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paulastro last won the day on September 5 2017

paulastro had the most liked content!

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About paulastro

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  1. On Dec 28 I had a nice view and took some photos of a thin crescent Moon. As it happened I managed to continue this every day until Jan 2nd. I then decided I may as well try and get in as many days photographing the lunar phase and observing the Moon during the current lunation. That is starting from the date of the last new Moon (Dec 26th) until the next one on January 24th. It became rather addictive and to extend the sequence of days my behaviour became rather extreme at times - and strange to my non-astronomical neighbours. Frequently out in cloudy skies just waiting for a break, and walking up the road with my setup if I couldn't see the Moon from my backyard. On a couple of occasions I was actually out taking pics when rain was falling. One of these was whilst trying to hold an umbrella over myself and the telescope/camera as the rain became more persistent. Well, how did I get on? Dec 26th. New Moon. Dec 28th to January 8th. A sequence of 12 days in a row. Jan 9th cloudy, not looking good for the penumbral eclipse on Jan 10th. Jan 10th Managed to see about the first 40 mts of the penumbral eclipse in difficult conditions. Jan 11th to 12th, clouded out both days. Jan 13th to Jan 22. A sequence of 10 days in a row. Jan 23rd. The Moon will be too close to the Sun for me to catch it apart from in daylight hours. Jan 24th New Moon. So, in summary I photographed the Moon and observed it on a total of 23 days during the period. I'm very pleased with this, especially considering that on the day of new moon and the day after/before it's not practical to observe. From the start I decided I wasn't going to observe during the daytime. I really had a great time and enjoyed it tremendously, though toward the end when I was getting up in the early hours it was hard going. The only reason I had the time to spend on my Moon Marathon was because I am recovering from an op and didn't have to go to work, every cloud has a silver lining! For all sessions I used either my SW 80ED on an AZ5 or my SW 120ED on an Ercole mount. All pics are single frames taken with an Olympus E-M5 Mk11. Below are a some of the numerous pics I took. There are included because I like them for various reason, rather than any particular merit they might otherwise have.
  2. mikeDnight said: They're beautiful! It sends a shudder down my spine to think that I actually know you!! I know exactly how you feel Mike !!
  3. Many thanks Michael. It's funny, I had been thinking how off the mark the weather forecasts I use have been in the last few days. I always considered Accuweather to be the most reliable of the ones I use, but in the last two days it has been the dead opposite of what actually happened. Total cloud forecast for early am yesterday when it was a perfectly clear sky, and fog up to 9am this morning, when despite being nearly totally cloudy a clearish patch down on the E horizon allowed me about half an hour of patchy sky. I have to say though, none of the other forecasts I look at did any better - but then they often don't. I really try not to take much notice of weather forecasts if there is something I particularly want to observe on a particular night. I generally will just get ready and go out anyway. Even if the forecast is right and it's cloudy, it's surprising how often I get a brief unexpected observing window.
  4. Well, it's only gone and happened again, all the weather indicated 100% cloud or fog this morning. Up at 6 am anyway to set up the 80ED on AZ5 with the Olympus, as it was the last chance I would have before the Moon would be too low for me and in a bright sky. I set up and fetched a seat from the garage to wait. I couldn't believe it when I though I could see a sliver of light very low down at 6.58 am and the altitude according to both SkySafari and the Vurtual Lunar Atlas was only two and a half degrees. I then had views off and on through a thinning of the cloud close to the horizon until 7.23 am when the Moon had risen to a giddy 5.9 degrees. The seeing was of course poor and the exposures were fairly long, between 1/3 and 1/5 sec for the single frames below. Never the less, I was over the Moon (sorry!) to even see the Moon this morning and am pleased that at least I have a record of it. The Moon was 7.0% and 27.09 days. In the next day or so I'll post a summary of my Lunar marathon I'm been attempting during this lunation.
  5. mikeDnight said: You Yorkshire men have all the luck! Wrong on two accounts Mike. Firstly, as you well know I'm a brummie and proud of it. Secondly, what luck? It was a mixture of determination, steel like grit, tenacity, stupidity and an alarm clock .
  6. Many thanks Stu. As you say, the forecast looks bad - no clear weather forecast here for several days. Still you never know, tomorrows my last chance so I'll give it a go.
