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About mcrowle

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  1. Wow, just checked and my last DSO image of 2020 was taken in September! I did manage a couple of wide-field sessions in November and December though. This was the September image, of the Pegasus galaxy group centred on NGC 7331. Not great, to be honest due to the tilt, coma and a heavy crop, so I hadn't posted it anywhere until now. Equipment: Revelation 12" f/4 Newtonian and astro-modified EOS 600D. Happy New Year and clear skies! Mike.
  2. Looks like Thursday is now my best bet, too. I got as far as having my kit ready in the bag for a walk to the beach, but I didn't even set out. What clear patches there were just recently were all too brief, and the nearly unbroken cloud is fast-moving. Best regards, Mike.
  3. As expected the conditions were very poor here yesterday, with thick cloud and either drizzle or rain all day and into the night. Looking a little more hopeful today, though, with only around 50% cloud expected around 4pm. I think I'll get some kit together for a walk to the beach and its low horizon. However, the same forecast shows nearly 100% cloud by 5pm, so I'm still not terribly optimistic. Good luck, and skies, all! Regards, Mike.
  4. Totally clouded out here in Cornwall, too, with rain expected to last for the next few hours. Yesterday evening was mostly cloudy, though with a few clear patches overhead - not much good for attempting to view the conjunction just above the horizon. In any case I would have had to set up away from home for an adequately low horizon, and was expecting visitors from 4pm, so I'm afraid I didn't even try! Maybe next time . Regards, Mike.
  5. Looks like I won't be setting out to see Comet Erasmus after all. Referring to theskylive.com, it will be half a degree below the horizon at the end of astronomical twilight and less than 4 degrees up by the end of nautical twilight from my location. Meanwhile the forecast of clear skies on Sunday morning has changed to high cloud and possibly mist, all with a nearly full Moon of course. I hope that someone more suitably located can spot the comet! Regards and clear skies. Mike.
  6. I spent a few nights photographing aurorae with a Canon EOS 7D in Finland last year - at down to -27°C. While I was aware this is well below the operating range, I encountered no major issues. Certainly the battery drained more rapidly, but I kept a spare in an inside pocket to keep it warm (plus in fact I was never far from the hotel and my battery charger). I did notice that the camera sounded different when taking images, though, as if the mechanism was struggling a bit. It never actually stopped working. Although I also have a 600D, I didn't have it with me so unfortunately I
  7. Has anyone seen or imaged Comet C/2020 S3 Erasmus? According to Spaceweather.com, it's currently visible low in the SE at dawn, about magnitude 7. Unfortunately, although it is expected to brighten over coming days it quickly becomes more challenging to see due to still lower elevation and the proximity of the Sun. Of course the weather has not been helpful of late, though it was clear this morning so I fear I may have missed an opportunity! Still, the forecast for Sunday morning looks good so I plan to head to a local beach with a low horizon in the right direction. There's a g
  8. I attempted another NEOWISE session tonight (Tuesday), as the next several nights are forecast to be cloudy. Things were looking good when I first arrived at my observing spot, but it gradually became obvious that high cloud was an issue towards the North. The comet was barely visible to the naked eye, and the tail much shorter than before in binoculars. Quite a contrast to last night's glorious views! Regards, Mike.
  9. A superb NEOWISE session tonight, under crystal clear skies! Due to the comet's location I cannot get a telescope pointed at it, but am instead using 7 x 50 binoculars (and a camera/star tracker) on a footpath a couple of hundred yards from home. NEOWISE's head may have dimmed a little, but the tail is as spectacular as ever! I was even just able to make out the ion tail via the binoculars for the first time. Moving the binoculars slowly from side-to-side helped with this, as did averted vision. I finished viewing once the head dipped below the trees on the valley side. I do have ano
  10. Just back from a bonus 2.5-hour session viewing and imaging NEOWISE. I say "bonus" because CO had given the conditions red status and the Met Office forecast had been fluctuating between cloudy and clear all day. Luckily there was barely a cloud in the sky since 11 pm, though the transparency has been reasonable rather than great. The location I'd used for the pre-dawn sessions, when NEOWISE first became visible, is no longer suitable as the comet is further north and hidden by the wooded valley sides. That location had been ideal because my back was towards the village lights. Now I have
  11. I arrived at my observing spot just after 2:30am, and was delighted to the see the tail of NEOWISE sticking up from behind the trees immediately - it didn't even give my time to get dark-adapted! I less delighted to realise I'd forgotten my 7 x 50 binocs (doh!), so a short walk back home was required. Once I returned, the comet was still a fine sight, although it was becoming increasing shrouded in slow-moving clouds that gradually took on the red shades of dawn. Regards, Mike.
  12. It's great seeing all these observations and photos! I'm just about to head off to my NEOWISE observing spot, as seen in the photo below (from this morning). By about 3:30 the comet should be visible from my garden, so I can turn a telescope towards it . I say "should", though because there appears to be some cloud to the North now - I just hope it doesn't stick around! (By the way, the red on the fence and shrubs on the right of the photo is from the red light on the single track rail line). Regards, Mike.
  13. I had my 2nd NEOWISE session early this morning. Such a wonderful sight as it rises over the trees! I plan to be out again around 2:30am tomorrow. Unfortunately I can't see the comet from my usual observing location, so I'm limited to using binoculars for viewing and a camera on a static tripod for imaging, a short walk from home. However, I did take an 80mm telescope with me this morning, and used it on the camera tripod. I captured the following using 7 x 1.3 sec. frames at ISO 12800 (ouch!). Good luck and clear skies to all chasing NEOWISE over the coming nights! Regards, Mik
  14. I managed to see NEOWISE from a local footpath, so didn't have to take the long hike to my originally-planned observing spot! What a beautiful sight in binoculars as it rose above the trees, with it's curved tail, and easily visible to the naked eye! The head was still visible in the brightening sky at 4am. Wonderful, and well worth losing some sleep for . My 96th comet, and one of the best! Regards, Mike.
  15. I'm planning to see, and hopefully image, Comet NEOWISE tomorrow morning, but my usual observing location in the back garden is obstructed by the valley side. I have 2 alternative locations in mind but I'm torn between them. One is nearby and has dark skies and a fairly low horizon in the right direction. However, there are obstructions and no room to adjust position if it's not right due to a deep river channel next to the footpath. The other location is a couple of miles walk away , is less obstructed but the direction to view the comet is back over the large village where I live.
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