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About paulastro

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    Brown Dwarf
  • Birthday 15/05/55

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    Oakworth, West Yorkshire

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  1. Mike. If you want some compensation for missing Venus yesterday, you can always join the Cloud Appreciation Society. You can then appreciate the clouds which are obscuring Venus when you can't see the planet itself
  2. Well done Gus, your persistence certainly paid off - two minutes is certainly better than nil minutes .
  3. 9/10 Mike, I just had a bit of luck which makes all the difference. Please don't .
  4. I was ucky to have another chance to observe Venus again this evening. After abortive attempts to pick up the planet with binoculars at various times throughout the afternoon, I decided to sweep with the Tak using a 2inch correct image diagonal (I find it easier to sweep with a correctly orientated image) with a SW 32mm PanaView eyepiece. I swept it up at 5.50 pm, I was struggling with binoculars with low bands of cloud making it difficult. It looked stunning in the low power view, though I can't say I could tell the difference with the Illumination being at 1.0 % compared with the 1.1% it was yesterday . Then used the Baader Mk111 Zoom and an 80A filter which gave a cleaner view. Delighted to have caught it at 1%. At 6.05 pm I lost Venus in some cloud but it re-appeared at 6.17 before finally being submerged it the low murk at 6.21 pm. At 6.21 Venus was m-4.0, 59.4", 1.0% illuminated, azimuth 279 degrees and altitude 5 degrees. (Celestron Sky Portal)
  5. Doesn't it look nice, and blue skies too in Lancashire!
  6. Many thanks John. This is the source I used It does indicate 01.12 on March 25th. Anyway, I'll be ready at the telescope so I hope I'm right! How strange.
  7. There is a transit of the GRS on Jupiter at 1.12 am Saturday morning too!
  8. Thank you Geoff. I have to admit, a few minutes before I found Venus I started to think how much easier it would be with a goto. Luckily I then quickly came to my senses, I'm far too low-tech to go down that route. I tend to go a bit pale if I even have to have a battery to power any asto equipment - except for my torches of course!
  9. Thanks John. That's interesting, I wander who has the other three?
  10. I must admit I was rather excited when I saw it, but luckily no neighbours were around to hear what I shouted .
  11. Many thanks Stu, that's very kind of you. I would have expected to pick it up much sooner, but I expect the very thin crescent and the milky sky early on made it much more difficult than it would be normally. I wouldn't expect to see it again now before I observe it in the morning sky - though I'll probably not be able to resist trying again tomorrow if it's clear .
  12. I’d been trying on and off to pick up Venus since 3.45pm and just couldn’t find it (using 10x50s), though the sky was quite milky much of the time where Venus was supposed to be. At 5.45pm, the sky was better in the W, but still I couldn’t see it. By 6.10pm I was about to give up, the West was clearer than it had been all afternoon, but I assumed it must be behind a house or roof. Just before 6.20pm I had one more quick sweep, and there it was between two roofs, a beutiful thin crescent in 10x50s!! Joy. I was jumping up and down I was so pleased I had persisted. I had the FC 100 DL ready with the Baader zoom and quickly centred it. What a wonderfully thin crescent. Not as good as when it’s much higher, but still very nice. I also managed to use the barlow with the zoom for a closer view, Greatl! I kept it in view until 6.34pm when it went down below one of the roofs. I was very lucky as it was just about the lowest place I could see down to on my local horizon. Lucky to catch it 14 mts before it set too! Checked the data for my last view at 6.34pm and it was: m-4.1, 59.3”, 1.1% illumination, azimuth 281 degrees, altitude 4.5 degrees. Very chuffed to get this as, as far as I can recall, it’s the biggest diameter and least illumination I have ever observed on Venus telescopically.
  13. I would add to Mikes comments that it's also important the finder is accurately focussed at infinity too - otherwise you'll find it difficult to get Venus it in the field of the main scope anyway. Of course you can scan for Venus in the main scope itself, but you'd probably need a shorter focal length then 900mm to give yourself a reasonably wide view to work with. It is also more difficult in some ways in a cloudless sky, as it's difficult to focus your eyes on infinity if you are just looking at a blue patch of sky with no hind of cloud or con trail. Some people manage it better than others.
  14. I thought it was a bit late to be observing Venus John . What is Virtual Planet Atlas and where can you get it? I think that 'drawing' is excellent, unlike my own. I'm afraid hanging around with Mike hasn't done me any good in that respect , I thought his skill might be catching.