Saturday, 1 February 2014

Hanging up my blogging hat..... but not completely.. :0)

As I'm no longer on the internet I will have to make up my blog posts as and when I can. Which means that all my posts for the foreseeable future will be sporadic.

In the mean time I'm hoping to post photos and comments via our mobile phone over on my Tumblr site. 

I always keep a log book of my observing sessions, and will put the highlights on the blog when I can.

Below is one such highlight from early last November:

Log Entry for November 2014.

Due to the abysmally wet weather these past few months my night time observing  had been severely cut down to a handful of lunar viewings, a handful of Messiers, a few sightings of Venus and several sketches of Jupiter.   

Since the beginning of November it has been slim pickings astronomy wise from here in Pembrokeshire.

So few have been the clear nights that one sticks out in my was the first week of November.....

The best night in November was the night of  the 7th..... I decided to concentrate on some Messier objects and put the Celestron through it’s paces.

Celestron C8 SCT
M57 was glorious, it shone brightly with averted vision. 

My 20mm Erfle eyepiece did a grand job of teasing out the photons.

M13 in Hercules was easy to locate in the finder scope and again the Erfle really showed a lot of detail, a beautiful sparkling globular.

I trained the finderscope onto nearby M92,  a vague hint of it could be detected. 

The Erfle revealed a beautiful sparkling globular, not as big as M13, but well worth spending  time observing.

M31 The Andromeda Galaxy was a magnificent sight high up above, near the top of the sky. 

Nearby companions NGC 205 (or M110 if you prefer, I prefer NGC 205..!)  and M32 were easy to locate. The last time I saw M32 that clearly I was peeping at it through a 6 inch refractor.

To test the seeing, and to give the Celestron a challenge  I trained it  towards Epsilon Lyrae, the double double. Both stars revealed their companions easily.

Albireo in nearby Cygnus delivered a striking Yellow primary with a lapis lazuli blue. I’m glad Albireo was on top form tonight, these past several months this most favourite of stars was noticeably washed out, until tonight I was blaming the lack of colour on my ageing eyes….! Thankfully tonight the clear skies restored faith in my eyesight.

Gamma Delphinus had to go and spoil it though by returning a lack lustre green and yellow, not the bright lemon and lime colours usually detected. I reckon the skyglow of  Milford Haven might be the culprit for lack of detail in this most beautiful of double stars.

At midnight I began turning my eye towards Jupiter who by now was well above the roof tops and some distance away from the blessed trees of my next door neighbour.

An old sketch from my first printed astronomy book.

By chance I witnessed the emergence of Europa from behind the gas giant, plus at the same time a transit of Ganymede was also in progress.

It was complete luck that I happened to witness Europa emerging from behind the gas giant.

The satellites of Jupiter are a source of constant fascination, though I do have some trouble teasing out the details in the belts. 

This I know is in a large part due to the seeing conditions from my location.

The Celestron performed really well, though the mirror image of the planet is a bit strange, though I will undoubtedly become accustomed to it!

That dance of  Europa and Ganymede was  a beautiful grande finale to the evenings viewing. 

November 7th 2013

Final thoughts for now....

Three Analogue Laptops

These past few months I have been fortunate enough to grab several good albeit quick views of the Great Red Spot. The Celestron shows up the redness of the Jovian storm really well.  

Plus I've been lucky enough to witness some beautiful lunar shadows cast by the crater rim of Plato.   

I could have spent ages looking at the creeping shadows of Plato, but alas the swift moving clouds of Pembrokeshire had other ideas that night.

Mars is once again upon us, I'm hoping to manage some sketches and fingers and toes are crossed for some clear skies over the next couple of months.

Mr Herschel's Telescope

It was only last night that I noticed that Mars is now brighter than Spica......  

It's time to dust down and polish  Tal2 and the Schmidt...!!!  :0)

I'm off to write on one of my "analogue laptops"....... 

Catch you on Tumblr soon.

Clear "Mars" Skies



  1. Always love your posts Pembs!!! Was I suffering a little bit of "Welsh Withdrawl"?

  2. Thanks Mike, I'll be sending you a postcard very soon.... Pembrokreshire is wall to wall sunshiine at the moment.... I'm a very happy astronomer .. :0))

    Hello to Beth and family

    Catch you by postcard soon...