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Adrian Condon

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Everything posted by Adrian Condon

  1. Folks, Happy that some of you had the good fortune to see the event. My prayers to the "Rain" gods were half answered. No rain but decent cloud cover in Kings Langley totally obscured the Moon and Venus!! The weather was brillant in the morning with the clouds building up during the afternoon. Trust the next event is cloud free wherever you are. If anyone got some images I would love to see them. Cheers Adrian
  2. Interesting question and answers. There are many theories, but there are definite provable facts that need to be stated. The Universe that we know formed from the "Big Bang" some 13.7 billion years ago. The Solar system started to form 4.5 billions years ago. The most popular theory at present is that the young Earth was hit by a Mars size planet or asteroid. the bits then formed the Moon and since it was within Earth's gravity field it went into a regular orbit that we know today. It is believed that the Moon during it early life when through a period (estimated to be about 750 million years) of heavy bombardment from meteorites. There was also volcanic activity on the Moon which stopped about 3.2 billion years ago. The Moon has for all practical purposes been dead since then. Interestingly, one of the large craters, Copernicus was believed to been formed only 900 million years ago!! So if the accretion only took 100 years, which is an incredibly short time in astronomical terms, why does Saturn and some of the other planets still have Rings? Jupiter has a thin ring which was revealed by Voyager 1 back in 1979 and has some 60 Moons and Jupiter was hit by a comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in July 1994. Uranus has a ring as well plus 27 Moons. So why have these Rings not formed into a Moon in the last 100 years because the rings have been there for a very long time? Keeping puzzling it out. Cheers Adrian
  3. Talitha, Shame......... we are hoping for good weather in the UK for Monday pm. If I manage to get some photos I will post them on the site. Cheers Adrian
  4. Dave, Interesting idea, I have Starry Night installed, but it doesn't show Venus going behind the Moon at the times I gave. It shows Jupiter just to the north of the moon. Cheers Adrian
  5. To you lucky people not affected by cloud, rain, work etc, there is an opportunity this coming Monday 1st December 2008 to witness Venus disappearing behind the Moon at 15:48 GMT (3:48pm) and reappearing in the dark at 17:17 GMT (5:17pm) in the South. Slightly earlier in the North disappearing at 15:42 and reappears at 17:10. Incidentally, Jupiter will only be a couple of degrees to the north at the time. I am praying to the Rain Gods so that there are no clouds etc over the UK for this event. Cheers Adrian
  6. Trev, Great to hear that you saw so many. We had high cloud to the east with gaps, so managed to see a few (4 in 5 minutes) and then the neighbour's security lights came on.... and completely blinded us! Incidentally, sod's law was in full operation, with clear skies to the south and west of us. Great views of Jupiter and the moon, plus other stars. Will try again tonight. Cheers Adrian
  7. The weather here in Kings Langley is awful at the moment and BBC weather forecast is heavy rain until Friday. I am thinking of taking up diving as a wetsiut would be more appropriate than shorts. The only cheerful thing was that it was clear in Caithness......whisky definitely improves the viewing!!! I will try again tonight. Cheers Adrian
  8. Hi Folks, It's 01:10am Tuesday, beautiful blanket of cloud over Kings Langley, this is helping to show the light pollution from Watford and London to superb effect!! No rain....... that coming in the morning. Does anybody know if Summer is coming or have we already had it? I will give it another 10 minutes and then go to bed. (can only try tomorrow night) Cheers Adrian PS like the Smiley too.....................
