Friday, 20 March 2015

Eclipse March 20th 2015

Solar Eclipse from Mynachlog Ddu

The car was packed with two telescopes, two deck chairs, two cameras and a picnic for two astronomers.

The early morning mist had burnt away to reveal a glorious sunny Pembrokeshire morning... NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY!

Helen and I made our way along the Cardigan road, we had the idea of stopping at the ancient burial chamber at Pentre Ifan...  

As we neared Maenclochog we decided to forget about Pentre Ifan and take a detour to  Mynachlog-ddu  to set up camp at Carreg Waldo.

Carreg Waldo is probably one of the best sites in the whole of Pembrokeshire for astronomical observing; there are very few street lights to spoil the night time viewing.....

Carn Menyn

To the North you can see Carn Menyn, the possible source of the famed Bluestones of Stonehenge.

Cwm Cerwyn
 North West and to the highest peak in Pembrokeshire ....Cwm Cerwyn.

Looking East
Moonrises can be spectacular over those hills, and the Moonlight of a Mynachlog-ddu Autumn is especially magical!

Looking South - Carreg Waldo
It was an amazing event, the sky gods behaved and the whole eclipse was bathed in a backdrop of faded-blue sky. 

The surrounding landscape, including the distant low-lying haze, exhibited a brownish tinge (the eclipse of 1999 exhibited a greenish tinge) for roughly half an hour each side of the maximum phase.

This eclipse was also memorable for its drop in temperature, much more pronounced than any other partial eclipse I have witnessed. 

08h40m  temperature was 9.5 degrees C 
09h38m  temperature was 4.7 degrees C  
09h43m  temperature was 4.8 degrees C
09h53m  temperature was 5.9 degrees C
10h15m  temperature was 9.7 degrees C

Here's a black and white photo taken with the C8 Celestron and prime focus with the Nikon DSLR

Plus a photo of several shots, with a bit of help from a phone App.

An unforgettable solar morning........

Clear Skies

Mark & Helen

Partial Eclipse from Pembrokeshire

A few photographs of the eclipse, taken on a beautiful sunny day near Mynachlog-ddu.

Vixen 60mm f/5 refractor (afocal digicam) 20mm Erfle eyepeice.

I've got several other eclipse photos taken with a Schmidt C8 scope, I'll put them on the blog sometime next week.

Clear Skies


Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Englyn Y Ser

Through trees the glowing starlight
Falls upon my eyes this night.
Sirius is oh so bright, further on 
Orion to the right.

Mark Lee 10/03/2015

Sol new filter "First Light" March 10th 2015

THANK YOU Telescope House..... the solar film arrived this morning.

A quick delivery service,  I was very pleased with my purchase.

All I had to do was mount the solar film into my homemade filter holder and within ten minutes I was observing my first sunspot group.

The Sun was shining down from a clear blue sky, a perfect test for the new filter.

It must be at least a year since I last took any decent solar shots through mylar.

I hooked up the Nikon DSLR and fired away.

Today's solitary sunspot group AR 2297 stood out sharply through the eyepiece, and the Nikon did a fair job of capturing some detail.

It's good to be back shooting Sol....

Clear Solar Skies


Sunday, 1 March 2015

Astrophotography on a cold St David's Night

Tonight skies were clear, and the Moon shone down on a cold windy Pembrokeshire.

I didn't fancy staying out long tonight, moonlight may warm the heart, but it doesn't warm the hands! 

Before I escaped to the warmth of the house I set up the Nikon D3000 and tripod for a quick shot of the Plough.

The Plough above the moonlit shed

The above picture is my first D3000 attempt at a night shot of the constellations. 

The biting westerly wind was beginning to chill..... time to get out of the cold..... but as usual I couldn't resist taking a few more shots....!

Looking North West
Taurus and the Seven Sisters
Smoke on the Chimney

As long as I kept the ISO at 800 the D3000 delivered some fairly good images.

In the above picture you can see the wood smoke in the chimney....

After a shivering quick hello to Perseus and Cassiopeia, it was time to pack up.

Astrophotography will have to wait for another night!

Clear Skies