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Found 16 results

  1. The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Asteroid occultation of a bright star * Neptune appulse with bright star * Vesta getting easier * Three Mira stars near maximum This should be enough to keep you gainfully occupied with your binoculars or small telescope. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab, where you can subscribe (also free, of course) to have it emailed each month, and get archived copies.
  2. The August edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. As well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * A grazing occultation of a bright star * Moon occulting stars in the Hyades * See both ice giants as well as Vesta * Review of the Celestron EclipSmart 10x25 solar binocular I hope it helps you to get the best out of these late summer nights with your binoculars or small telescopes. To pick up your free copy, just head over to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab. You can also subscribe (also free) and have it emailed each month. Warning: Do not attempt to observe the Sun with any optical system that is not specifically designed for the purpose.
  3. The Binocular Sky Newsletter for December 2013 is now available. Things have been a tad hectic recently at "BinoSky Central" , so this is a tad shorter than usual but, I hope, will still be useful. What I try to pass off as "normal service" will be resumed as soon as possible... In addition to the usual selection of good DSOs and Solar System objects to observe, in this month's issue we also have: * Comet Lovejoy * Many lunar occultations * A selection of variable stars To grab your (free!) copy, go to http://binocularsky.com/ and click on the Newsletter tab. I hope you find it useful.
  4. After viewing Vesta for the first time last night, I thought I'd sit down tonight as the clouds have stopped any observing tonight so far to do a sketch of what I saw. I inverted the image I drew to make it look more realistic, and marked up the position of Vesta (brightest object in the FOV), and also one other star for location. Should have added in also on the sketch that it was viewed with my Celestron 4SE Mak, with a 18mm Celestron X-Cel LX EP. FOV was about 49 minutes (49'). Thanks for looking. Any tips or suggestions (criticisms even) welcome! Gus Mark II which gives a better idea of magnitudes seen in the EP FOV I think.
  5. The latest edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready. The nights are getting longer so, as well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Several lunar occultations, including a (somewhat tricky) graze of HIP 38975 for observers in Eire and the north of England * Uranus and Neptune are now observable in the evening (as well as the morning) * Ceres and Vesta are difficult, but back! * A mini-review of the Levenhuk Sherman PRO 10x50 binocular To grab your (free!) copy, or to subscribe, log on to http://binocularsky.com and click on the Newsletter tab
  6. Sky clarity was not great with a VLM at zenith of magnitude 4.9 but a quick peek at Jupiter indicated seeing was better than usual. All four moons were on display (two on each side) with a nearby star, BD +20 744 completing a near perfect line of six . Jupiter looked most impressive to the North of the Hyades. A more scaled down version of this was the nearby NGC 1647, with the asteroid 4 - Vesta in the same 25mm eyepiece field of view. 25 or more individual stars were visible but no hazy background which didn't surprise me given the lack of transparency in the sky. I then moved across to the similar cluster NGC 1746 which had almost as many identifiable stars. To the South of Taurus, two more open clusters were visible but much less impressive. NGC 1807 and the inferior NGC 1817 appeared in the same 25mm eyepiece field of view and appeared as chains of 15 and 7 stars respectively with little hint of any nebulosity. A cloud bank was closing in from the Northwest but I still had time to find the very condensed open cluster NGC 1857 in Auriga. All of this crammed into just over an hour. Let's hope for more and longer opportunities soon. Happy New Year! __________________________________________________ ______ Observing Session: Tuesday, 1st January 2013, 17:50 hrs to 19:00 hrs GMT VLM at Zenith: 4.9 New - Revisited - Failed
  7. The June edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is ready for download. Despite the very short nights, as well as the usual overview of DSOs, variable and double stars, this month we have: * Uranus and Neptune are back (just!) * Vesta is well-placed and brightening slightly * A bright Mira variable is near maximum When you next get a clear night sky, grab your binocs (or small telescope) and use this guide to enjoy, and share with others, what the night sky freely offers us this month. To get your (free!) copy, or to subscribe (also free) and receive it monthly, please go to http://binocularsky.com and click on the 'Newsletter' tab.
  8. Had a bash at some minor planet spotting on Friday night/Saturday morning. Pointed the scope at a fairly nondescript bit of space between Gemini and Cancer and started taking pictures. The star in the middle of the field is (I believe!) asteroid 4 Vesta at a distance of some 227 million kilometres. I took five frames over a period of twenty-five minutes before the clouds came over to see what I was doing, but even over this short a period, you can see some elongation of Vesta as it drifts relative to the fixed background stars. Interesting way to spend some time since the weather wasn't ideal with partial, intermittent cloud. Since I was looking for motion between frames, I didn't mind if I lost half my subs to the weather gods! Telescope was a William Optics FLT-98 with AFR-IV focal reducer Camera was a ZWO ASI1600MC-cooled. No flats or darks, as I was just mucking about really. Would have liked to get a couple of hours, but if the weather had been good enough for that, I'd probably have gone nebula-hunting. It was interesting to deliberately go hunting for a specific asteroid; normally, I just find them after the fact, messing up my pics of something else!
