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Star Diary-Pitfalls and Craters

Astro-Nat

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It’s been a frustrating couple of weeks in the life of this (very) amateur astronomer. Of course, our old sparring partner the clouds have loomed large and thick, making viewing nights few and far between, and then, when a beautiful, visibility-for-miles kind of night did come about, Herschel said a firm ‘no.’ Try as I might, I could not get the power to turn on and stay on. I tried all the tricks in my arsenal, all the high tech stuff like swearing, switching it off and on again, swearing, changing the batteries, swearing, Googling, swearing, waiting 10 minutes, and of course, swearing. I managed to stop just short of giving her a damn good thrashing, but it was a close run thing. So, a day followed of getting in touch with Celestron and my local, very patient telescope dealer, and trying to ferret out the problem. Long story short, it turned out to be the notoriously fickle battery pack, which to be fair, looks to be held together only by the power of prayer. So, a power pack was duly ordered. leaving me with an out of a action scope for a few nights.

Last night, now in possession of a fully charged power pack, a telescope which worked and the promise of a couple of clear hours, I headed out into the garden once more. I focussed my attention on the Moon, the planets are not easily visible to me at the moment due to trees in the way-I really must invest in a chainsaw-and it was not dark enough for any deep sky viewing, but the Moon was a lovely racing gibbous, and I decided to attempt to point my bridge camera down the eyepiece and get some lunar detail shots. At first, this went about as well as you’d imagine, and blurry grey smudges were the evidence to show for it, but with a little bit of practise and a fair bit of grumbling, I managed to hone in on some detail.

 

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Clouds are the bane of our hobby, but the things we get to see on clear nights make it all worthwhile :)

You may not have noticed, but you captured the Lunar X in your first and fourth photos. It appears on the terminator about a third of the way up from the bottom in the first photo. It's a clar-obusur effect that's only visible for a couple of hours each lunar month. There's also a V shape visible around the same time, but it looks like you were a little early for it. There is more information about the Lunar X, including some photos so you can see what you are looking for on http://the-moon.wikispaces.com/Lunar+X

Glad you've got Hershel sorted. Nothing more frustrating that having a clear night and nothing to view it through!

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These are great images from the eyepiece, very well done ? I have often wondered if the Lunar x indicates where the pirates buried their treasure......!

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