  9. Hi folks, For those of you with time to burn to tonight should be able to view the Perseids after midnight when the moon sets at 12:20am (BST). There should be three hours of darkness to do the viewing. The anticipated rate is 30 - 40 meteors per hour. The meteors should be observable high in the East emanating from the radiant just below Cassiopea's W. Trust the rain and clouds stay away. Keep a record of what you see, so that we can compare notes later. Good Luck! Adrian
  10. Mike, I have spent many holidays in Dumfries and Galloway, a fair number of good days, but some very very wet ones as well. A mate of mine, lives near Kendal, and he has taken a number of images today, and the BBC may be using them on the News bulletin to-night for your area. I have just got off the phone to him. I am trying to get copies from him. I will see if he will allow us to use them on SGL. Apparently, it clouded over a bit after 10:30am in the Kendal area. Anyway, glad you had a good view. Cheers Adrian
  11. Tiny, Thanks, you seemed to have got a better view than I did. My views were for a second or even two when the cloud thinned slightly. Not quick enough to get the scope on the Sun. A neighbour told me that somebody on the Shetlands had a good view? Cheers Adrian
  12. Hi Martyn, You would not believe it. The Sun is shining brilliantly now, 11:10am no clouds near it, there must be an evil spell on Kings Langley. I am fuming!! Why couldn't it have been like this an hour ago. I will have to save up to go to China for the Total Elipse next year. Anybody generous enough to sponsor me????? Anyway, there will be other times. I agree with you about arranging better viewing conditions for the lunar elipse, start praying now!! Cheers Adrian
  13. Hi Martyn, Kings Langley was useless. Clouds...Clouds and now rain... I too got odd views, the top lefthand side of the Sun went missing at around 10:10am. No images collected, except the shot of rain clouds. The images I took in Side two years ago have the moon chopping off the bottom righthand side of the Sun to start with and of course finally fully elipsing it. Anyway, the lesson from today is that you cannot trust the British weather. Cheers Adrian
  14. Hi Andy, The BBC finally got round to putting it on their website at 23:53 last night. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7536438.stm The weather in Watford is cloudy, with the sun appearing for moments at a time. Possibility of some images............ Cheers Adrian
  15. Hi, That snow :santa: in Glasgow will cool down your scope!!! Looking at the weather forecast for the Watford area, its showers and sunshine. Guess which will be happening between 09:30 am and 11:00 am!! Hope the clouds stead away. Cheers Adrian
  16. Hi, I think we are in the wrong place for this one!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one's track extends North Canada through Greenland, Novaya Zemlya, Siberia and into China. It will last on the centre line for 2 minutes 27.2 seconds of Totality. The last Total elipse was 29th March 2006 lasted for 4 minutes 6.7 seconds, which I saw from Side in Turkey...awesome..... More importantly the next Totality will be 22 July 2009 and it will last for 6 minute 38.9 seconds at maxinum phase and will cross East China and the Pacific, passing not far to the south of Japan. It will not be visual from the UK. So its time to start saving those pennies for a trip to China. Cheers Adrian
  17. Hi folks, Just reminding you that there is a partial elipse of the Sun from the UK on Friday 1st August 2008. It starts in the London area at 09:33am and mid point is 10:18am and finishes at 11:04am. Only 11.9% of the Sun's area will be covered, so it will not go dark. The times start earlier as you go North and finish slightly later. So hope it is not cloudy in your part of the UK and that you have the time to view safely. So no looking at the Sun for a second or two without a solar filter. It is very dangerous to use or attempt to use old black and white negatives, as they appear to cut down the light but do nothing for the radiation. Blindness (or sight damage) is a real possibility. Use a proper solar filter like Baadar Mylar cost about £15 for a sheet 10" x 8" from a reputable source. Check it for any little holes before attaching it to the front of the scope. When safely attached use rubber bands, more than one to secure it. ( Insurance, if one breaks hopefully the others won't!!). I find that the straps you can buy at Outdoor shops for attaching things to rusacs are very good at securing the filter. Reminder never to look directly at the Sun. Apart from from that have fun viewing and imaging this small elipse!!! Cheers Adrian
  18. Daz, I have survived lifting the EQ6 from my mate's back room to his patio, some 10 yards!!! You are right, the EQ6 once broken down into parts is easy to carry. I was surprised at the weight of the mount though, it is not an easy carrying shape. Once assembled we put the Skywatcher 250 scope on it. The views in the scope were good for the viewing conditions, a bit hazy. The light pollution is still an problem especially the local street lighting plus his neighour's 500 watt outside light that comes on if you approach the fence. But better than near Watford. I think the choice will be between a Newt 250 on a EQ6 or a 250 dob......depending on funds. Cheers Adrian
