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Tantalus

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Everything posted by Tantalus

  1. Yep. There are three mountains in the centre of Copernicus. Well done Karen. I've also been catching up with the Moon over the past few days and had a look at Copernicus last night - fantastic isn't it? In my opinion it's one of the best Lunar features... It has a diameter of 56 miles and a height of 11,400 ft. Those central peaks are around 1200m high!
  2. Wow! The full size version is fantastic Brian... so detailed. Thanks!
  3. Tantalus

    Basic Lunar Viewing

    120mm F8.3 Refractor 5mm Celestron X-Cel (200x) The warmer weather and clear skies we've been getting over the past few days has tempted me to catch up on some lunar observing. To be frank, I've been avoiding the Moon for a while because I had difficulty identifying Lunar features whilst contorting myself into a convenient position to see through the refractor with a star diagonal - mirror-image and randomly rotated depending on which side of the 'scope I'm standing. But freshly armed with a copy of Virtual Moon Atlas I'm now learning to navigate my way around the Moon's face. So this will be a personal exercise in indentifying basic Lunar features and not an in-depth observation of those features... Friday 8th April, 8-9:30pm Started off in the Cauchy region, and the Cauchy crater at one end of Rima Cauchy, and Rupes Cauchy just below it. Then up to the Serpentine Ridge - Dorsa Smirnov. Right on the terminator, it was probably the most obvious feature of the night, wending it's way up Mare Serenitatis. To the east is another ridge system Dorsa Aldovandri. Just above it is Posidonius crater, with a deep shadow to it's eastern edge, and the smaller Posidonius A crater inside. Further north to Burg, a small deeper-looking crater in Lacus Mortis. From there, back down through Mare Tranquilitatis, past Maskelyne, the curiously shaped Toricelli (a dark scar to it's east, extending from Isidorus C), down to Theophilus, Cyrillus and Catharina, and Rupes Altai just coming into view. Below the horseshoe-shaped Fracastorius, it gets a bit confusing in the heavily crater south. Saturday 9th April, 8-10pm. Tonight I began in the south with the Rupes Altai a 250 mile long Scarp that terminates at the Piccolomini crater. Then northwards to Mare Tranquilitatis, and Sabine and Ritter, with the smaller Ritter C, B and D above. Just below Sabine, the ovoid Hypatia c, and the distorted main Hypatia crater. So back up to Ritter, Manners and Arago. To the west of Manners, the thin dark scar of the Rima Ariadaeus Rille, and the tiny Ariadaeus crater at it's end. The shadows along the terminator formed another dark, straight 'feature' along the North-Eastern edge of the large Julius Caesar crater. I found this whole area to be an interesting region, and one that I want to further explore at a later date. Pass Maclear, Ross, and Plinius and across the smooth floor of Serenitatis. Revisiting last nights favourite, the Serpentine Ridge, it was interesting to note how much harder it was to find without the shadow along it's western edge to help pick it out, and how dramatically the Lunar landscape changes in just 24 hours. To the north of Serenitatis, the convoluted edges of the Caucasus Mountains were just coming into sunlight. Buried in that edge is a small walled plain, Alexander, just 50 miles across. Onwards and upwards to the large craters Eudoxus and Aristoteles, the latter slightly overlapped by Mitchell. And finally C Mayer, and the oddly-named Sheepshanks... I wasn't taking notes, so I've probably missed a few things out... including the isolated peaks somewhere in the north-east that were casting saw-toothed shadows, but I'm enjoying getting up-close a personal will El Luna again. :)
  4. Congrats on finishing the list Doc. Your efforts and descriptive reports have inspired many of us to start this list... Mods, Can we make Doc's finished Lunar 100 list a sticky?. It would be a good source of reference for the rest of us. Please...
  5. Me too, a single flash of light to the right of Saturn. I'm not entirely sure what time, but I was out at that time last night. Curioser and curioser...
  6. Tantalus