  7. Rob, I'm glad you saw it, even if it was from the M27. I know the area very well, I was at university in Southampton from 1982 to 1985 and stayed in the area for some years afterwards. I used to go to the New Forest frequently to watch and photograph the wild deer. I last went back just over a year ago. I love the area, wouldn't mind going back there but I'd have to leave the wife - mmm, now there's a thought........
  8. I wanted to have another session before new Moon, but had little expectation for this morning. I looked at all the weather sites I usually look at yesterday evening (AccuWeather, Clear Outside, BBC Weather app, Met Interactive Weather Map) and all indicated just about 100% cloudy for the narrow period I had to catch the Moon before doom. Of course, ever the optimist, I set the alarm for 6.00 am this morning. I didn't even look through the window before I got up, I fully expected it to be cloudy but had decided the night before to get up anyway just in case there was a small hole in the cloud. Went up the steps out the back of the house with the scope not even glancing up. I couldn't believe it when I set the scope down, glanced up - to see a perfectly clear sky with a slender crescent Moon just about six degrees above the SE horizon !! I have to say though, the seeing was really pretty bad, not surprising really with the low temperature and the low altitude. Having said that, the seeing didn't detract from how beautiful it looked, and even more so as the Moon rose a little bit when I could see Mars about 8 degrees to the right and a degree below the Moon. As the dawn started to break the azure blue just above the horizon made it all an outstanding spectacle. I took numerous snaps before packing up at about 7.40, hoping I would be lucky and that one of the shutter releases would coincide with a micro-moment of better seeing. The only pic I obtained I could do anything with is below. Taken at 7.79 am, SW 80ED, AZ5, Olympus E-M5 Mk11, 1/80 sec at 400 asa. Have a look at the limbs of either version and you will see how bad the seeing still was. Very pleased to have added one to my sequence. One more opportunity tomorrow morning, but not according to the weather forecasts. I'll be up anyway just in case and I'll know then how many times I've taken pics and observed during the lunation. Very pleased with the opportunities I've had however it turns out tomorrow.
  9. Lee said How addictive will it be when the new moon comes? If you've done almost a whole month, why not keep going... two months... a year... Good work on the streak though especially with the cloud. To be honest Lee, I'm looking forward to the new Moon, since full Moon having to get up in the early hours every day virtually has worn me out.
  10. Out this morning at 6.00 am in completely cloudy conditions to try and observe the Moon. You might wonder why anyone would be so daft - perhaps apart from anyone who knows me very well that is. The reason is that a couple of days after the last new Moon ( on Dec 26th) I had a good run of successive days of taking a pic and observing the Moon - from the 28th Dec until January 8th. By this time I made my mind up to see how many observations I could do in the lunar month until the next new Moon on January 24th. I was out in cloudy sky this morning as I want get in as many more sessions as I can manage before this period is up - and desperate measures are called for! I won't let on yet how many days I'm up to until after the new Moon, but this may have been the last I'll be able to manage. Anyway, just so you know, I'm not completely crazy - honest! Amazingly there was some slight thinning of the cloud this morning before I packed up just before 7.30am and I did get some frames 'in the can' as they say. The frame below was taken at 6.59 am with the SW 80ED, AZ5 and Olympus E-M5 Mk11, 1/5 second at 400 asa. I had to use a low shutter speed as the cloud only thinned so the image was rather dimmed, I never had a clear view I'm afraid. Having said that, it did look rather beautiful as it occasionally slipped through the lighter cloud layers.
  11. Looks like a great grab and go and travel scope.
  12. Well, it wasn't underwater, but it looked like it. Atrocious seeing when I went out with the 120ED at 5.48 am. I couldn't get anywhere near focus with the Olympus attached. Replaced the 120ED with the 80ED from indoors which was much better. It still was very poor seeing but the reduced aperture enabled me to at least get near to a focus and attempt a few snaps. I also managed some visual observations with the binoviewer which was at least worthwhile. Finally gave up at 7.10 am, when presumably one of my neighbours heating system started up, as the view instantly deteriorated so that it really did look like it was at the bottom of a fast flowing stream. An enjoyable session though, in bracing conditions, -2 degrees. The pic below was taken with the 80ED and Olympus at 6.53 am, 1/100 sec at 400 asa. A shadow filled Copernicus near the terminator.
  13. Out from 5.25 am to 7.10 am. After taking a few pics observed visually, Maginus, Clavius, Deslandres and Moretus were particularly well placed. The seeing was poor in the freezing temperature but the views were still good at times. Used the SW 120ED, Ercole Mount amd Olympus E-M5 Mk11. The single frame (and crops taken from it) was taken at 6.25.09 am, 1/125 sec at 400 asa.
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