  19. Folks, Here in Kings Langley, the weather is brilliant, cold and clear, we had rain and hailstones earlier in the afternoon, but have great views of the moon. I have taken some photos and will check the quality tomorrow morning, I am frozen solid, I have been out in my shorts for 2 hours............. mad we could have a frost by morning. The last total lunar eclipse I saw, the moon was a lot lower in the sky, so it appeared bigger and browner. Anyway, I am off for a deserved whiskey. Cheers Adrian
  20. Just a quick reminder that there is a Total Lunar eclipse on Saturday evening (3rd March 2007). The moon goes a reddish brown colour as the Earth casts its shadow. Good opportunity weather permitting to get some images. Happy hunting. Adrian
  21. Daz, Thanks for the info, it is helpful and I will bear the points in mind as part of the selection process. I live close to the M1/M25 junction, my mate lives near Kendal in the Lake District. I am meeting up with him the evening of the 15th March, weather permitting, to do viewing from his house. I will see if he is brave enough to let me carry the EQ6 mount for a 100 yds up and down his road as part of a portability test. I have a weekend away once a month with a mountaineering group, so I get to the Lake District, Dartmoor, Yorkshire, and Wales (was on Anglesey a fortnight ago) and I am back in North Wales in April, June and December. I have noticed the night sky in Nant Gwynant is alot clearer, the stars more brilliant and there are considerably more of them. (light pollution near London is a killer) I will let you know how I got on carrying the gear in Kendal............. if I still have the energy to type!! Thanks Adrian
  22. Daz, I am very interested in hearing about the scope and seeing some images taken by your new setup. I am trying to decide at present whether to go 10" newt + EQ6 and weight lifting exercises !! or an 8" newt and EQ5. Is the extra hassle / cost worth the difference in the "views" you get. On a scale of 1 to 10 how would each scope compare? Are there real problems with the portability or transportability of the EQ6 especially as I am close to retirement age? I live in an area of total light pollution, I can do delicate neddle work outside at night without any other light sources required !! so I would have to travel a few miles to the countryside to get a less polluted sky. A mate of mine has gone for the EQ6 option and he swears by it. I am looking forward to hearing more about the scope, like how easy is it to collimate, how often you need to do it and the focuser. Steve @ FLO is doing a nice line in focusers. All the very best and good viewing. Cheers Adrian
  23. Just a quick reminder that if the weather is clear the Leonids should be at their most intense as the Earth will pass through a stream of debris from comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle. The result: a shower of Leonid meteors. "We expect an outburst of more than 100 Leonids per hour," says Bill Cooke, the head of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office in Huntsville, AL. This pales in comparison to the Leonid storms of 2001 and 2002, when sky watchers saw thousands of meteors. Even so, a hundred per hour would make the Leonids one of the best showers of 2006. Good Hunting. Adrian
  24. Steve and Rosie, I have had a chance to look at the photos in more detail, they are very good. I looked at a map and noticed that Arizona had the transit ending at sunset. We have moved back from Summer Time to GMT in the UK so it is getting dark here at about 16:30 at present. These transits of Mercury are rare events, apparently they only occur 13 or 14 times in a century, around the 8th May or 10th November, when Mercury is in an inferior conjunction, these are the dates that Mercury crosses the Earth's orbital plane. In May Mercury is heading South and in November it is heading North. If you want to see Mercury again, it is observable just before sunrise along the south-eastern horizon from today, between 16 and 29 November it will be higher in the morning sky. It is back at the horizon around 13th December. I went to the University of Hertfordshire Observatory on Friday night, It was raining very heavily so the scopes were not in action. However, they have a planetarium so we had a guided tour of the heavens, it is amazing what can be achieved via computers. After that, there was a very interesting lecture on the Universe, or more correctly on the Local Group. The size and distances are huge, and the lecturer asked lots of thought provoking questions on how the different galaxies were initially formed and how collisions over time have occured. Also discussions on star collapse, radiation etc. As I am new this this astronomy stuff I found the talk to be excellent and well worth the soaking I got between the car park and the building. I better finish up, don't forget the Leonids should be active from Wednesday 15 November. Happy hunting. Waiting to see more photos!!! Cheers Adrian
  25. Had a quick look at your shots before racing out to work. Will study them later. I get the feeling that it is hot there at present from the opening shot. We have a very heavy frost on the ground in Kings Langley (UK) this morning and clouds. I am off to the University of Hertsforshire Bayfordbury site to night so the clouds better disappear. They have about 10 different domes. Well done. Adrian
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