    Meteors

    I missed the big one last night, but apparently spring is 'Fireball season'... Spring is Fireball Season - NASA Science I was gonna go out for a look-see at midnight tonight, but still cloudy here.
  7. 1/ Good question... I think if the ISS was in a stationary orbit it would make it harder to dock the shuttle because you'd have to slow the shuttle down to a dead stop just as it docks? 2/ HST is in an equatorial orbit, so I don't think it's ever visible from Britain, you need to be closer to the equator. 3/ The ISSonauts still follow a 24hr 'day' with allocated sleep periods
  8. If you're a fan of the Space Shuttle then you have to see this NASA - Multimedia - Video Gallery (60MB file). It's a 12min montage of the STS-133 from assembly to it's ascent into space, set to music. There's a lot of material in there that's shot from a perspective I guess most of us don't usually get to see. I couldn't stop saying 'wow' ... just Stunning!!! '...get to witness the majesty and the power of Discovery as She lifts off for the final time." - 'Nuff said!
  9. He may be right Luke, but I wonder if those that are around will realise when that day is until it's too late.
  10. Well, I quite enjoyed the programme, and didn't find it to be 'all doom and gloom'. After all, look on the bright side - we'll all be food for worms long before the end of the universe...
  11. Dont' ya just hate nosey neigh-bours!
  12. I've noticed that. I think the interest in Discovery's last flight is also adding to the traffic on HA.
  13. Here Here. I could've told 'em that!
  14. I've managed to get the Nanosail-D satellite to display in Stellarium (rev 0.10.6.1) by manually editing the satellites.json file to include to following code... "NANOSAIL-D2": { "comms": [], "groups": [], "hintColor": [0.8, 0.8, 0], "orbitVisible": true, "tle1": "1 90027U 0 11056.22661373 +.00033682 +00000-0 +44918-2 0 00543", "tle2": "2 90027 071.9752 285.8868 0024951 093.2804 267.0156 14.79237081005456", "visible": true }, "hintColor" - sets the display colour for the satellite, and uses three RGB values between 0 and 1 "orbitVisible":true - will show the satellites track across the sky (set to false if you don't want the track to show) TLE sourced from the nanosail website. The first time I tried to add the satellite, I used the advice given on the Wiki:Stellarium pages and edited the .json file with Windows Notepad, but it bombed and Stellarium locked up during loading. I noticed that some of the parameters on the Wiki pages article differ slightly from the ones I found in my .json file, so at the second attempt I copy-and-paste'd one of the other entries then edited the parameter values accordingly. The satellites in the .json file are ordered alphabetically, so I followed the same convention, and this time it worked. If you're want to do this edit for yourself, then make sure you make a back-up for the json file first just in case it all goes pear-shaped. So far, the in-program tle update function doesn't work for this satellite, and I haven't yet found an online source for this satellite that can be read by Stellarium. The website used by Stellarium for other satellites either doesn't have the tle, or if it has I haven't been able to find the right file, so at this point in time I will have to manually update from time to time, but it's easy enough to edit this file so no great hardship there.
  15. Re- your earlier post george... I struggle to see anything more than basic details on these craft, but then my eyesight isn't the best. What sort of detail are you able to make out on the ISS and on the Shuttle, and with what sort of magnification?
  16. The current 12 day plan shows it undocks at 12:44 GMT on the 5th Mar, and landing 2 days later. HA shows that there should be two visible passes before landing - one later on on the 5th, and one pass on the 6th. There is a chance that the mission will be extended by one day, so it'll then undock on the 6th and land on the 8th, if it is then you should still get two passes, just a day later...
  17. Got it too, and could just see the Shuttle a short way behind!
  18. What time was the pass that you wanted to observe, Davie? The problem is Stellarium will show you when the ISS passes over, but not all of those passes are visible passes. You can only see a satellite when the angle between the satellite, observer, and the Sun is less than a certain angle (I think it's called the t-angle?) - beyond that angle the satellite passes into the Earth's shadow and cannot be viewed from Earth. If you want a list of visible passes then set up an account on Heavens Above, put in your observer location, and then it'll generate a list of visible passes for your position. If you click on an entry in the list it'll even give you a printable map of it's track across the night sky.
  19. I've watched a lot of these launches over the years, but it never ceases to amaze me how precisecly and gracefully it manoeuvres at such speeds. Awesome.
  20. Good Luck Discovery and Crew. Hope you have a smooth journey...
  21. I tried for it tonight, a mag 2 pass, but failed to spot it - It's quite slow moving which I think makes it harder to pick out. I'll keep on trying though.
  22. There's a lot of military traffic on the North Lincs coast tonight - red flashing lights all over the place...
  23. I've got a clear sky here, but I've also got a flood of LP from inconsiderate neighbours who think it's acceptable to turn on their kitchen and bathroom lights whilst I'm trying to observe!!! How rude!!!
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