of the view from my Grandmother's back garden, some 35 years ago.

One of Mr Newton's prized possessions

I would often lie on my grandmother's garden bench and watch the stars as they wheeled their way around Polaris.

My trusted nightly companions were my Phillips planisphere and Patrick Moore's Observer's book of Astronomy.

I still have my original Planisphere, bought in 1977.
And after many years of good service it still gets used on the odd occassion.

Back then I used to spend hours out there in the months of July and August drinking in the cosmic wonder of the night sky.



Sitting on my new, "expensive" deck chairs, viewing the Perseids.

I  managed a few hours on Thursday/Friday, followed by an hour, early Saturday morning.

Thursday revealed three Perseids, and all three of them produced a glorious streak of white light as they cut across the darkened sky.  There was also a trace of electric blue colour in each of them.

Friday evening/ Saturday morning revealed no Perseids, but then, I was only outside for an hour.

In all I took about 40 photos, mostly around 15 seconds each, some at 30 seconds.

Not one single Perseid did I photographically capture...  !!!!

Doesn't matter...... I visually saw a few, and I was more than happy to be out in the warm August evening, taking in the glorious night sky, and talking to the owl in a nearby tree...


Although, Thursday evening, I did manage to capture the ISS as it passed overhead.

Looking West
Looking East
I did wave, but I don't think the astronauts saw me....  !!


Pondering with the naked eye.....

Over the last month or so, any astronomy time that I've had, has mostly been taken up with naked eye observing.

I have to say that even though I enjoy using the Tal1, plus the binoculars, my favourite method of astronomy has always been naked eye observing.

Give me a dark night, moonlit or not, a comfortable seat, and the Milky Way streaming overhead.....

Plus those familiar scintillating constellations.......

Along with the Wandering Planets, Aurorae, Meteors, Fireballs,

The Moon, Transits, Eclipses, Conjunctions.......

The list goes on.


So much to see.... so many celestial old friends to revisit.

And so many new friends yet to be discovered.

Clear Skies Everyone

Mark..

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...