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mcrowle

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About mcrowle

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    Cornwall
  1. 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.
  2. 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 another vantage point where I can still see it lower, but that means viewing across some of the village lights so, with work on Tuesday morning, I decided to call it a night. Regards, Mike.
  3. 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 to view the comet over the lights of a main road and a floodlit level-crossing. Those lights are shrouded by trees but still light up the murk, reducing visibility of the comet slightly and giving some odd colour gradients on my images. I hope the forecast clearer conditions early next week will help out by reducing that murk. Anyway, obstacles aside, I'm pleased to say NEOWISE is still looking spectacular! Even though it was more or less at its lowest point of the night by the time I packed up, the tail was still clearly longer than my 7x50 binoculars field of view. There's so much to look at in the sky at the moment, with the Milky Way core, Jupiter and Saturn, but I'm afraid I cannot drag my view away from the comet at the moment! Regards, Mike.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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, Mike.
  7. 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.
  8. 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. If only the comet was to the south, as that would be directly over the sea! The distance away is also not ideal on work night of course. I'll check the conditions and will have to make a decision around 2:30 in the morning. In the meantime, good luck and clear skies everyone! Regards, Mike.
  9. Wow, these reports are wonderful! Think I'll give this a go tomorrow morning, though as I live in a valley and I don't drive I'm not very hopeful of a view for a few days. The south coast of Cornwall is great for the Milky Way, but not so good for something low to the north! Anyway, I'll walk out to a park a short distance away where the horizon is slightly lower. The forecast does look good for tomorrow morning, so fingers-crossed... Regards, Mike.
  10. I'm very much looking forward to seeing NEOWISE, if the weather gives a chance. I only managed one astronomy session in June due to the weather, so will need to keep my fingers crossed during July! March to May were much clearer, so we could do with a return to those conditions. From studying the position of the comet via Heavens-above.com, I think it should be visible locally from about 12 June. Those with a low Northern horizon should be able to see it earlier. In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye on the images coming in from elsewhere. Good luck to all those comet-spotting this month! Regards, Mike.
  11. I've used everything from a C8 and a 12" Newtonian to a 135mm camera lens for comets over the years, so I would say try all three if you get the opportunity! The C8 would be good for close-ups of the head and brightest part of the tail, while the shorter focal length of the 66mm would of course take in more of the tail. Let's hope NEOWISE puts on a great show (and that the weather co-operates)! Regards, Mike.
  12. Comet C/2019 Y4 ATLAS from last night. (46 x 1-minute exposures at ISO 6400 with an EOS 600D and 12" f/4 Newtonian). Regards, Mike.
  13. Planning to observe and image C/2019 Y4 (Atlas) tonight, as I have a reasonable forecast too. I did photograph this comet when it was close to the Owl Nebula in February, but unfortunately it was too faint then for me to get a certain visual on it (even with a 12" Newt!) By all accounts it has brightened a great deal since then . Good luck all, and clear skies! Regards, Mike.
  14. Thanks for your comment, Agnes It's not too bad to set up. I take the mount out first, then the counterweights and finally the telescope (though I only fit the finderscope, etc, once the 'scope is on the mount). The optical assembly itself weighs about 20kg, and it did find it difficult to lift onto the mount at first. However, I found it easier after a while, once I got more used to handling it. I do have option of setting up a smaller and lighter telescope sometimes, on the same mount, if I don't feel like setting up the 12" Newtonian. Regards, Mike.
  15. My Revelation 12" Newtonian on a Losmandy G-11 (non-Gemini), while imaging Comet PanSTARRS C/2017 T2 last night. Regards, Mike.
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