Friday, 8 January 2016

Rain, Haiku and Double Stars

60mm/f15 refractor - 2007

So much rain, so much cloud, I thought the blue skies would never return, but they have.

Over the last couple of months I reckon to have only glimpsed the stars on about three evenings.

The Leonids, Geminids and Quadrantids passed me by without  a single meteor spotted!

I'm still waiting to see comet Catalina... oh well.

This deluge of rain has certainly messed up my night time observing, but considering the terrible floods and anguish others have experienced these past weeks, I have nothing to complain about.

This enforced absence of starlight has allowed me to gather some of my 2015 Moon haiku.

Moonbow in the night
arcs the sky of Aberporth
sound of nearby waves.

Now the blue moon shines
only the sound of the sea
better than a dream.

Yellow moon rising
autumn stars shine in sky
we sit holding hands.

Reading by moonlight
watching the total eclipse
candlelight flickers.

Craters on the moon
spied with my telescope lens
clouds pass by below.

Reading by lunar light
watching the dark shadow crawl
eating up the sun.

Cannot sleep tonight
the full moon shines so brightly
lets go outside.

Being that the sun is once again heading north, hopefully the skies will gradually now improve.

No definite plans for observing this month, though it would be nice to spend time with Orion and his companions  before they head too far west.

One thing I will be doing more of this year is hunting out those most accesible of double stars, but not with the Schmidt telescope. I think I will try my luck with a small long focal length refractor.

Back in 1979 my first telescope was a simple 40mm f15 refractor, it revealed some beautiful colour variations in several of the most famous double stars.

Looking at double stars through a long focal length refractor takes some beating.

The amazing illustrations by the french astronomer Lucien Rudaux give an idea of what I saw as a child.

The above illustration is taken from the Larousse Encyclopedia of Astronomy. For a better look at this book click here.

This wonderful book is a must for all lovers of astronomy and astronomical illustrations.

Come on January... give us some clear skies.


  1. Nice Haikus Mark, my very first astronomy book was the Larousse, I got it in about 1968 as a present, it was such an amazing book, a little dated in some respects now but still a gem. I still have my copy, albeit a little tattered, but still intact.

    Maybe the weather will settle a bit as we move into spring.



  2. Starry starry night.
    No chance ! Sky of cloud instead.
    Telescope for sale.

  3. Not sure why it says anonymous.
    Cheers. Roy.

  4. Thanks Kim, Larousse excellent first book, I don't have a copy at moment, yes info a bit dated, but the illustrations and photos are amazing.. was given my first copy in 1980....
    Blast it I'll have to find another one soon haha...

    Weather is definitely a bit better, last night about 1.00 am the skies cleared and we spotted TWO(yippee) QUADRANTIDS... the only meteors I've seen since the end of last October.. They were beautiful :0)

    Nice one Roy... that bloke Anonymous writes some good Haiku...

    I bet there are loads of budding astronomer this Christmas wondering if they'll ever have a chance of using their new scopes!!