  9. As Vesta is currently at approximately magnitude +7.6 and going through Gemini for most of April I intend to try to track it (weather permitting) over this time if possible. As this will be my first ever asteroid hunt and potentially first one ever seen, are there any tips apart from sketching its position against the stars to be able to do this? Below is the fov in my Opticstar AS90S with my 18mm Celestron X-Cel LX EP that I intend to use for this if possible.
  10. Vesta, The only bright asteroid I have not observed yet. After observing Ceres in Cetus and Pallas in Equuleus, the time has come and at a great time as well to observe the 2nd largest asteroid in our Solar System. I have put aside observing the main planets in the winter sky such as Venus, Uranus and Neptune and have started to challenge myself with looking for these mysterious wonderful objects. And Vesta is next on my list. Vesta is currently in Cancer the crab, which is starting to emerge into our evenings with other well known winter constellations such as Orion, Gemini, Canis Major and Canis Minor. Though Cancer is a very faint constellation and even I myself can sometimes be searching around for it, but I over came this problem by looking for the two brightest stars in Gemini, Castor and Pollux, and using them as pointers to Alpha Cancri. But Cancer possesses probably some of my favorite night sky objects, Tegmine or Zeta Cancri, a beautiful 6th magnitude triple star system. Messier 67 a fantastic open star cluster. But my favorite object by far, The Beehive Cluster. A beautiful, breathtaking, dazzling display of stars in the shape of a beehive, When people say to me around the Christmas holidays and it's a clear sky outside and I'm asked " Show us something through your telescope! " With no hesitation I am already slewing to the Beehive Cluster. And now, Vesta is paying a visit to glorious cluster. From now to mid December, Vesta will be to right of the Beehive and in early December it will be at it's closest to it. And at magnitude +7.1 on December 12th it will blend in quite nicely with the outer stars in the cluster. After it starts to move away from the Beehive and altogether leave Cancer and slowly ascending it's magnitude to +6.4 but only having a disc of 0.5 arc seconds.. It will be a nice object to observe over the winter, and a great photo opportunity with the Beehive! Clear Skies!
  11. Below is an image I took at 23:50 on Friday 1st April which captured Vesta in a widefield shot. I've also put up a comparison of the same area of sky up from Skysafari for the same time too, and in the last image (same as the first) I've highlighted Vesta with a V. My first asteroid captured on my Canon bridge camera.
  12. The March 2013 edition of the Binocular Sky Newsletter is now published. * The usual stuff on good Deep Sky Objects to observe * Finder charts for Ceres and Vesta * Comet C/2011/L4 (PanSTARRS) * Two Lunar occultations To grab yourself a (free!) copy, go to http://binocularsky.com/ and click on the Newsletter tab. If you like it, you can have future issues emailed to you by clicking on the "Subscribe" link in the Newsletter tab and submitting the form.
  13. Yesterday after salsa dancing lessons, I noticed some very clear patches in an otherwise mediocre sky filled with thin wispy clouds, I hooked out the Helios 15x70s and had a quick look at the Rosette. Lo and behold, a faint milky patch showed around the central cluster (should be better from a darker site). I also checked up on Ceres and Vesta, and they had moved quite a bit since last Saturday. They were only visible through a thick haze, near Zenith. After a quick look at M35 I packed the bins up. All (more-or-less) old friends, but I was happy with the quick session
  14. The Binocular Sky Newsletter for November 2013 is now available. In addition to the usual selection of good DSOs and Solar System objects to observe, in this month's issue we also have: * Three comets * Two asteroid occulations for the UK * Many lunar occultations (including one of Spica) * A selection of variable stars To grab your (free!) copy, go to http://binocularsky.com/ and click on the Newsletter tab. I hope you find it useful.
  15. The Binocular Sky Newsletter for December 2013 is now available. Things have been a tad hectic recently at "BinoSky Central" , so this is a tad shorter than usual but, I hope, will still be useful. What I try to pass off as "normal service" will be resumed as soon as possible... In addition to the usual selection of good DSOs and Solar System objects to observe, in this month's issue we also have: * Comet Lovejoy * Many lunar occultations * A selection of variable stars To grab your (free!) copy, go to http://binocularsky.com/ and click on the Newsletter tab. I hope you find it useful.
  16. Managed to capture Vesta again late last night/early morning after checking outside for clear weather before I went to bed, so had a 30 minute detour from achieving a nice warm bed. Taken with my Canon PowerShot SX410 IS bridge camera piggy backed onto my 4SE Mak, with ISO1600, f5.6 with 5 second exposure, zoom set to approx 25x to 30x zoom. Slight tweaking in my photo editing software Serif Photoplus to clean up a little. Image from Skysafari too showing same area of sky approx at the same time. Last image shows Vesta marked with a V pointing to it. Gus
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