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About kerrylewis

  • Rank
    Sub Dwarf
  • Birthday 09/07/47

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    Mainly the planets
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  1. Dawn planets - and moon!

    Yes Sean it was only when it was too late that I thought “why didn’t I try a photo?’’ My camera was not far away! I was too engrossed in the view!
  2. Dawn planets - and moon!

    With the promise of clear skies at dawn I set up the Ioptron mount and the Tak on my small flat roof area that gives me a better view to the south and east above trees and rooftops. This was a sort of trial run for the upcoming 'low planet season'. Mars was comparatively high at 5.30 and it was great to see that small orange disc again; no detail though. I then watched as the other objects appeared above the distant roofs and then cleared my garage roof enough to be seen through the scope. Jupiter was first - beautifully bright to the naked eye as it slowly rose above the roofs in the brightening sky. The view through the scope was pretty awful although still good to see that squashed disc again. But the star of the show was the moon. Only 1% illuminated according to Clear Outside so I wasn't sure what I would see. But then the impossibly slender disc appeared. A breathtaking sight through the Canon binoculars. At first it was interlaced with a distant tree and, even with the background sky getting lighter all the time, earthshine was visible on the rest of the disc. Then, as it cleared the tree, a very faint thin line of illumination was visible along the limb partially encircling the ethereal earthshine. It eventually climbed high enough to be seen in the scope but the earlier view through the bins was better. A truly lovely sight which I'll remember for a long time. Then Venus joined the party and formed an open triangle with Jupiter and the skinny moon in the orange tinted sky. By now my feet had lost contact with the rest of my body so it was time to come down for a warming coffee after a real treat and an unforgettable dawn.
  3. It's not a filter. Google it or look on the FLO website
  4. I’ll be using these and really looking forward to it despite the poor positioning. I’m going to give the Atmospheric Dispersion Corrector (ADC) a go too. I haven’t really given it a good test since buying it but this seems like the ideal circumstances
  5. Show us your Frac

    You're right Chris! It's surprising how much effect that extra 50mm has. The Vixen is really a big heavy scope in relation to the Tak
  6. Show us your Frac

    For the first time I put my two beautiful refractors together. Only had an hour or two before it clouded over by but some interesting comparisons. The Tak 100mmm was noticeably sharper on the moon with fine detail crisper. The extra aperture of the Vixen 150 scored on picking out Neptune which was very close to the moon. There were other variables, of course - diagonals and eyepieces were different. Next time I may try using the same combination in each.
  7. I’m thinking of going on Saturday 14th for a look at the gear.
  8. Astro related retirement present.

    Whatever the present, the best gift is the time to observe without concern about getting up to go to work.
  9. Hello John. Still clear here and got the nova - confirmed by Shane's superb sketch - thanks Shane. Saturn was not bad either despite its ridiculous elevation. Time for a few more targets
  10. Beautifully clear here at present - hoping for a go at the nova
  11. Well done John. Saw this line up this morning with an even more slender moon. See my report under Planetary
  12. Dawn Planets Line up

    First clear morning since my last look so I gave the planet show another go. Venus as bright as ever. It is now closer to Regulus. It's amazing to think that light reflecting of a body so far away could be so bright. With more of my extreme stepladder astronomy with the Canon binoculars I eventually found Mercury and then Mars. These are much further apart now with Mars above Mercury as the inner planet drops back towards the sun. Sky Safari showed the moon as further down still so I decided to give that a go too. After much shifting around of my wobbly perch there it was! Almost impossibly slender and dodging through the trees. I can't remember the last time I saw such a thin moon. After checking I found that it was exactly 24 hours from new. Another lovely dawn morning chasing planets as the stars faded
  13. Dawn Planets Line up

    It's strange but many people (me included) seem to have problems with the eastern horizon. Got up this morning but the promised clear hours didn't materialise. Yes Piero, Venus is the easiest planet to see in daylight although I confess I always use goto to locate it. Depending on it's position in relation to earth you can easily see the phase but not much else. In some ways it's easier in daylight because it is otherwise so bright against a dark sky. Mercury and Jupiter can also be seen quite easily. The other planets are less bright but viable under the right conditions. A neodymium filter helps sometimes I find.
  14. Dawn Planets Line up

    As a postscript, I left the scope set up so I've just caught the disc of Venus and the tiny phased disc of Mercury against a clear blue sky now that they are a little higher!
  15. Dawn Planets Line up

    Beautiful line up of planets in the dawn sky this morning. Venus like a beacon and Mercury below and further east (with Regulus half way between) and then below Mercury, Mars just edging into view. I don't have a clear eastern horizon from the garden so seeing this line up entailed some extreme astronomy - i.e. me balanced on a step ladder with my binoculars. If you have a better view it's worth getting up for - Mars and Mercury will be at their closest on Sunday morning (Sept 17th) in the UK. I had been up since 3.00 with Tak with some lovely sights but the dawn topped it. As I reluctantly went back to bed, I stood for a moment and arranged across the deep blue sky were Orion striding westward with Sirius just peeking above the garden fence and to the east the moon bright (but almost outshone by Venus!) at the head of the planetary chain. Gorgeous