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Everything posted by paulastro

  1. I'm very pleased you managed to see them Peter. As you indicate, it's very striking the way they are processing across the sun. We are urrently enveloped in fog, but I'll still have my scope set up nearby for the next few days .
  2. Fine advice Mike, but knowing you and your take aways it seems a case of do what I say and not what I do. Otherwise you would have a TSA 120 by now .
  3. Managed to observe again this morning (17th) as it turned out to be sunny from dawn to dusk surprisingly. I've put a post on the Observing Solar forum. https://stargazerslounge.com/topic/387868-dec-17th-wl-ar2905-to-ar2912-well-nearly/#comment-4184083
  4. It was forecast for 100% cloud today, so of course, it was clear with frost first thing and stayed clear until sunset. We are at over 800 feet altitude and luckily above the fog and mist this morning . I observed from 8.50am to 9.50am with the Altair 80 ED-R. According to spaceweather there were six ARs on show, but visually or on a pic I took I couldn't see AR2905 in WL. Below is a single frame and a crop I took at 9.19am with the Altair and my Olympus E-M5 Mk11. I've also added the spaceweather.com illustration and a GONG pic which shows some activity at the location of AR2905.
  5. That's very kind of you Stu. I hope you, and everyone else who want to, can get a view. At least with the sun, it can pop out on the worse okf days, if we are lucky and ready to leap into action. It's a little more difficult of course because of the low latitude, it only struggles up to a little ove 12 degrees up here at the moment.
  6. That's a good analogy Pete. What made me smile when I saw it was that I imagined it was a fleet of Sontaran spacecraft orbiting the Sun before they head off toward earth to invade us .
  7. Thank you Mark. I'll have the scope ready and waiting, but I won't be holding my breath .
  8. Well, not a great image but here's one of the pics I managed this morning with some cloud interfering and not great seeing. Excuses over, I was just glad to see it - they might have all passed off the sun by the time it's clear again! It made me smile to see the four ARs 'marching' across the sun in such orderly fashion. Pic (and crop) a single frame taken at 10.48 am with the Altair 80 ED-R and Olympus camera. There are actually six ARs but you'll have to look VERY carefully to spot AR2905 and AR2910 N of AR2906. The two tiny spots were affected by some cloud. AR2910 is visible in the top right corner of the crop.
  9. Dashed back from town earlier in bright sunshine! Not so good when I arrived home but managed a view and some snaps with the 80 ED-R and Olympus camera. It clouded up after a few mts but still forecast to have some sunny intervals later. The camera is now outside on the 102ED ready to go again if I get the chance, so can't post any pics at the moment. It's well worth the effort if you have a glimmer of sunshine. Let's just hope the weather forecast for the next few days isn't correct, it will be even better as they process W, particularly if they develop further.
  10. Yes Pete, very dull here this morning as expected but the Met forecast has now changed to indicate reasonable clear periods . Have to go out but fingers crossed the forecast is right. The forecast for the next three days is still dire, fog and heavy cloud .
  11. This should be worth looking at, if you can see the sun today, in HA too. Weather not great for most of us today, but forecast worse into the weekend..
  12. I was ready for bed at 1am in pajamas and dressing gown, looked through the window on the way upstairs and saw a low gibbous Moon glowing through the trees - an unforecast and unexpected clear patch. No time to change, so threw a jacket over my dressing gown, grabbed my wooley hat and mittens and rushed outside. Despite the Moon, the sky was very transparent away from the low Moon. Observed from 1.10am to 2.00am and saw 11 Gemenids, two together early on at mags -2 and -3, one of them quite blue. heading through Orion. All but a couple were brighter than 2nd mag. Cloud stopped the party ar 2.00am. A wonderful unexpected treat. Seeing 11 meteors in under an hour in, less than ideal conditions, would indicate a good hourly rate.
  13. I was lucky to have a 20 minute slot to rush out with the Altair 80 ED-R on the early evening, though only brief it was enjoyable before the cloud closed in again. As well as Plato and its environs there was good terminator detail in the S Highlands. Single frame below taken with the Olympus E-M5 Mk11 at 7.27pm.
  14. Lucky you, I had to buy my own copy! . It's the fourth edition, and I bought them all as soon as they were published. Easily the best book to get into practical astronomy, and it will be useful for years to come as you gain more experience. Also the best illustrated practical astronomy guide. If anyone buys just one guide, this is the one you should buy.
  15. I observed the Moon yesterday evening, along with Jupiter, Saturn and Venus and noticed features on the E limb were favourably placed. When I checked afterwards, the libration was a very favourable 10.4 degrees at a PA of 289 degrees. This was favourable to see some of the E Mares, including (from the N) Humboldtianum, Margins, Smythii and Australe. All of these can be seen on the single frame below taken at prime focus with the Altair 80 ED-R at 5.28pm. (Olympus EM-Mk11, 1/500sec at 400 asa)
  16. Went out to observe the Moon about 4.15 pm, and noticed Venus way to the East. Carried my Altair 80 ED-R on the Scopetech Zero mount to an adjoining road to get a telescopic view of Venus - it was amongst tree branches at home. Really nice view in the binoviewer and two 24mm Orthos. Back to the house as it became darker and I had fine views of the other planets and the Moon in the scope. I also remembered I had a new phone in my pocket which I had picked up this morning which happened to have a night mode for its camera. Took some pics which didn't do a bad job considering it was hand held. One of the pics and a crop of it is below. It will be interesting to see what it can do on a dark night with no Moon. I was pleased to see this grouping as the weather had previously been poor this week.
  17. Well, by the sound of it then Mike, you'll be selling your DZ .
  18. I think you'd love this Mark. I have another version, and I hate to say it, but its noticeably better than the AstroTech ED non-FPL 53 version we both used to own.
  19. Sorry Jeremy, that was insensitive of me, the XLs had slipped my mind - it seems a long time ago now. .
  20. John, that would be good news for those who are lucky enough to already own a set of XWs. The used price would go through the roof judging by the enthusiasm for the discounted versions.
  21. Haven't you all heard the news? Pentax are bringing out a new set of eyepieces which will make the XW series obsolete. ONLY JOKING !!!
  22. Mike, I don't know if you're the right person to talk about watering down the English language. I've always found Lancashire to be a strange dialect - unlike my own Brummy lingo .
  23. It would be better to self fund the book Mike and/or have it printed on demand. That way you are fully in control of what's in it. The only difficulty may be to ensure the quality of reproduction of the sketches. You could contact Springer if you didn't want to self fund it - as long as you can write American 'English' . If you go ahead, I could be your agent, what do you think, 55% in my favour ?
  24. Up at 5.30 am this morning to observe the waning crescent Moon. Outside at 5.45 am, -3 degrees C and a chill wind. The Moon hadn't risen long and the seeing was very poor at first, though it did get a little better as it rose higher in the sky. The views with the Altair Astro 80 ED-R were still very good at lower powers. The slender crescent and strong earthshine were beautiful, particularly as the sky in the E brightened to a dark blue fringed with orange as dawn appreoached. I took a few single frames with the Olympus, those below were both taken at 6.46 am, altitude 8 degrees.
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